Now is the time in this period of changes and revolution to use a revolutionary manner of painting and not to paint like before. - Pablo Picasso, 1935. (Barnes)
Pablo Picasso is one of the most famous and well-documented artists of the twentieth century. Picasso, unlike most painters, is even more special because he did not confine himself to canvas, but also produced sculpture, poetry, and ceramics in profusion. Although much is known about this genius, there is still a lust after more knowledge concerning Picasso, his life and the creative forces that motivated him. This information can be obtained only through a careful study of the events that played out during his lifetime and the ways in which they manifested themselves in his creations (Penrose).
Pablo Picasso was born in 1881 in Malaga, Spain, to an artist and museum curator, Jose Ruiz Blasco. As a young child he surprised his elders with his astounding artistic abilities; and, as Rachel Barnes points out in her introduction to Picasso by Picasso: Artists by Themselves, there seemed to be no doubt that Picasso would become a painter.
In order to better hone his prodigious abilities, Picasso attended the Academy in Barcelona for a brief period of time. He spent most of his early years painting in Paris, where he progressed through various periods - including a Blue period from 1900 to 1904 and a Rose period in 1904 - before creating the Cubist movement that lasted until the beginning of the First World War.
Picasso initiated Cubism at the age of twenty-six after he already had established himself as a successful painter. According to Souch‚re, Picasso led the evolution towards cubism in order to "escape the tyranny of the laws of the tangible world, to fly beyond all the degradations of the lie, the stupidity of criticism, towards that total freedom which inspired his youth." As Barnes notes, Cubism was an art that concentrated on forms, and an artist's job was to give life to that form. Until this goal is accomplished, the Cubist painter has not fully realized his purpose.
After his initial Cubist period, Picasso moved through various other stages. He experimented with sculpture and still lifes, and by his death at the age of ninety-two, could be considered "the most famous and talked about painter in recent history."
(Barnes). After progressing past Cubism, Picasso frequently came back to this style of painting because, as stated by Souch‚re, Picasso felt liberated and powerful when painting this way and believed Cubism to be the best way to speak out against the scandalous outer world. As Picasso pointed out Cubism "is the attitude of aggression" that could give him complete control over himself, his emotions, and his surroundings.
This logically leads to a brief discussion of what Picasso felt was art and what he considered the duty of the artist to be. In a brief conversation with one of his biographers, Picasso commented that he saw art as something not to be...