Pablo Picasso

Born 1881, Málaga, Spain

Died 1973, Mougins, France


1897-99   Briefly studies art in Madrid and Barcelona. While in Barcelona, he becomes closely associated with a group of modernist poets and artists who would gather at The Four Cats Café.

1899-1904   Picasso lives intermittently in Paris and Spain until 1904. His works of these years suggests feelings of desolation and darkness.

Late 1901-4   Picasso's Blue Period, demonstrates themes of poverty and despair. The range of dismal blues and the distortion of his figures heighten the sentiments expressed in these works.

1904   Moves to Paris, settling in the artist quarter Bateau-Lavoir. His themes are more pleasant, including carnivals, harlequins, and clowns. His color palette encompasses red and lively, vivid hues, labeling this Picasso's Rose Period. He meets dedicated patrons Gertrude and Leo Stein.

1906-10   Marks Picasso's early stylistic experiments with primitivism and a fascination with pre-Roman Iberian sculpture.

1910-12   Picasso's period of Analytic Cubism with its three-dimensional forms on a two-dimensional picture plane. This movement was developed by Picasso together with Georges Braque.

1912   Development of Synthetic Cubism, paintings using tactile components such as cloth or trompe-l'oeil effects to create a textural illusion.

1914-18   Picasso's style reverts to the more traditional, and moves away from Cubism.

Early 1920s   Devises a variant of classicism with mythological images. Beginning of his Neoclassical Period and creation of pictures dedicated to motherhood.

Late 1920s   Uses Surrealist imagery and techniques to make pictures of morphed and distorted figures.

1930-40   Use of harmonious colors and sinuous contours, and expressive qualities of bold colors and curves. Remains in France in the 1930s, but his works demonstrate his concern over the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War of 1936.

1940s-60s   Continues painting and experimenting with print-making while living in the south of France. Participates in many exhibitions in London, Venice, and Paris.

1951   Retrospective in Tokyo.

1953   Retrospectives in Lyon, Rome, Milan and São Paulo.

Mid-1950s   Returns to the mythological themes of his earlier works.

1957   Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.