One of the modern art world’s most iconic figures, Pablo Picasso was a versatile artist, working as a painter, designer, sculptor, printmaker, and even playwright. Born in Spain, the artist spent most of his life in France. Known as one of the founders of the Cubist movement, Picasso never ceased reinventing his colossal body of work throughout his life.
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Pablo Ruiz Blasco, known as Pablo Picasso, was born on 25 October 1881 in the city of Málaga in Spain. His father, Don José Ruiz Blasco, was a professor of painting. Pablo Picasso was the eldest of three children and the only boy in the family. At just eight years old, Picasso painted his first oil painting: El Picador. In 1891, the Blasco family moved from Málaga to A Coruña in northern Spain, where his father was appointed a professor at the Instituto da Guarda.
Encouraged by his family, Picasso pursued further artistic training. Attending classes at the Instituto da Guarda, he painted his first portraits in oil and drew caricatures for the magazine La Coruna. At the age of 13, Picasso lost his little sister Conchita. On a trip to Madrid in the summer of 1895, the young artist discovered the Museo del Prado—to his great delight. That same year, the family moved to Barcelona, where Picasso began taking classes at La Lonja, the academy of fine arts. It was there that he met Manuel Pallares, who would become his friend. Picasso’s painting The First Communion was presented at the Exhibition of Fine Arts and Industry in Barcelona in 1896.
Picasso moved to Madrid for a time in 1897, occasionally attending classes at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in the capital. On the artist’s return to Barcelona, he began frequenting the famous Els Quatre Gats café, where he made friends with the poet Jaime Sabartès and the painter Carlos Casagemas. Picasso’s first art exhibition was held at the Els Quatre Gats café in 1900, presenting 150 portraits of his friends. The artist’s work Les Derniers Moments (which was painted over to create La Vie in 1903) was presented at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in the same year.
Picasso arrived in Paris in 1900, accompanied by his friend Carlos Casagemas. Picasso was profoundly affected by the suicide of Casagemas the year after they arrived in the French capital. The event would shape his Blue Period, which was characterised by a series of melancholy works he began creating in the autumn of 1901. It was during that period that the painter began to sign his works with the name “Picasso”—his mother’s surname. In 1904, Pablo Picasso settled permanently in Paris, moving into the “Bateau-Lavoir” building in Montmartre, at the heart of the city’s vibrant art scene. Frequenting the neighbourhood’s Lapin Agile café, Picasso discovered a dynamic setting that took him back to the electric atmosphere of the Els Quatre Gats café. It was at the Lapin Agile that the artist discovered the world of the Medrano Circus and made friends with the poets Max Jacob, Guillaume Apollinaire and André Salmon, as well as the art dealer Wilhelm Uhde. The Galerie Berthe Weill exhibited Picasso’s paintings on several occasions in Paris.
In his personal life, Picasso began a romance with one of his models, Fernande Olivier—who, among others, inspired Picasso’s Rose period, a new phase for the artist. The painter Picasso travelled, visiting Schoorl in the Netherlands in the summer of 1905 and Gósol in Catalonia in the summer of 1906. In Paris, Picasso visited the retrospective of Ingres’ work at the Salon d’Automne in 1905. He also developed a passion for the pre-Romanesque Iberian sculptures of Osuna and Cerro de los Santos, which he discovered at the Musée du Louvre. Two years later, he bought two Iberian heads sculpted in stone through Guillaume Apollinaire. Picasso also took an interest in African sculpture, which he studied and admired at the Musée du Trocadéro. Inspired by African and Iberian art, the artist made several attempts at sculptures in wood.
It was during this period that Picasso met several important collectors, including the Russian Sergei Shchukin and the Americans Leo and Gertrude Stein, who were brother and sister. Gertrude commissioned Picasso to paint her portrait. The piece, which the artist completed in 1906, was a foreshadowing of his adoption of Cubism.
In 1907, Guillaume Apollinaire introduced Picasso to Georges Braque. The two artists made an instant connection, on both a personal and artistic level. The pair went on to enjoy a tremendous level of complicity in their joint artistic investigations. Exploring the representation of objects through multiple facets, the two artists developed analytical cubism and then synthetic cubism. The same year, Picasso created his iconic painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, inspired by influences from African sculpture. The artist was 26 years old. The famous gallery owner Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler became Picasso’s art dealer at around that time. A major retrospective devoted to Paul Cézanne at the Salon d’Automne in Paris in 1907 had a profound effect on Picasso’s investigations into the deconstruction of the object. The word “cubism” was used for the first time in an art review written by the art critic Louis Vauxcelles in 1908.
In 1910, Picasso created cubist portraits of the art dealers Ambroise Vollard, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and Wilhelm Uhde. In the same year, the artist exhibited his works at the Galerie Vollard in Paris for the first time.
In 1911, Picasso exhibited in New York for the first time, at the Stieglitz Gallery. In the same year, he signed an exclusive three-year contract with the dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, who would continue to represent Picasso at his various galleries thereafter—at the Galerie Simon in the 1920s and the Galerie Louise Leiris from 1948 onwards.
