His name in full was Pablo Diego Jose Santiago Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispin Crispiniano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz Blasco Picasso y Lopez.
Picasso was born in
While Picasso was primarily a
Pablo Picasso hated to be alone when he wasn't working. In
Picasso's most famous work is probably his depiction of the
As certain works, for example the Cubist pieces, tend to be associated in the public mind with Picasso, it is important to realize how talented Picasso was as a painter and draughtsman. He was capable of working with
Picasso's father Don Josť Ruiz y Blasco was himself a painter and for most of his life was a professor of art at Spanish colleges. It is from Don Josť that Picasso learned the basics of formal academic art training - figure drawing, and painting in oil. Although Picasso attended art schools thoughout his childhood, often those his father taught at, he never finished his college level course of study at the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, leaving after less than a year.
The Picasso Museum in
It is true that Picasso remained neutral during the
As a Spanish citizen living in
He also remained aloof from the
After the Second World War, Picasso joined the French
Picasso had a long string of lovers, four children by three women, and two wives. In the early years of the 20th century, Picasso, still a struggling youth, began a long term relationship with Fernande Olivier. It is she who appears in many of the Blue and Rose period paintings. After garnering fame and some fortune, Picasso left Fernande for Marcelle Humbert, whom Picasso called Eva. When it became clear that Eva was dying, Picasso left her as well. Throughout his life, Picasso also frequented bordellos, and had numerous affairs.
In 1918 Picasso married Olga Koklova, a ballerina with
Olga's insistence on social propriety clashed with Picasso's bohemian tendencies, and the two lived in a state of near constant conflict. In 1927 Picasso met the then underage (17) Marie Th??e Walter, and began a secret affair with her. Picasso's marriage to Olga soon ended in separation, as French law required an even division of property in the case of divorce, and Picasso did not want Olga to have half his wealth. The two remained legally married until Olga's death in 1955.
Pablo Picasso carried on a long standing affair with Marie Th??e, and fathered a daughter, Maya, with her. Marie Th??e lived in the vain hope that Picasso would one day marry her, and eventually hanged herself after Picasso's death.
The photographer and painter Dora Maar was also a constant companion and lover of Picasso. The two were closest in the late 30s and early 40s, and it was Dora who documented the painting of Guernica. Like all the women in his life, Dora was cruelly abused emotionally by the narcissistic Picasso.
After the liberation of Paris in 1945, Picasso began to keep company with a young art student, Fran?ise Gilot. The two eventually became lovers, and had two children together, Claude, and Paloma. Uniquely among Picasso's women, Fran?ise eventually left Picasso in 1953 because of his abusive treatment, and infidelities. This came as a severe blow to Picasso, who was used to submissive women who lived for whatever scraps of affection or attention he deigned to give them.
He went through a difficult period after Fran?ise's departure, coming to terms with his advancing age, and his perception that he was an old man, now in his seventies, who was no longer attractive, but rather grotesque to young women. A number of ink drawings from this period explore this theme of the hideous old dwarf as buffoonish counterpoint to the beautiful young girl.
Pablo Picasso was not long in finding another lover, Jacqueline Roque. Jacqueline worked at the Madoura Pottery, where Picasso made and painted ceramics. The two remained together for the rest of Picasso's life, marrying in 1961. Their marriage was also the means of one last act of revenge against Fran?ise. Fran?ise had been seeking a legal means to legitimize her children with Picasso, Claude and Paloma. With Picasso's encouragement, she had arranged to divorce her then husband, Luc Simon, and marry Picasso to secure her children's rights. Picasso then secretly married Jacqueline after Fran?ise had filed for divorce in order to exact his revenge for her leaving him.
In his 80s and 90s, Picasso, no longer quite the energetic dynamo he had been in his youth, became more, and more reclusive. His second wife, Jacqueline Roque, screened all but the most important visitors, and closest friends, even excluding Picasso's two children, Claude and Paloma, both by his former partner, the painter, Fran?ise Gilot.
This reclusive existence intensified after Picasso underwent surgery for a prostate condition in 1965. This surgery is rumored to have left Picasso largely impotent. To a man for whom s--ual adventure was such an important part of life, this was a serious life change, and Picasso seems to have dealt with it by redoubling his already prolific artistic output.
Devoting his full energies to his work, Picasso became more daring, his works more colorful and expressive, and from 1968 through 1971 he produced a torrent of paintings and hundreds of copperplate engravings. At the time these works were dismissed by most as p---ographic fantasies of an impotent old man, or the slapdash works of an artist who was past his prime. One long time admirer, Douglas Cooper called them "the incoherent scribblings of a frenetic old man in the antechamber of death." Only a decade later, after Picasso's death, when the rest of the art world had moved on from abstract expressionism, did the critical community come to see that Picasso had already discovered neo-espressionism, and was, as usual, ahead of his time.
Pablo Picasso died on April 8, 1973 at Mougins, France, and was interred at Castle Vauvenargues' park, in Vauvenargues,
At the time of his death, Picasso, by now a multi millionaire, owned a vast quantity of his own work, consisting of personal favorites which he had kept off the art market, or which he had not needed to sell. In addition, Picasso had a considerable collection of the work of other famous artists, some his contemporaries, like
This Pablo Picasso Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub