La Picador, 1890

Family of Saltimbanques, 1905

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain, in the area along the Mediterranean coast called the Costa del Sol. This area was once part of the Roman Empire, and was later conquered by the Moors.  It is now part of a section called Andalusia, famous for flamenco dancing, bullfights, hot sun, and a blue sea.
         When Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, his father was a teacher in the School of Arts and Crafts in Malaga. Picasso was another artist whose artistic abilities were apparent when he was a youngster.  He once said, When I was 12, I drew like Raphael.”  He worked in some of his father’s classes and even finished some of his pater’s paintings.  The story goes that when Pablo was about 13, his father came home and saw a still life of his that Pablo had just finished. He then gave his son his brushes and paints and did not paint again.
         In 1985, the family moved to Barcelona,.. The father became a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts. At 14 Pablo took the examination for admission to the Academy. In one day he finished the examination drawings, which most students took a month to complete. He was not satisfied with the Academy for long.  Restless, he moved to Madrid to begin studies at the San Fernando Academy. An uncle had given him enough money to make this possible.  It was the first time the 16-year-old-boy had been on his own.  Often he skipped his classes, spending time at the Prado studying the paints of such masters as Velasquez, Ruben, El Greco and Titian.      While in Madrid he became ill with scarlet fever and had to return to Barcelona. He began to find his friends were among other artists, intellectuals, and writers.  He also saw art from the Romanesque period that had been placed in museums in Barcelona.  Later this art style would be noticed him his own work.
         Ate 19 Picasso went to Paris for the first time.  He shared a studio with a fellow artist and found buyers for some of his paintings. At this time he was influenced by the work of Toulouse-Lautrec, who painted the nightlife and cafes of Paris. Picasso’s early paintings show concern for realistic forms, though much detail is left out.  His brush strokes remind us of Impressionism. He painted street people and entertainers. At about this time he used lots of cool color, particularly blue, it is called his Blue Period. Often he painted the destitute and unhappy.  He spent time in both Paris and Barcelona during the three year of his Blue Periods.
BY 1904 Picasso steeled again in Paris, this time in a new studio. His friends included Matisse, Braque, and Henri Rousseau. This colors in his paintings brightened and became warmer; the moods became happier. His interest in the life of the circus led to paintings that needed more lively color. An example of his fascination with circus life is Family of Saltimbanques.  These next three or four years are called his Rose Period. An example is Boy with Banquet, painted in 1905.
In 1907 Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, this most important early Cubist painting. And one of his major paintings.  The five your women featured in the painting are not conventional beauties. The wo on the right have the study still form of Archaic Greek sculpture. With the two on the right have faces that may remind us of African makes.  At this time, many African masks and primitive sculpture had found their way to Europe, and were admired by many artists for their geometric yet natural forms. Picasso’s first Cubist work caused much comment when it was finally bought by Jacques.
Cubism was influenced by Cezanne. In 1907