Pablo Ruyz y Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor and poet.

He is considered a co-founder of cubism, a co-inventor of collage, the inventor of constructed sculpture, and the world's most prolific painter.

In a career spanning 78 years, he amassed 300 sculptures, 13,500 paintings, 34,000 illustrations and 100,000 prints and engravings.


He was born on October 25, 1881 in Málaga, Andalusia, to parents José and Maria. His father, who taught drawing, encouraged him to paint, and he picked up the brush when he was 7 years old. Between the ages of 11 and 14, he practiced drawing, illustration and oil painting. He studied at the Fine Arts School in La Coruña, where the family moved in 1891.

His youngest sister, Consuelo, died in January 1895. Later that year, he met a young man who would become a lifelong friend, Manuel Pallarès. The following year, he studied at La Lonja, in Barcelona. In 1897, he was awarded a Gold Medal at the General Fine Arts Exhibition, in Málaga.

Early Years

He enrolled at the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1897. Over the course of the following year, he studied landscapes. The village of Horta de Ebro served as his muse.

In 1898, he became a familiar face to those at the Els Quatre Gats café in Barcelona. It was here that he met Carlos Casagemas, as well as many other artists and intellectuals. In 1900, he visited Paris with Casagemas for the first time.

In 1901, Casagemas committed suicide in a Parisian café out of unrequited love for Germaine Pichot. She later featured in several of Picasso's works, including 'The Girls of Avignon' (1907).

Blue Period

He painted 'La Mort de Casagemas' and the blue 'Self-Portrait' in 1901. His muses were patients at the Saint-Lazare Hospital. The same year, he co-founded the 'Arte Jouven' magazine, and held his first exhibition in Paris at the Galeries Vollard. He painted using expressionist and post-impressionist styles. The following year, he produced 'Femme Assise', his first clay sculpture.

In 1904, he moved to Montmartre, to his Bateau-Lavoir studio, and he frequented the 'Au Lapin Agile' café. He met Fernande Olivier, his partner for seven years. He also met André Salmon and Guillaume Apollinaire, life-long friends.

Rose Period

In 1905, he painted his 'Portrait of Gertrude Stein' in his travels to the Netherlands. In 1906, he spent the summer in a remote Catalonian village, Gósol, where he experimented with symbolism. In 1907, Apollinaire introduced him to Georges Braque. In 1907, he was inspired by Salmon to paint his 'Les Demoiselles D'Avignon', which was originally titled 'Le Bordel Philosophique'.

Cubist Period

In 1908, he painted mainly abstract landscapes and figures. In 1909, he returned to Horta de Ebro to spend the summer painting landscapes. On his return to Paris, he moved to Boulevard Clichy. Between 1910 and 1912, he developed a style called Analytic Cubism. He refused to show his work in Paris again until 1916, and held exhibitions in New York and Berlin, instead.

He met and had an affair with Eva Gouel in 1911. The following year, he produced his first collage, 'Nature Morte a la Chaise Cannée', and his first construction, a cardboard guitar. He moved to his new Parisian studio in Boulevard Raspail.

In 1913, his style developed into Synthetic Cubism with the piece 'Homme à la Guitare'. When his father died, he returned to Barcelona. Returning to Paris, he moved his studio to Rue Schoelcher. In 1914, he developed his 'rococo' cubist style using the pointillist technique, as can be seen in his 'Portrait de Jeune Fille'.

Post-belic, Ballet and Classicist Period

Eva Gouel died in 1915. In 1916, Picasso moved to Montrouge. In 1917, he followed the Ballets Russes to Italy, where he met Olga Kokhlova, a Russian ballerina. He used pointillist style to illustrate ballet programmes, and designed the costumes, sets and the stage curtains. He married Olga in July 1918. Shortly after, Apollinaire died. Picasso moved to Rue la Boétie. In 1919, he met Joan Miró. Over the course of the next 2 years, he created more cubist sets and costumes for London and Parisian plays.

In 1921, his son Paulo was born. He painted 'Trois Femmes à la Fontaine' in neoclassical style and 'Trois Musiciens' in cubist style. In 1922, he painted a study of movement, 'Deux Femmes Courant sur la Plage', in classical style. He designed the sets for an 'Antigone' play. In 1923, he spent the summer in Cap d'Antibes, where he produced 'La Flûte de Pan', a large neoclassical composition.

Surrealist Period

The Surrealist group paid tribute to Picasso for his use of fluid cubism in designing the sets for the 'Mercure' ballet in 1924. He spent some of that year in Juan-les-Pins. In 1925, he took a family trip to Monte-Carlo, where he produced sketches of ballerinas. Picasso contributed some works to the Surrealist group's first exhibition. In 1926, he produced some surrealist variations of his cubist guitars.

