Inside the mastermind of Pablo Picasso: how the master modernized art history

les demoiselles d’avignon Pablo Picasso (CC) / Oil paint / moma / 1907 

early years

Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain, on October 25, 1881. He was the son of an art teacher, and his mother was an amateur painter. Perhaps, Picasso’s artistic skills ran in his blood. He began to draw and paint from a very young age. In fact, it is said that his first word was “pencil.”

Picasso’s family moved to Barcelona when he was a teenager, and it was there that he attended the School of Fine Arts. However, Picasso was a non-conformist and found the traditional methods of teaching art uninteresting. He soon dropped out of the School of Fine Arts and joined a group of young artists who were rebelling against the academic style of painting.

Picasso’s early artistic career was influenced by Avant-Garde movements such as Symbolism and Art Nouveau. He was drawn to the radical ideas of these movements, and they provided him with a new perspective on art. During this time, he produced many paintings in his “Blue Period” and “Rose Period,” which were characterized by their somber and melancholic tones.

In 1907, Picasso painted his landmark work “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” which marked the beginning of the Cubist movement. His collaboration with Georges Braque led to the development of Analytic and Synthetic Cubism, which revolutionized modern art. Picasso’s works from this period were characterized by their fragmented and rearranged forms and shapes, and his use of non-traditional techniques such as collage.

blue and rose periods

During the early 20th century, Picasso delved into two separate but thematically interconnected artistic periods – the Blue Period and the Rose Period. The paintings from the Blue Period were characterized by somber tones and melancholic themes, reflecting the artist’s own feelings of despair and poverty. Meanwhile, the Rose Period saw a shift towards a bright, warm color palette and depictions of circus performers, harlequins, and other figures associated with the world of entertainment. In terms of symbolism and style, Picasso drew inspiration from both the melancholic themes of Symbolism and the aesthetic decadence of Art Nouveau. The elongated, sinuous lines and flowing shapes that define the Art Nouveau style can be seen in many of Picasso’s Blue and Rose Period works. Despite receiving mixed reviews from art critics, Picasso’s Blue and Rose Period works remain some of his most beloved and distinctive creations. These periods helped establish the artist’s signature style and themes, while also laying the groundwork for his later experiments with Cubism and other avant-garde movements.


Collaboration with Braque was one of the most significant events in Picasso’s artistic career. Together, they invented Cubism, a radical approach to representing the world that shattered traditional notions of perspective and form. Both artists worked in close proximity, feeding each other’s creativity and pushing each other to new heights. Analytic Cubism was the first phase of the movement. It was characterized by a monochromatic palette, flat planes, and the fragmentation of objects into geometric shapes. Synthetic Cubism followed, which incorporated a wider range of materials and often involved the use of collage. Picasso’s innovations in form and space were revolutionary, and their impact can still be felt today. He was a true pioneer, constantly reinventing his approach and experimenting with new techniques.

beyond cubism

Beyond Cubism, Picasso continued to push the boundaries of art through his innovative techniques, including collage and papiers colles. His surrealism period was also influential, as he explored the subconscious and irrational through his artwork. Throughout his career, he never stopped experimenting, constantly exploring new media and approaches to art. His legacy continues to influence modern art, and his works remain relevant and inspiring. Picasso’s continued exploration and experimentation demonstrated his passion for art and his dedication to pushing the boundaries of what was possible. He wasn’t content with merely mastering a particular style or technique; he wanted to continually challenge himself and his audiences. And his willingness to experiment, to take risks, and to break the rules continues to inspire artists around the world.

legacy and impact

Legacy and Impact Picasso’s influence on modern art is immeasurable. He transformed the way we think about images and representation, inspiring countless artists to explore new forms and push the boundaries of artistic expression. His continued relevance is evident in the many retrospectives and exhibitions of his work that take place around the world each year, as well as the ongoing scholarship and critical attention that his art receives. In addition to his impact on the art world, Picasso has also become an indelible part of popular culture, influencing fashion, design, and even advertising.




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