Pablo Picasso
Picasso, Pablo Ruiz y (1881-1973), Spanish painter and sculptor, is considered
one of the greatest artist of the 20th century. He was a inventor of forms,
innovator of styles and techniques, a master of various media, and one of the
most prolific artists in history. He created more than 20,000 works. Training
and Early Work Picasso was Born in Málaga on October 25, 1881, he was the son
of José Ruiz Blasco, an art teacher, and María Picasso y Lopez. Until 1898 he
always used his father\'s name, Ruiz, and his mother\'s maiden name, Picasso, to
sign his pictures. After about 1901 he dropped "Ruiz" and used his mother\'s
maiden name to sign his pictures. At the age of 10 he made his first paintings,
and at 15 he performed brilliantly on the entrance examinations to Barcelona\'s

School of Fine Arts. His large academic canvas Science and Charity (1897,

Picasso Museum, Barcelona), depicting a doctor, a nun, and a child at a sick
woman\'s bedside, won a gold medal. Blue Period Between 1900 and 1902, Picasso
made three trips to Paris, finally settling there in 1904. He found the city\'s
bohemian street life fascinating, and his pictures of people in dance halls and
cafés show how he learned the postimpressionism of the French painter Paul

Gauguin and the symbolist painters called the Nabis. The themes of the French
painters Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as the style of the
latter, exerted the strongest influence. Picasso\'s Blue Room (1901, Phillips

Collection, Washington, D.C.) reflects the work of both these painters and, at
the same time, shows his evolution toward the Blue Period, so called because
various shades of blue dominated his work for the next few years. Expressing
human misery, the paintings portray blind figures, beggars, alcoholics, and
prostitutes, their somewhat elongated bodies reminiscent of works by the Spanish
artist El Greco. Rose Period Shortly after settling in Paris in a shabby
building known as the Bateau-Lavoir ("laundry barge," which it resembled),

Picasso met Fernande Olivier, the first of many companions to influence the
theme, style, and mood of his work. With this happy relationship, Picasso
changed his palette to pinks and reds; the years 1904 and 1905 are thus called
the Rose Period. Many of his subjects were drawn from the circus, which he
visited several times a week; one such painting is Family of Saltimbanques
(1905, National Gallery, Washington, D.C.). In the figure of the harlequin,

Picasso represented his alter ego, a practice he repeated in later works as
well. Dating from his first decade in Paris are friendships with the poet Max

Jacob, the writer Guillaume Apollinaire, the art dealers Ambroise Vollard and

Daniel Henry Kahnweiler, and the American expatriate writers Gertrude Stein and
her brother Leo, who were his first important patrons; Picasso did portraits of
them all. Protocubism In the summer of 1906, during Picasso\'s stay in Gósol,

Spain, his work entered a new phase, marked by the influence of Greek, Iberian,
and African art. His celebrated portrait of Gertrude Stein (1905-1906,

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) reveals a masklike treatment of her
face. The key work of this early period, however, is Les demoiselles d\'Avignon
(1907, Museum of Modern Art, New York City), so radical in style—its picture
surface resembling fractured glass—that it was not even understood by
contemporary avant-garde painters and critics. Destroyed were spatial depth and
the ideal form of the female nude, which Picasso restructured into harsh,
angular planes. Cubism—Analytic and Synthetic Inspired by the volumetric
treatment of form by the French postimpressionist artist Paul Cézanne, Picasso
and the French artist Georges Braque painted landscapes in 1908 in a style later
described by a critic as being made of "little cubes," thus leading to the
term cubism. Some of their paintings are so similar that it is difficult to tell
them apart. Working together between 1908 and 1911, they were concerned with
breaking down and analyzing form, and together they developed the first phase of
cubism, known as analytic cubism. Monochromatic color schemes were favored in
their depictions of radically fragmented motifs, whose several sides were shown
simultaneously. Picasso\'s favorite subjects were musical instruments, still-life
objects, and his friends; one famous portrait is Daniel Henry Kahnweiler (1910,

Art Institute of Chicago). In 1912, pasting paper and a piece of oilcloth to the
canvas and combining these with painted areas, Picasso created his first
collage, Still Life with Chair Caning (Musée Picasso, Paris). This technique
marked a transition to synthetic cubism. This second phase of cubism is more
decorative, and color plays a major role, although shapes remain fragmented and
flat. Picasso