Pablo Picasso

Màlaga 1881 - Mougins, Provença 1973

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Pablo Picasso (Málaga, 1881 – Mas Notre-Dame-de-Vie, Mougins, 1973) is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and provocative Spanish artists of the 20th century, who left an indelible mark on the history and aesthetics of contemporary art. . In 1891 his family moved to La Coruña, and a few years later, in 1895, to Barcelona. On his first trip to Madrid, he visited the Prado Museum and felt attracted by the great masters with whom years later he would establish an artistic dialogue. In 1896 he entered the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts, attending classes irregularly, and there he began his artistic training in academic realism with Muñoz Degrain and Moreno Carbonero. In Barcelona he joined the gathering of Els Quatre Gats, also participating in the symbolist environment rooted in advanced circles in Barcelona. He visited Paris for the first time in 1900, from that moment he alternated his stays between Madrid, Barcelona and the French capital. He produces a series of works that constitute a corpus that will later be described as the blue stage, characterized by the lengthening of the canon, the use of cold ranges of color and the melancholic and ascetic tone of the figures. In 1904 he settled permanently in the city of the Seine. Approximately in 1904 he begins the so-called pink stage, in which he develops compositions with classical forms and warmer colors, in which the characters abandon the isolation of the previous phase. His friendship with the Stein brothers from 1905 puts him in contact with a very unique circle of artists and writers, and he meets Matisse. He frequents the Musée du Louvre and the Ethnographie du Trocadéro, which attracts him in a special way because of its collection of primitive and African art. The Cézanne exhibition of 1907 made a special impression on him. The same year he made “Les demoiselles d'Avignon”, a work traditionally considered as the origin of cubism, in which he proposes a new relationship between volume and space, figure and background. He spends the summer of 1909 in Horta de Ebro and takes views of his surroundings in which he applies a new way of building the landscape, using faceted illuminated and shaded planes, a resource derived from the knowledge and reflection of Cézanne's painting. The First World War surprises him in Paris, where he eventually shares the house with Pablo Gargallo. In 1917, through J. Cocteau, he contacted S. Diaghilev and began his collaborative projects with the Russian ballets for which he made sets and costumes. For this reason he travels to Italy to make the sets for the ballet Parade with music by Satie. He visits Rome, Florence, Naples and Pompeii, which together with the rediscovery of classical sculpture will have an enormous impact on his future works. After his “return to order”, as a consequence of his trip to Italy, he alternates between two different languages: he continues to create cubist works, and others of neoclassical grandeur. He is also interested in sculpture and works throughout 1928 in Julio González's workshop. In 1936 he was appointed director of the Prado Museum by the Government of the Republic. The public ratification of his adherence to the republican cause was made express through the acceptance of the appointment of director of the Museo del Prado and his participation in the Pavilion of the Universal Exposition of 1937 in Paris with the "Guernica" . In 1954 he settled in Cannes, where he carried out his famous series on the works of the great masters: Delacroix, Velázquez, Manet, Poussin. In 1960 he moved to Mougins, where he lived and worked during his last years. He exhibits in all major capitals and his work is universally recognized. In 1963 the Museu Picasso in Barcelona was inaugurated.