Picasso was born in Malaga in 1881 (Spain). His father was a drawing professor at the School of Fine Arts, and he taught his son the basics of painting.
He moves first to Barcelona, together with his family, then to France, where he will meet many artists and will breathe the typical atmosphere of the Parisian bohemian.
His works can be divided into five fundamental periods of life.
the first is the so-called Blue Period, from 1901 to 1904, in which he uses only cold colors.
They are works in which he represents the themes of pauperism, marginalization and loneliness.
The second is the PINK PERIOD, which runs from 1904 to 1907. Here, completely overturning his style, he uses warm colors and represents circus and joyful themes. It corresponds, in fact, to a joyful period in his life.
Both have an element that connects them: the theme of the family, often represented as a trinity, as if to recall the Holy Family.
The third period is the African Period, from 1907 to 1909. He remained fascinated by African masks and tribal themes, for two years he will concentrate, both in the field of painting and sculpture, on this theme. An example is also found in the famous painting “Les demoiselles d’Avignon”, on the two women on the right.
the fourth period is Analytical Cubism, from 1910 to 1912. In fact, the official date of Cubism often corresponds with the creation and exhibition of Les demoiselles, in 1907. His thought is here determined to break down as much as possible the matter, reaching up to the most elementary forms, the geometric ones, trying to represent the “true” art. he also introduces a fourth perspective, that of time: everything changes continuously, so the subjects are represented at the same time from different angles. The colors are often earthy, and still life is among the typical subjects. The relationship with Braque, a great friend of him, is important. They often painted together, so much so that it is difficult to distinguish the various works.
From 1912 to 1914, synthetic cubism was the focus. It is an evolution of the analytic one, in which, in order to penetrate fully into reality, he decides not to limit himself to representing, but creates real collages and papiers colles by sticking pieces of wood or other materials to the canvas. To stay even more anchored to the world, he inserts letters and numbers. The colors also become brighter.
After the end of the First World War, Picasso felt the need for a “return to order”. To show all his disdain for the actions of humanity, he paints a huge picture, Guernica (3m x 7m), following the bombing of the homonymous city, now preserved in the “Reina Sofia” museum in Madrid.
The painting contains all the elements that have characterized and made it famous: we can see a combination of the two types of Cubism. The color is black and white to signal the absence of life, and there is a mixture of exterior and interior (you can see for example the chandelier and a man shouting from the window).
The regression of humanity is drawn through the candle; the pain and despair from the mother who mourns her dead son; the bull, on the other hand, is the symbol of Spanish strength. The flower in the middle outlines the only shred of hope left.
In the last years of his life, after a trip to Italy, he visits the Sistine Chapel and discovers Michelangelo’s painting, and falls in love with it. This can be clearly seen from the last paintings, in which the characters become Junoesque.
The series of etchings is also relevant.
He died in 1973.
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