It’s been almost half a century since Picasso’s death… but his legacy is forever

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Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) by Picasso

April 8, On This Day 

Pablo Picasso

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” 

This profoundly wise and infinitely creative statement comes from none other than an artist, who can easily be defined as one of the most prominent icons of the century gone by. Pablo Picasso is remembered on April 8 for his death anniversary (at the age of 91), which fell in 1973, some 49 years ago from the present day. 

The Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and theatre designer, Picasso has left behind an indelible legacy not just in works like Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937), but also the inspiration he has provided to generations of artists, including Indian creators Abir Pothi has spoken to, such as GR Iranna and Veer Munshi. 

Born on October 25, 1881, in Andalusia, at birth he was dubbed Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso.  

Picasso especially admired the works of El Greco, a Greek painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. “Elements like his elongated limbs, arresting colours, and mystical visages are echoed in Picasso’s later work,” say reports. The British painter Francis Bacon once said that,Picasso is the reason why I paint. He is the father figure, who gave me the wish to paint.”

La Vie (1903), by Picasso
Garçon à la pipe, (Boy with a Pipe), private collection, Rose Period n
1913, Femme assise dans un fauteuil (Eva), Woman in a Chemise in an Armchair by Picasso
Guernica by Picasso

From Realist to Symbolist to Modernist to Cubist, Picasso distilled his own unique style onto the canvas. His most prominent influential periods can be segregated into the Blue Period (sombre paintings and subjects rendered in cool shades), Rose Period (war colours, subjects like saltimbanques), African art and Primitivism, and later Analytic and Synthetic Cubism (when he “deconstructed the conventions of perspective that had dominated Renaissance art”).

A multitude of paintings Picasso painted during his final years are now widely accepted as the beginning of the Neo-Expressionism movement. 

Abir Pothi had compiled some relatively unknown and rather interesting trivia from the artist’s life, which you can check out here. 

Pablo Picasso