Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was a child prodigy and a rebel teenager born in Malaga, Spain on October 25, 1881. He has come to be known as the most influential artist of the twentieth century. In his career as an artist, lasting more than 75 years, Picasso went through many different periods, the major ones being the “blue period,” the “rose period,” and the cubism period. Picasso was also a sculptor, a printer, and ceramist who worked in realism, caricature, cubism, and many other styles. Critic Hughes states, "There was scarcely a 20th century movement that he didn't inspire, contribute to or--in the case of Cubism, which, in one of art history's great collaborations, he co-invented with Georges Braque--beget".
The blue and rose periods of Picasso’s career were named that because of, obviously, the colors he used in his works. During the “blue period,” which lasted from 1901 to 1904, all of his painting had a bluish tone. These works of art were painted during Picasso’s repeated location changes between Barcelona and Paris, and were focused on outcasts, beggars, and prostitutes. La Vie, created in 1903, was Picasso’s most moving “blue period” piece. What started as a self-portrait transformed into a portrait of his childhood friend, Casagemas, who had committed suicide. In 1905 and 1906, Picasso’s color tone changed. Influenced by the circus’ acrobats and clowns, he started painting in pinks and grays, often highlighted with even brighter colors. This was known as the “rose period.” In 1907, Picasso met Georges Braque, and together, they created Cubism. Picasso and Braque stayed in contact. Picasso, in 1917, painted the set and made the costume design for a ballet titled “Parade.” During the 20’s, Picasso continued his work in theater sets, Cubism, Classical, and Surrealism, and worked in iron sculpture. His famous painting, Guernica, was done in 1937 in response to the bombing in Guernica, Spain. During World War II, Picasso turned to ceramics and print-making to release his energy. In the 1950’s, he painted many variations of older successful paintings. In the 60’s, Picasso created a towering, 50-foot sculpture for the Chicago Civic Center. He also donated over 800 pieces of his work to the Berenguer de Aguilar Palace Museum in Barcelona in the 70’s. The masterminded, famous, and talented, Pablo Picasso, died on April 8, 1973 in Antibes, France at the age of 93.
Pablo Picasso was born into a family that greatly influenced him. His parents’ names were Don Jose Ruiz Blasco and Dona Maria Picasso y Lopez. Picasso was always interested in painting over learning, starting at an early age. His teachers knew not to put too much effort into teaching him. Pablo and his father often compromised, for he never liked receiving instructions. As an art teacher and painter, Jose Ruiz realized Picasso’s talent in painting. Picasso worked on drawing skills and went to work in his father’s art studio frequently. However, Picasso painted what he wanted to paint, already showing his seditious side.
Spanish heritage also greatly influenced Picasso’s art. He studied the famous artists Diego Valequez and El Greco and kept up with current events in Spain. His Spanish culture is evident in many of his works with cultural symbols like bulls and bullfighting. Picasso attended a few art schools before the age of nineteen. He studied in La Coruna, at the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, briefly, in 1897, and in Corundona’s studio. He was also accepted into Barcelona’s La Llonja Art School’s advanced classes, under his father, while he was fifteen.
After his studies, Picasso went to France in 1900. There, he met and befriended Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, and Fernand Leger. He was also influenced by artists such as Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Paul Gauguin. Many of Picasso’s paintings from around this time resemble works from these artists, however, they all have a unique “Picasso look” as well.
You always seem to hear about famous people, in particular, artists, who had a very hard childhood and bad parents. Both Pablo’s mom and dad were big influences on him and his artwork. Maria Picasso was not an artist herself, but she was always present in Picasso’s emotional maturity. And Jose Ruiz, as I have already said, realized Picasso’s talent and encouraged him to paint. I am so glad that his parents helped him along the way to success. Without them, he might have not made it as an artist because possibly no one would have realized his gift as his father did.
Pablo Picasso’s L’Italienne, in my opinion, is an extremely creative piece. He used his cubist style to create an image that leaves the observer confused and with many questions.
Picasso’s use of color and shape is extraordinary in this piece. However, the people are confusing and indefinitely people. When I first glanced at the piece, I only saw one person, a shocked lady, it seemed. However, when I studied the painting, I noticed three more figures which are, quite possibly, people. The second one is in the main focus’ arms, most likely a baby. The third person is a small figure, coming up to about the woman’s middle. The fourth is a tall, dark figure behind the woman. This figure gives off the appearance that he is doing something bad behind the woman by the way he is portrayed in all black, and also by the expression on the woman’s face.
When I look at a picture like this, I notice depth and creativity. It is not easy to create a piece that may leave different ideas in minds about what the picture means or what it is of. I see four people when I look at L’Italienne, however, I do not know what other people see. The picture is very balanced in colors, shapes, and sizes. The use of the greens, reds, and black are equally distributed throughout the whole piece. Also, because the style of the painting is cubism, mostly the whole piece has cube-like shapes, giving the painting even more of a balanced look.
L’Italienne and the Three Musicians are two of Picasso’s famous pieces. The Three Musicians was created in 1921. There are many variations to this piece, but in doing research, one in particular variation of the piece always was shown, so that is the piece that I am using. The painting’s focus, made quite obvious by the title of the artwork, is three musicians. They are so artistically created that only someone as imaginatively successful as Picasso could ever create such a fabulous work of art. Even though Picasso used the cubist style to create both of the pieces, there are many ways that the painting can still differ. One way is color. However, one of the reasons that I chose these two pieces to compare is because they are both so alike in color. Both L’Italienne and Three Musicians use green, red, and black. Nevertheless, Three Musicians also uses a lot of white throughout the piece. I think this is successful because the red on the floor and green on the ceiling balance each other, and the white and black both interspersed throughout the painting balance each other. The absence of blue in both of the paintings is very noticeable.
Another element of the paintings that could be different is the focus. Yet, the focuses in both of the paintings are people. The difference in that could be the amount of people, what they are doing, or how they are arranged in the picture. In Three Musicians, there are three people in comparison to L’Italienne’s four. Also, in the Three Musicians, all of the men are holding, working with, or doing something with an instrument. The musicians are standing next to each other, as opposed to in L’Italienne, how they are all mounted on top of one another.
Based on design, I have to say that I like Three Musicians just a little bit more than I like L’Italienne. The picture, to me, is just all around more interesting to look at than L’Italienne. Three Musicians is actually one of the Picasso pieces that I could have named right off the bat as Picasso’s work before starting on this report. Maybe it’s the way the people are created or something else, but something has just always interested me about this piece.
Honestly, the reason I chose Picasso as my artist was because I was more familiar with his work than with work of another artist. I’ve seen artist’s work such as Georgia O’Keefe’s, Frida Kahlo’s, and Salvador Dali’s, but I definitely knew more about Picasso and his work than any of the others. Picasso, I feel, is just one of those artists that people always tend to use as an example, and also one that you just know about from basic knowledge. For my final project, I know I am going to work in cubism like Picasso did. I think I may want to work in more than one medium as well. I am thinking about drawing something that Picasso would have drawn in the “rose period,” like clowns or the circus, but giving it cubist features. I also want to give it a blue wash so it connects to Picasso’s “blue period” as well as his “rose period” and cubism stage.