During the summer of 1911, Picasso and his companion Fernande stayed with Georges Braque in Céret, where the two painters continued their artistic explorations on the theme of cubism. The following year, Picasso took part in exhibitions of the Berlin Secession movement and at the Blaue Reiter in Munich.
Picasso then began a new relationship with Eva Gouel (also known as Marcelle Humbert), who accompanied him to Céret in the spring of 1912 and then to Sorgues in the summer, where they met Georges and Marcelle Braque. It was during this period that Picasso made his first collage, Nature morte à la chaise cannée (now at the Musée Picasso in Paris), as well as sculptures in cardboard and wood, which were an extension of his three-dimensional collages.
1913 was an important year for Picasso, who was invited to take part in the renowned Armory Show in New York, a showcase of early 20th-century avant-garde artists. Picasso sent eight works to be presented at the show. In addition, the Thannhaüser Gallery in Munich presented his first major retrospective in Germany in the same year. When the First World War broke out, Pablo Picasso and Eva Gouel spent the summer in Avignon with Georges Braque and André Derain. As French nationals, Georges Braque, André Derain and Guillaume Apollinaire were enlisted for military service in August. Being Jewish, the German-born art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler was forced to go into exile in Italy and his gallery was sequestered. Picasso remained in France for the majority of the war.
In 1919, Eva Gouel died and Picasso met the poet Jean Cocteau, with whom he became friends. The latter introduced the artist to Sergei Diaghilev, director of the Ballets Russes, who would work together with Picasso on a number of projects, including the ballet Parade. The artist travelled with the Ballet Russes across Italy in 1917 with, among others, the composer Igor Stravinsky and the choreographer Léonide Massine. In Rome, Picasso painted the set decorations for Parade. It was through the Ballets Russes that the artist met his new companion, the dancer Olga Khokhlova. Khokhlova and Picasso were married in 1918 and had a son together in 1921: Paulo. The ballet Parade premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 1917, with music by Erik Satie, a script by Jean Cocteau, choreography by Léonide Massine and sets designed by Pablo Picasso. The ballet was a scandal. The troupe then went on tour with Parade to Barcelona, where Picasso, who accompanied them, was reunited with his family. When the troupe flew to South America to continue the tour, Pablo Picasso and Olga returned to France and settled in Montrouge, a town in the suburbs to the south of Paris.
Following on from his collaboration with Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, Picasso went on to create the stage curtain and sets for the ballet The Three-Cornered Hat. Presented at the Alhambra in London in July 1919, the ballet was choreographed by Léonide Massine to music by Manuel de Falla. The artist stayed in London for three months for the production. Picasso also designed the sets for the ballet Pulcinella—composed by Stravinsky at Diaghilev’s request and first performed at the Paris Opera in May 1920—as well as the sets and costumes for the ballet Cuadro Flamenco, which was performed at the Théâtre de la Gaîté Lyrique in Paris in May 1921 to music by Manuel de Falla.
Picasso collaborated on a number of other notable performing arts projects, including producing the sets for Jean Cocteau’s play Antigone—based on the work by Sophocles—in 1922. Picasso also designed the sets and costumes for the ballet Mercure. First performed in May 1924 at the Théâtre de la Cigale in Paris, the ballet was choreographed by Léonide Massine to music by Erik Satie. The ballet divided the critics: rejected by the Dadaists, it was defended by Surrealists such as André Breton, Louis Aragon and Max Ernst.
From 1917 onwards, Picasso distanced himself from cubism to adopt a more neo-classical style. The artist’s Portrait d’Olga dans un fauteuil, which he painted in 1917 (now at the Musée Picasso in Paris) bears witness to this transformation. By the beginning of the 1920s, Picasso was painting full-bodied women with massive, sculptural proportions that he draped like antique statues. The grand bathers he depicted stemmed from a distinctive notion of classicism, inspired by a new interpretation of antiquity and masters of the past such as Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Auguste Renoir.
This period was also marked by his marriage to Olga in Paris in 1918—Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob and Ambroise Vollard were chosen to bear witness to the ceremony—and partnerships with new dealers. Paul Guillaume exhibited Picasso’s works on an ad hoc basis with Henri Matisse in 1918 and Paul Rosenberg became his dealer.
In 1922, the first monograph on Pablo Picasso was published, written by Maurice Raynal. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was bought by the fashion designer and collector Jacques Doucet on the advice of André Breton in 1924.
Pablo Picasso’s surrealist period (1925–1939)
The mid-1920s marked an artistic turning point for Pablo Picasso. The artist was influenced by the surrealist circles that he frequented and with whom he exhibited—namely at the Galerie Pierre in Paris in 1925, alongside artists such as Jean Arp, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, André Masson and Joan Miró. Without ever joining the surrealist movement, Picasso abandoned his Ingres-inspired style to embrace a fragmented representation of distorted bodies. Painted in 1925, Le Baiser [The Kiss] is the perfect example of this metamorphosis of the human body.
