It may interest you to know that a lot of cubism and indeed modern art has been attributed to the contributions of one man – a genius of the twentieth century, and an artist whose legacy and life of art in the recent centuries have remained almost unmatched. Pablo Picasso was born in Spain in 1881, he was an infant genius who was recognised and helped early in life by his father who was also his teacher. The small Museo de Picasso is situated in Barcelona; it is a place that is strictly devoted to housing especially some of Picasso’s early works which also includes even a range of very realistic casts of ancient sculptures.
|Pablo Picasso (photo by Herbert List)|
As a youngster Picasso was a non conformist of some sort, and he began frequenting the Barcelona cafes where intellectuals often gathered. Very soon he went to Paris which is regarded as the capital of art and familiarised himself thoroughly with the works of masters like Gustave Courbet, Manet and Toulouse-Lautrec. Their sketchy styles of work inspired him a great deal; later he was off, and returned to Spain, then to France, then again to Spain all in the period 1899 – 1904.
Before Pablo Picasso discovered cubism he had experimented with, and gone through fascinating different styles such as realism, caricature, the Blue Period and the Rose Period. His blue period for instance ran from 1901-1904, and featured predominantly a blue palette, and his works then focussed mainly on depicting the lives of outcasts, prostitutes and beggars. At this period of his career, he produced some of his first works of sculpture in this style including a painting piece he did depicting his childhood friend - the Spanish poet Casagemas, who had committed suicide. And this work is a permanent collection of Cleveland's Museum of Art, La Vie.
|'Guernica', painting by Pablo Picasso|
The painting started off as a self portrait but ended up being that of his late bosom friend. Another popular work of Picasso’s of this period is the 1903 piece in the Metropolitan which he called ‘The Blind Man's Meal’. Another example is the very lyrical and mysterious piece housed in the Toledo Museum of Art titled ‘the haunting Woman with a Crow’ (1903).