10 Facts about the Life of Pablo Picasso

Modigliani (left) Picasso (center) and André Salmon in front of the Café de la Rotonde, Paris 1916

Pablo Picasso’s artwork is some of the world’s most famous and recognizable art . He was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, stage designer and ceramist, but is most known for his paintings. As an adult, he spent most of his time in France.  He is considered on of the prolific and most influential artists of the 20th century.  He is credited with creating revolutionary techniques in painting, sculpting, printmaking and ceramics.  Today, his art is displayed all over the world.

1.  Birth

Picasso was born on October 25th, 1881 in Spain. His birth name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso. His first word was piz, which is short for lapiz, which means pencil. Even from an early age he was an artist!

 2. Early life

Picasso was not a good student. His school work suffered greatly because the arts interested him more. He often had poor grades. However, he painted his first painting at the age of 9. He always seemed destined for greatness. A quote from him reveals: “My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.'”

 3.  Cubism

Picasso is partially known for cubism, which he co-founded with Georges Braque. Cubism is an abstract view of reality. In a cubism work, the artist breaks up an object and shows it from multiple view point. This is why the people in Picassos paintings have uneven faces and bodies. However his painting styles changed over time.

 4.  Girlfriends and Wives

Picasso was very promiscuous. In addition to his 2 wives, he also had multiple mistresses. His second wife was 27 when Picasso was 79. He was almost always in some form of romantic relationship, and very often he was in more than one.  His mistresses and wives were often the subjects in his paintings.  For example, a bohemian artist by the name of Fernande Olivier was the subject of many of paintings during Rose period—a more sprightly mood of painting than some of his later contributions.

 5. Works of Art

Picasso was a very busy artist. It is estimated he produced over 50,000 pieces, including over 1500 paintings, 1200 sculptors, 2500 ceramics, 12,000 drawings, and many prints, tapestries and rugs. Although his paintings and sculptures are what he is most famous for, as you can see there are many other works to appreciate.  Picasso’s lifework can be seen all over the world today.  From Seattle to Paris, from Sydney to San Francisco,  Picassso’s work is exhibited throughout the world.

 6. Rise to Fame

In the beginning of his career, Picasso was not an instant success.  He struggled to make ends meet early on and much of his work was burned to keep his modest residence warm in the cold months.  However, unlike many artists, Picasso’s talents were recognized while he was alive. His work began to be accepted in the very early 1900s (1901-1905). Picasso not only made his living off of his artwork, he realized immense fortune and fame during his lifetime. Art was his full time career, not just a passion.

7. Breaking the Mold

While many artists are famous for one style, Picasso is famous for many. In addition to cubism, he painted fairly realistic portraits. He also went through a ‘blue’ period and a ‘rose’ period with his paintings in these periods being various shades of these colors. He also brought collages to fuller fame. After World War I, he produced many works in the neoclassical style.  His final works were a fusion of styles and techniques.  His later works were more vibrant, daring and expressive than the world had ever seen.  After his death, his later works were dubbed neo-expressionism.  He was always one step ahead of his time!

 8. Most Famous Pieces

Picasso has hundreds of very famous works. However his most famous painting is considered to be “Guernica.” Other famous works include: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (1932), Le Rêve (The Dream) (1932), Blue Nude (1902, the Portrait of Dora Maar (1937), and Weeping Woman (1937).

9. Death

Picasso died in 1973, on April 8th, at the age of 91,  in Mougins, France. Picasso passed away, while his wife Jacqueline entertained friends for dinner.  His last words were “Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can’t drink anymore.”  Picasso was survived by his four children: Paulo  (Born Paul Joseph Picasso), Maya (Born Maria de la Concepcion Picasso), Claude (Born Claude Pierre Pablo Picasso) and Paloma  (Born Anne Paloma Picasso) and his wife Jacqueline who was 46 at the time of his death.

 10. Theft

Picassos paintings are the most stolen in the world. Over 1,000 of his works have been registered as stolen, missing, or disputed, according to the Lost Art Register.  In 2010, after an art heist at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris five famous paintings , including La Pastorale by Henri Matisse,  Nature Morte aux Chandeliers (Still Life with Chandeliers) by Fernand Léger, as well as Picasso’s Le pigeon aux petits pois,.  The value of the paintings is estimated to be over  $123, 000,000.  Picasso’s painting, Le pigeon aux petits pois alone was valued at $28,000,000.  However, the painting has been confirmed to have been thrown in the trash by the thief, shortly after the heist.  Unfortunately, the trash container was emptied and the painted was never recovered from the garbage.

Learn more with these Pablo Picasso websites.

Cite This Page

"10 Facts about the Life of Pablo Picasso." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 3 Sep. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/2107/ten-facts-life-pablo-picasso/ >.

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