Pablo Picasso is not just a painter but a radical passage of art from nineteenth-century classicism to modern extravagance. Picasso and art that he knows how to dare, that tries innovative ways and is not afraid to scandalize, distort and provoke. Even with the ugliness sought. The transgression of courage becomes an image , for a revolution that first surprised… himself.

The young Andalusian talent

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso (his names were at least eight, but for all he was always known as Pablo) was born  in Malaga – Andalusia – on 25 October 1881 , the son of a much sought after but never really famous painter (Don Jose Ruiz y Blasco) and Maria Picasso y Lopez de Onate, a woman of Genoese origin, from which she took her stage name “Picasso”.

It is the mother who realizes his skill, from an early age (she herself stated that the first words of the child were piz piz, which in jargon means lapiz, or pencil), and to initiate him to drawing at an early age. The father completes his artistic training. In 1891 the family moved to Galicia, in La Coruna, where he remained for four years due to his father’s work as a teacher in a city art school.

The adolescence of the young painter instead takes place between Madrid and Barcelona. Through a group of artist friends, he begins to frequent the environments of painters, first in Barcelona and then in Paris . Here he would have developed his best art: the Blue Period (after the death of a dear friend) characterized by melancholy and dark works; the Pink Period , with more sunny paintings. However, these were always classic images that did not allow for the revolution that would pass through the life of the Spanish artist shortly thereafter.

In Paris Pablo Picasso in 1900 went to the Ville Lumiere , for the just inaugurated Universal Exposition, where among other things one of his paintings was exhibited in the collections of the Spanish pavilion.


During a trip to Holland, Picasso knows a type of revolutionary sculpture that no longer takes into account the classical proportions and the “beauty” proper. From the experimentation of these forms the painting of Cubism is born, in which the bodies become geometries, the logical images fall apart and become illogical and what seems ugly begins to dictate the law.

And so, in the spring of 1907, a work was born destined to inaugurate Picasso’s cubist period: it is Les demoiselles d’Avignon . The subject of the work is the interior of a Barcelona brothel, in which there are five naked girls, made in a completely new way: the shapes and volumes of the painting, in fact, are broken down, and the figures are made according to the criterion of so -called “simultaneous vision from several sides” , defying all laws of anatomy. The work is not initially understood and indeed opposed. Today it is located at the MOMA in New York.

But the most representative work of this style is the colossal “Guernica”, inspired by the dramatic terrorist bombing of the homonymous town by the Nazi forces. With the deteriorated forms and the apparent madness of the images, Picasso describes despair in a powerful and unique way. Reality crumbles and reassembles itself to create revolutionary messages . Guernica is now housed in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid.

A curious anecdote related to Guernica and Picasso’s meeting with a Nazi official, Otto Abetz, who asks the artist:

  • And what has caused this horror, master? “
  • Pablo Picasso: “No, it’s your doing!”

It is the dawn of modern art in the true sense of the word and Picasso is its main point of reference.

Commitment to politics

Picasso is deliberately extravagant and rebellious, he lives the period of World War II, remaining consciously in the Paris occupied by the Nazis. Despite being an uncomfortable voice, the fame he had gained means that no one dares to harm him. Immediately after the war, he joins the Communist Party and is one of the founders of the Pacifist Movement . The symbol of the dove is due to an idea of ​​him, which later became a logo.

While he was still alive, in the sixties of the twentieth century, several museums were established that exhibit his works. The museum dedicated to him is born in Barcelona.

The great painter died in his nineties in 1973 . The irony that had accompanied him throughout his life also remains on the verge of death. In fact, I greet his friends by ordering them to “drink to his health”.

The work of Picasso

Here are some of Picasso’s most important works, in chronological order:

