Pablo Ruiz Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and theatre designer who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, and like Henri Matisse, inspired by Cézanne.
As a significant influence on 20th-century art, Picasso was an innovative artist who experimented and innovated during his 92-plus years on earth. He was not only a master painter but also a sculptor, printmaker, ceramics artist, etching artist and writer. His work matured from the naturalism of his childhood through Cubism, Surrealism and beyond, shaping the direction of modern and contemporary art through the decades. Picasso lived through two World Wars, sired four children, appeared in films and wrote poetry.
Although he lived the majority of his adult years in France, Picasso was a Spaniard by birth. Hailing from the town of Málaga, he was the first-born of Don José Ruiz y Blasco and María Picasso y López. His father was an artist in his own right, earning a living painting birds and other game animals. He also taught art classes and began schooling his son in drawing and oil painting when the boy was just 7. He found him to be an apt pupil, and so at 13, Pablo began to attend the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona, where his father taught, and then aged only 16, began studies at Madrid's Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, which was Spain's top art academy at the time. But Picasso attended only briefly, preferring to roam the art exhibits at the Prado, and study all the well known artists whose works were displayed there.
As one of the greatest influences on the course of 20th-century art, Pablo Picasso often mixed various styles to create wholly new interpretations of what he saw. He was a driving force in the development of Cubism, and elevated collage to the level of fine art.
With the courage and self-confidence unhindered by convention or fear of ostracism, Picasso followed his vision as it led him to fresh innovations in his craft.
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