Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pablo Picasso - The Variation of a Master

Pablo Picasso is conceivably one of the most well-known artists today and is widely considered to be the founder of the most important art movement of the 20th century- cubism. He also can lay claim to creating a collage and helping define developments in the “plastic” arts: painting, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics. Despite his immense childhood talent, Pablo Picasso was willing for experiments and changed his style and art theory many times during his life, the mark of a modern day master.

Picture of Pablo Picasso
He no doubt owes his lifework in part to his parents. His father was a classical art teacher and gave his son formal art training, often to the detriment of his academic work. Another important landmark in his early years was the death of his sister that prompted him to move and quickly become accepted at an art college at only 13. There he was given an apartment by his father, a teacher at the same school, who kept a close eye over Picasso. His work, like many of the modern greats, is divided into periods based on his style.

His early years are tinted heavily by his father’s demand for him to study classic styles and human anatomy. Although not classic realism, the figures in his early paintings did always have mostly logical anatomy and shading. Later symbolist influence occurred, and he spent a good bit of time painting landscapes in non-natural violet and green tones. When he left for Paris, he experienced extreme poverty, and many of his paintings were burned in his own apartment for warmth. A few cartoons from him survive in a published magazine that depicts the harshness of being poor.

His experience led him into his blues period. During this time, human figures were depicted with more structural anatomy which balanced out the somber coloring. Picasso paid greater detail to signs of human wear, such as wrinkles and thing figures with long hands and barely skin covered bones were put front and center in his works. Gaunt mothers with children were a frequent motif.

The rose period was ushered in by Picasso finding a mistress. He found the warmth in the city of Paris as well, and began painting many circus people. He was accepted into art galleries and as the warmth of human experience came to his canvas, he became less bound by his depiction of the human form.

Cubism followed after a few years of experimentation. Despite being what he is most known for, the period lasted less than half a decade. Picasso would later experiment with more styles until the bombings caused by war returning him back to surrealism.