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Pablo Picasso (1881-1972)

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and ceramicist who worked in France; the foremost figure in 20th-century art. Leader of the School Of Paris, he was remarkable for his technical virtuosity, incredible originality, and prolificacy. His early works, e.g. Old Woman (1901; Philadelphia Mus. Art), show the influence of Toulouse-Lautrec. His production is usually described in series of overlapping periods. In his melancholy blue period such artworks as The Old Guitarist (1903; Art Inst., Chicago) depicted, in blue tones, the world of the poor. His rose period is characterized by a lighter palette and subjects from the circus. In 1907, Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (Mus. Mod. Art, N.Y.C.), the most significant work in the development of Cubism and abstraction, and a herald of analytic cubism. In the synthetic phase of cubism (after 1912), his forms became larger and more representational, e.g. The Three Musicians (1921; Mus. Mod. Art, N.Y.C. In his later years, Picasso turned to creations of fantasy and comic invention. Working consistently in sculpture, ceramics, and the graphic arts, he continued to explore his personal vision until his death at 91.


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