Pablo Picasso: 10 facts about the Spanish artist

How many artworks did Picasso create during his lifetime?

Pablo Picasso created an average of two works of art each day.  (David Douglas Duncan/dpa/Picture Alliance)
Pablo Picasso created an average of two works of art each day. (David Douglas Duncan/dpa/Picture Alliance)

Estimates vary, and depend on how you define a work of art. According to some sources, Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso created about 50,000 works, which equated to about two per day during his adult life. These include paintings, prints, book illustrations, ceramics and more.

No other artist of his generation was as prolific, even in his old age. Picasso worked until he died at the age of 91.

How old was Pablo Picasso when he took his first picture?

His first known painting was an oil painting: “El Picador Amarillo” (The Yellow Bullfighter) or “El Pequeno Picador” (The Little Bullfighter), inspired by a visit to a bullfight. At that time, Pablo Ruiz Picasso was only nine years old. He came from an art loving family and his father was also a painter.

Picasso was born on October 25, 1881 in Malaga, Spain, a city with a centuries-old art tradition. His father taught at an art school. Painting materials were everywhere in the house. His father recognized the “child genius” in him and honed his academic drawing early on.

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Did Pablo Picasso Train as an Artist?

In 1892, the talented Pablo was accepted at the Malaga School of Art. In addition to normal school lessons, young Pablo used every free painting and drawing and quickly qualified for higher education.

After high school, he transferred to the Art Academy in Barcelona and shortly thereafter to the renowned San Fernando Academy in Madrid. But the young painter did not like the teaching method. After only half a year, he left the institute, and since then has been self-taught.

He quenched his thirst for knowledge in museums, salons and studios, studied the techniques of other artists and absorbed everything that arose around him in the form of new art, literature and music.

How did he come to be known as ‘Picasso’?

At first, Pablo Ruiz Picasso (Picasso is his mother’s maiden name) still signed his full name on paintings. From 1900 he began to sign his paintings with the word “Picasso”. He was living and working in Barcelona at the time. It was not until 1904 that he moved to a studio in Paris.

Later, his last name became synonymous with great art and his gestural, daring painting and drawing techniques. At first, his paintings were still strongly colored and almost warm. The talented young Spaniard wanted to attract attention at any cost. Picasso’s huge ego led him to great productivity.

What was Picasso’s full family name?

Picasso came from a middle-class family. Along with his two younger sisters, Pablo grew up in an educated environment. It was a tradition in the family to give very good names to children. Picasso’s full name was: Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Crispiano de la Santissima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso.

What are Picasso’s most famous works?

With “Demoiselles d’Avignon” Picasso created the first Cubist painting – an abstract art style – and revolutionized art history. The naked women he depicts are no longer seen from a single perspective but from multiple angles at once.

Picasso also left his mark on his second masterpiece in 1937. Shortly after the Nazi Condor Army attacked the small village of Guernica (Guernica in Basque) in the Basque Country, he dedicated a large canvas for the World’s Fair in Paris. Victims of attacks. Anti-war painting is a protest against totalitarianism. Picasso did not want to return to Spain until the end of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, who held power in 1975 until his death in 1939. Today it is back in Spain, exhibited at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid.

When did Picasso start making money from his art?

Picasso became increasingly known as a painter in Paris, with works known as his “Blue Period” lasting until 1904 and the “Pink Period” that followed. In 1906 he made the acquaintance of Henri Matisse, the most important French artist at the time, who provided him with many contacts.

Through him, Picasso also met Ambroise Vollard, who bought all his “Pink Period” paintings from him, making him financially secure for the first time. Later, the German art dealer Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler, himself an art world celebrity, made some purchases, helping Picasso become one of the most expensive artists of the 20th century.

Kahnweiler also arranged the sale of one of Picasso’s major works – the large painting “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” In addition to Picasso, the enterprising German-French gallery owner also signed up the painters George Braque, Juan Gris and Ferdinand Léger, but in return forbade them all from participating in the Paris Salon and official exhibitions. As a result of his newfound wealth, Picasso could finally afford a new apartment and extensive travel.

How much is Picasso’s most valuable painting worth?

In New York in 2015, “Les Femmes d’Alger” (The Women of Algiers) earned $179.4 million (€164.7 million), a record fee for any Picasso painting.

The large painting is the last one in a series painted between 1954 and 1955 and was sold at Christie’s auction house.

The entire series was purchased in 1956 by Victor and Sally Ganz from Galerie Louis Leiris in Paris for $212,500 (about $2 million in today’s money).

How old was Picasso when he painted his last picture?

Although Picasso’s last famous self-portrait was completed less than a year before his death, he actually worked at his villa Notre-Dame-de Vie until his death on April 8, 1973, at the age of 91. Cote d’Azur.

In the last active years of his life as a painter, Picasso devoted himself to delicate, small-scale still lifes and the interior of his final residence, “Villa La Californi” in southern France.

There he lived alone with his second wife Jacqueline, who largely shielded him from the outside world and from his other children and their daughter Catherine. He had long distanced himself from the bustling Parisian art scene and the centers of the international art world, where he was hailed as the “genius of the century”.

What did Picasso give to his heirs and children?

The artist is survived by four children from three different women and eight grandchildren.

Shortly after Picasso’s death, a bitter legal dispute broke out between his heirs. Family relationships were complicated. Picasso was officially married twice.

Her children from her relationship with Francois Guillot – photographer Claude Picasso and designer Paloma Picasso – as well as her grandchildren from her legitimate son – Paulo Picasso (1921-1975) – fought hard for their share of the vast estate.

In 1976, Picasso’s material estate was estimated at 3.75 billion French francs (approximately €696 million, $757 million). It consisted of houses, estates, studios, various properties and Picasso’s own private art collection, including valuable paintings by artists he befriended or greatly admired, such as Matisse, Miro, Modigliani, Cezanne and Van Gogh.

The artistic property of the famous Spanish painter was estimated at 1.275 billion francs. It includes: 1,885 paintings, 7,089 drawings, 19,134 graphics, 3,222 ceramic works, 1,228 sculptures and objects, as well as 175 sketchbooks with about 7,000 drawings, which Picasso often made as preliminary works for larger works.

His paintings, drawings and sculptures became the basis of the Picasso Museum in Paris, which opened in 1985 – where tourists from all over the world still come to marvel at his works of art.

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