Pablo Picasso

(1881 - 1973)

Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Picasso is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. These included the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904–1906), the African-influenced Period (1907–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919), also referred to as the Crystal period. Much of Picasso’s work of the late 1910s and early 1920s is in a neoclassical style, and his work in the mid-1920s often has characteristics of Surrealism. His later work often combines elements of his earlier styles.

Full Artist Bio

Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Picasso is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. These included the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904–1906), the African-influenced Period (1907–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919), also referred to as the Crystal period. Much of Picasso’s work of the late 1910s and early 1920s is in a neoclassical style, and his work in the mid-1920s often has characteristics of Surrealism. His later work often combines elements of his earlier styles.

Throughout his life Picasso was extraordinarily prolific, and was said to make several works of art each day. This ceaseless desire to create meant that he was particularly suited to the medium of drawing, in which he could explore ideas rapidly and simply.

From his earliest works studying under his father (who was also an artist, whose major focus was unusually the pigeon) Picasso showed an amazing drawing ability. Over his lifetime he explored a huge variety of subjects in his drawings including still life, the human form, animals and mythology.

It was the influence of primitive art in the early 20th century with its simple styling that led Picasso to create simpler drawings in his later years. By reducing complex images bit by bit he eventually condensed them to single fluid lines that still possess all of the character of the original object.

When Picasso made this drawing, a film about him (The Mystery of Picasso) had just won an award at the Cannes Film Festival. The film shows Picasso drawing on specially-designed translucent screens, giving the audience an unrivalled insight into how he was able to create pared-down but evocative images such as this one that pulse with freedom, experimentation, and energy.