In 1927, he met Marie-Thérèse Walter, who was 17 at the time. In 1928, he produced the 'Minotaur' collage, as well as two iron sculptures, 'Bust' and 'Figures'. During his stay in Dinard, he painted a series of 'Bathers'. In 1929, he worked on 'Woman in the Garden' and 'Large Nude in Red Armchair'. He returned to Dinard for the summer.

In 1930, he painted the 'Crucifixion'. He then bought the Château de Boisgeloup, and set up his sculpture studio. He moved Marie-Thérèse into his Rue la Boètie studio. In 1931, he produced large plaster sculptures of Marie-Thérèse's face, titled 'Large Busts'. Critic Waldemar-George, once an admirer, criticized his 'modern neurosis' in the 'Formes' magazine. In 1932, he continued to paint and sculpt Marie-Thérèse, and he continued to be criticized in the media. In 1933, he produced engravings at Atelier 17, in Rue Campagne-Première.

In 1934, he produced the 'Woman with Foliage' and 'Woman with Orange' sculptures, as well as the 'Death of Marat' engraving. He met Dora Maar. After his 'Minotauromachy' engravings, he stopped painting until 1936 to write poems. He separated from Olga, but didn't divorce. Marie-Thérèse gave birth to daughter 'Maya', named Maria de la Concepción.

Civil War Period

Picasso lived with Dora Maar in Mougins, where he painted his 'Arlésiennes' portraits. He started producing ceramics after visiting Vallauris. He produced 20 photogram portraits of Dora in cliché verre.

In 1937, he moved to Grands-Augustin Street in Paris. He exhibited his 'Guernica'. He produced the 'Portrait of Dora Maar' series, as well as the 'Man with a Straw Hat' and 'Ice Cream Cone' self-portraits.

In 1939, his mother died in Barcelona. Shortly after, Barcelona was captured by Frankists. In August, Picasso fled to join Maya and Marie-Thérèse in Ronyan, at the Hôtel du Tigre. Upon his return to Paris in 1940, he was refused French nationality. He lived in the Grands-Augustins studio for the rest of the Occupation.

In 1941, he produced a large plaster bust of Dora. In 1942, he painted the large 'The Dawn' canvas. In 1943, he sculpted 'Man with Sheep' and 'Skull'. He separated from Dora. In 1944, he held a reading at his studio as tribute to Max Jacobs, who had been killed in a concentration camp that year. In 1945, he produced portraits of Maurice Thorez in realistic style.

Joie de Vivre

In 1946, he painted the 'Monument to the Spanish Who Died For France'. Françoise Gilot became his lover. He set up a studio at Château Grimaldi. In 1947, he fathered Françoise's son, Claude. The family moved to Golfe-Juan. He focused on ceramics. In 1948, he moved to La Galloise, in Vallauris. He visited Krakow and Auschwitz that year, and then exhibited 149 ceramics. Paloma, his second daughter, was born in 1949.

He won the Stalin Peace Prize in 1950. He painted his large canvas 'Massacre in Korea' the following year. In 1952, he worked on his 'Vanités' series, and in 1953, he started to use acidic colours to produce monochrome pieces for his 'The Reader' theme.

His Legacy

In 1955, Olga died in Cannes, where Picasso bought a villa, La Californie. He began to attend corrida bullfights, and he befriended bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguìn. In 1956, his work revolved around the 'bathers' theme. In 1958, he started to work with rose chamotte clay and reclaimed wood. In 1958, he bought the Château de Vauvenargues after his UNESCO mural, 'The Fall of Icarus', was completed. In 1959, he wrote 'Trozo de Piel', decorated the Vallauris Chapel, and produced some linoleum cuts. He appeared in a film, 'Testament d'Orphée'.

In 1961, he married Jacqueline Roque, and moved to Mougins, where he celebrated his 80th birthday. He focused on painted sculptures decorated using metal sheet cut-outs. In 1962, he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize. He produced over 70 portraits of Jacqueline that year. The year 1963 saw the creation of 'The Capture of the Sabines', the 'Painter and His Model' series, and his 'Embraces' series using intaglio and other printmaking techniques. In 1966, he started painting the 'Busts of the Musketeers'. The year after, he refused the Legion of Honour medal, and was evicted from his Grands-Augustins Street studio. He produced 'The Couple', a theme which dominated his work for the rest of his years.

Final Years

Illustrations dominated this period, including etchings, aquatints, and burin engravings. He completed his 347 engravings in 1968. Over the course of the next 2 years, he produced around 165 works. In 1971, he revealed his original cardboard 'Guitar' after donating his metal construction version to be displayed in New York. The year 1972 saw a series of self-portraits and nudes brought to life. In 1973, he died at Notre-Dame-de-Vie in Mougins, hosting a dinner party.