Pablo Picasso, also known as Pablo Ruiz or Pablo Ruiz Picasso before 1901, was born on October 25, 1881, in Malaga, Spain. He is one of the best and most influential painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramist, and stage designer of the 20th century. This is his story.
For nearly 80 years of the 91 that he lived, Pablo Picasso was committed to artistic production and aesthetic formulation which paved the way for modern art’s development in the 20th century.
His love for art came from his father José Ruiz Blasco, a drawing professor at A Coruña, Spain. Picasso became his father’s pupil in 1891 at the young age of 10. His father provided him with models and support to fulfil his dream, and hence he held his first exhibition in A Coruña at the age of 13.
Pablo Picasso's Blue Period of Art
After much success in his life professionally, from 1901 to mid-1904, Picasso used the colour “Blue” very dominantly in his artwork. He used cold, monochromatic blue palette, flattened forms and emotional, psychological themes of human misery and alienation in during this period.
In his life, Picasso made a few friends, one of whom was a Spanish Poet, Carles Casagemas. Even though he was a brilliant poet, Casagemas committed suicide at a dinner party due to his lover’s tragedy. It was Casagemas’ sudden death that led Picasso to start painting in Blue.
Picasso used to travel often between Barcelona and Paris along with his work material. The Soup (1902) was inspired by the Women’s Prison of Saint- Lazare in Paris as it provided him with free models and exciting subjects. In Barcelona, he was inspired by the blind, lonely beggars and castaways of the streets in 1902-1903. This inspired his Crouching Woman (1903), Blind Man’s Meal (1903), Old Jew and a Boy (1903).
The Old Guitarist - Pablo Picasso's Signature Art Work
In this ‘Blue Period’ (1901-1904), Picasso painted an elongated, angular figure of a blind musician playing the guitar. This man’s state was depicted by the pale blue skin, the weak body and the torn clothes. This painting is famously known as The Old Guitarist also sometimes known as Blind Guitarist.
Even though the whole painting is shades of blue, the brown used for the guitar shows that the man in the image was holding on to hope— the hope of getting himself out of his impoverished state. The ‘leaning onto the guitar’ indicates that the man relied on the guitar for his livelihood and it gave him some relief from his wretched condition.
The painting was made with sad and melancholy aesthetics so that the people could realise and question the class system – why the working class and high-class people continued to live a comfortable and prosperous life, while the poor continued to stay poor.
Exceptionally fecund throughout the course of his long life, Picasso achieved widespread renown and immense prosperity for his revolutionary artistic achievements and became one of the most celebrated figures in 20th-century art. His artistic fervour continues to inspire people to this day.