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ART HISTORY: PABLO PICASSO

Posted by Alexander Bitar on

In history, there are a few names that really are defining and indeed synonymous with their type of profession. Muhammad Ali is the name that pops up when people think of boxing. Albert Einstein is the name people think of in terms of science – and so on. Another striking example is Pablo Picasso in regard of art. Picasso is the most famous painter and truly a household name worldwide.

Born in Málaga, Spain in 1881 as the son of a painter and art historian, Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Mártir Patricio Ruiz y Picasso (yes, that’s his full name!). His father taught him the basic skills of how to paint. His first known painting is called Picador and was made in 1889 at the age of eight.

Picador, 1889

Picador, 1889

Picasso later studied art in Barcelona, but it wasn’t until 1904 when he moved to Paris where he gradually devolved to a first-class painter and became friends with other well-known artist such as Kees van Dongen.

The first true masterpiece of Picasso was made in 1907, entailed Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (as presented below). It was during that year when the art movement cubism established. The key people of cubism is Picasso and Georges Braque. Picasso’s masterpiece The Girl with a Mandolin is one of the world’s most well-known cubist works, which highlight the true essence of cubism in a very harmonic, yet sophistic way.

Fanny Tellier, 1910 (a.k.a. The Girl with a Mandolin)

Fanny Tellier, 1910 (a.k.a. The Girl with a Mandolin)

As time went by, Picasso became the greatest and most well-known artist of his generation. His work expanded to sculptures and poetry. There are few artists with such a large range of productivity such as Picasso. Yet, the prices of Picasso’s works are really over the top! Every time a major auction house is offering an oil painting by Picasso the art community get’s hysterical!

Below are a top three list of his greatest works.

1. GUERNICA, 1937
Completed in 1937, Picasso was inspired by the bombing of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, the Guernica is regarded by many art critics as one of the most powerful anti-war paintings in history. The incredibly large oil painting measures 137 by 305 inches and it’s on permanent display in Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid.

GUERNICA, 1937

GUERNICA, 1937

2. LES DEMOISELLES D’AVIGNON, 1907
The Young Ladies of Avignonwas is considered to be a truly game-changing work by Picasso when it was done in 1907. It laid the foundation of cubism which later became Picassos true essence. It sure was controversial in the early 20th century, but now it’s one of the all-time most influential works.

LES DEMOISELLES D’AVIGNON, 1907

LES DEMOISELLES D’AVIGNON, 1907

3. LES FEMMES D’ALGER, VERSION O, 1955
Between 1954 and 1955, Picasso created a series of 15 works entitled The Women of Algiers. In 2015, 60 years after it was completed, one of the paintings – version O – fetched $180 million USD at auction, making it one of the most expensive paintings of all time. In comparison to the no. 2 pick on this list, The Women of Algiers, version O is a much more matured work by Picasso.

LES FEMMES D'ALGER, VERSION O, 1955

LES FEMMES D’ALGER, VERSION O, 1955

Sources: www.museoreinasofia.es, www.moma.org, www.christies.com and www.arthive.com

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