Picasso, Pablo

"If you know exactly what you're going to do, what's the point of doing it?" explains Picasso in his conversations with Christian Zervos. This idea reflects the painter's great curiosity and the stylistic, iconographic and technical diversity that characterizes his work. Read the biography

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Born in Malaga in 1881, Picasso began painting at the instigation of his father, an art teacher and curator of the city's museum. Introduced to French modern art through the Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona, the young painter moved to Paris in 1900. He developed his own style (first the blue, then the pink period) and frequented Apollinaire, Matisse and Gertrude Stein's salon. In 1907, his meeting with Georges Braque inaugurated an intense and fruitful dialogue, and kicked off Cubism, with the Demoiselles d'Avignon and the Standing nude by Braque. On Jean Cocteau's advice, Picasso attends Serge Diaghilev's Russian ballets in Rome. This was an opportunity for him to return to a certain form of figuration and to study the human body. In the 30s, the artist began experimenting with engraving and sculpture techniques. Using assemblages of different waste materials and multiple impressions, Picasso worked tirelessly, giving free rein to his imagination, notably with the etching of the Minotauromachy (1935). Following the engraving series Franco's dream and lieThe Spanish Republican government invited the artist to take part in the International Exhibition. In 1937, he exhibited his masterpiece Guernica at the Spanish Pavilion. After the war, Picasso experimented with every possible medium: lithography, engraving, linocut, poster, sculpture and ceramics. At the same time, he engaged in a dialogue with the old and modern masters, creating variations such as Las Meninas after Velázquez or Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe after Manet. Following in Goya's footsteps, Picasso illustrated a book written by the bullfighter Delgado alias Pepe Hillo in La Tauromaquia (1957). His last exhibitions and works, such as the erotic etchings of 1963, show a very active and creative artist towards the end of his life, despite his retirement in his Mougins home, where he died in 1973.