  1. Mill of the Galette (1900)
  2. Self-portrait (1901)
  3. Summoning (1901)
  4. Pensive Harlequin (1901)
  5. Self Portrait – I, the King (1901)
  6. The wait (Margot) (1901)
  7. Woman in Blue (1901)
  8. The two acrobats (1901)
  9. The Absinthe Drinker (1901)
  10. Portrait of Jaime Sabartes (1901)
  11. The two sisters (1902)
  12. Poor by the sea (1903)
  13. The Soler family (1903)
  14. Life (1903)
  15. Mother with sick child (1903)
  16. Portrait of Benet Soler (1903)
  17. The Old Blind Guitarist (1903)
  18. The Old Jew (1903)
  19. The Celestine (1904)
  20. The actor (1904 – 1905)
  21. Acrobat and young equilibrist (1905)
  22. Two acrobats with dog (1905)
  23. Family of acrobats with monkey (1905)
  24. Mallorcan girl (1905)
  25. Boy with a Pipe (1905)
  26. Boy Leading a Horse (1905-06)
  27. Portrait of Gertrude Stein (1905-06)
  28. Two brothers (1906)
  29. Self-portrait (1907)
  30. The young ladies of Avignon (1907)
  31. Woman with a Fan (1908)
  32. The little house in the garden (1908)
  33. The Peasant Woman (1908)
  34. The Dryad (1908)
  35. Friendship (1908)
  36. Three women (1908-09)
  37. Tank at Horta de Ebro (1909)
  38. Woman with mandolin (1909)
  39. Woman with Pears (1909)
  40. Woman with a Fan (1909)
  41. Brick factory in Tortosa (1909)
  42. The Appointment (1909)
  43. Still life with liqueur bottle (1909)
  44. Portrait of Ambroise Vollard (1909-10)
  45. My Pretty (1911-12)
  46. The pigeon with the peas (1911)
  47. Guitar (1912-1913)
  48. Still life with straw chair (1912)
  49. Violin, glass of wine, pipe and inkwell (1912)
  50. Guitar (1913)
  51. Woman with Shirt in Armchair (1913)
  52. Violin and fruit bowl (1913)
  53. Bass bottle, clarinet, guitar, violin (1914)
  54. Guitar on the table (1914)
  55. Green still life (1914)
  56. Portrait of a Girl (1914)
  57. Harlequin (1917)
  58. Curtain for Parade (1917)
  59. Portrait of Olga in an armchair (1917)
  60. Pierrot (1918)
  61. Glass, bouquet, guitar and bottle (1919)
  62. Seated Woman (1920)
  63. The three musicians (1921)
  64. Three Women at the Fountain (1921)
  65. Great Bather (1921-22)
  66. Two women running on the beach (1922)
  67. Harlequin – Portrait of Jacinto Salvado (1923)
  68. The pan flute (1923)
  69. Harlequin musician (1924)
  70. Paulo dressed as a Harlequin (1924)
  71. The Kiss (1925)
  72. The Three Dancers (1925)
  73. Study with plaster head (1925)
  74. The milliner’s atelier (1926)
  75. The Swimmer (1929)
  76. Seated Bather (1930)
  77. The crucifixion (1930)
  78. Nude Woman in a Red Armchair (1932)
  79. The Dream (1932)
  80. Girl in front of the mirror (1932)
  81. Study for the cover of Minotaure (1933)
  82. Race (1934)
  83. Nude in the Garden (1934)
  84. Two characters (1934)
  85. The Muse (1935)
  86. Minotauromachia (1935)
  87. Crying Woman (1937)
  88. Portrait of Marie-Therese (1937)
  89. On the Beach (1937)
  90. Guernica (1937)
  91. Dora Maar seduta (1937)
  92. Portrait of Nush Eluard (1937)
  93. Seated Woman (1938)
  94. Maya with Doll (1938)
  95. The Yellow Sweater (1939)
  96. Serenade in the morning or L’aubade (1942)
  97. The Three Ages of Man (1942)
  98. Woman in Green (1943-44)
  99. The joy of living (1946)
  100. The kitchen (1948)
  101. Massacre in Korea (1951)
  102. The Shadow (1953)
  103. Women of Algiers (1955)
  104. Nude Woman in Front of the Garden (1956)
  105. The Girls (1957)
  106. California (1958)
  107. Jacqueline with the yellow ribbon (1961-62)
  108. Seated Woman – Jacqueline (1962)
  109. The Painter and the Model (1963)
  110. Visage (1970)
  111. Woman on the Sofa I (1970-1971)

The legacy

Picasso’s legacy was to give the artists of the future the courage to consider any artistic message as “beautiful”. The search for perfection gives way to the search for rebellion , each painting becomes a path to be understood and read, not a simple image to admire.

With Picasso , art took on an identity that became the root of the future .

Our post dedicated to Pablo Picasso and his life ends here. See you next time with our posts dedicated to Art!