Picasso began a new romance in this period—in 1927, the artist met Marie-Thérèse Walter, who became his lover. He also became friends with two important figures in the art world, meeting Christian Zervos—publisher and founder of the magazine Cahier d’Art—in 1926 and the photographer Brassaï in 1932.
With the arrival of the 1930s, Picasso began exploring printmaking. At the request of Ambroise Vollard, the artist worked on a series of prints to illustrate the novel Le Chef-d’œuvre inconnu by Honoré de Balzac, which was published in 1931. He also started work on the Suite Vollard—a series of prints produced from 1931 to 1933. Through his prints, Picasso explored, among other things, the figure of the Minotaur. Appearing in his work as early as 1928, the motif was used by the artist as the image of his alter ego. The first volume of Bernard Geiser’s catalogue raisonné on Pablo Picasso’s engravings and lithographs was published in 1934.
During this period, Picasso also began actively exploring the art of sculpture. Working with his friend, the sculptor Julio González, Picasso created metal sculptures, as well as a project for a memorial monument for Guillaume Apollinaire. Based in a new workshop in Boisgeloup, to the northwest of Paris, Picasso intensified his efforts, producing increasing numbers of sculptures.
In 1932, a solo exhibition dedicated to Picasso’s work was presented at the Galerie Georges Petit in Paris. The same exhibition was later shown at the Kunsthaus in Zurich.
In the mid-1930s, Picasso’s personal life was in turmoil. The period was particularly well illustrated by his autobiographical engraving: La Minotauromachie (Minotauromachy). Picasso took a step back from painting for a period of time, devoting himself to writing poetry. His written works were published in the magazine Cahier d’art. On the romantic front, Picasso separated from Olga but maintained a relationship with Marie-Thérèse, with whom he had a daughter called Maya in 1935.
In 1935, Picasso’s friend, the poet Jaime Sabartés, became the artist’s private secretary and remained so for more than 30 years, until Sabartés’ death in 1968.
During the second half of the 1930s, Picasso strengthened his ties and friendships with surrealist circles—particularly with the poet Paul Éluard, but also with the photographer and painter Dora Maar. Picasso met Maar in 1936 and entered into a romantic relationship with her, without separating from Marie-Thérèse. This strange trio of lovers would have a notable influence on Picasso’s work. The artist began to paint numerous portraits of his two lovers, each of whom he depicted in their own distinct style: for Marie-Thérèse, he used warm and tender colours, round and generous forms; for Dora Maar, he tended to adopt cold tones and angular shapes. The artist’s two lovers also inspired several sculptures, including Tête de Dora Maar, which was installed in the square in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris in 1959. From 1936 onwards, Picasso frequently stayed in Mougins in the South of France, accompanied primarily by Dora Maar.
When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Picasso’s work took on a more political dimension as the artist became more politically engaged. He produced the Dream and Lie of Franco in 1937, a series of fourteen prints that denounced the regime of Generalissimo Franco. His most iconic political work, however, remains the colossal, legendary painting that is Guernica. Settled into his new studio at 7 Rue des Grands-Augustins in Paris, Picasso chose a tragic historical event as the subject of his commission for the Spanish Pavilion in order to denounce the horrors of war. The scene he depicted was the bombing of the small Spanish town of Guernica on 26 April 1937 by German planes from the Nazi Condor Legion. Featuring a limited palette of white, grey and black shades and angular figures, the gigantic painting was exhibited as part of the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 International Exposition in Paris. The exhibition caused a sensation and the work, along with its various studies, travelled throughout Europe and the United States in 1938 and 1939. At the end of the war, Picasso joined the French Communist Party.
Picasso’s work was a huge success on the other side of the Atlantic. In 1937, the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired the painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and in 1939, the museum held a major retrospective exhibition presenting 344 of Picasso’s works, including Guernica. Entitled Picasso, Forty Years of his art, the exhibition went on to travel throughout the United States on tour.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, Picasso found himself cut off from his Parisian dealers—Paul Rosenberg went into exile in the United States, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler settled in the unoccupied “Free Zone” in the southern part of France, and Ambroise Vollard died in July 1939. The painter left his Parisian studio in Rue de la Boétie and moved to Rue des Grands-Augustins, where he continued to paint throughout the war.
The 1940s were marked by a new romance for Picasso, this time with Françoise Gilot. Gilot and Picasso became lovers after meeting in 1943 and went on to have a son and daughter together, the second of each for Picasso: Claude, born in 1947, and Paloma, born in 1949. Picasso also took up writing and in 1941 wrote the play Le désir attrapé par la queue, which was staged in 1944. He wrote a second play Les 4 petites filles between 1947 and 1952.
Picasso made a return to set design for the performing arts when he created the stage curtain for the ballet Rendez-vous, which was choreographed by Roland Petit and written by Jacques Prévert in 1945. He also designed new sets for Sophocles’ play Œdipe Rex, which was staged at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris in 1947.
At the end of the war, Picasso saw his works presented in more and more exhibitions. He exhibited for the first time at the Salon d’Automne in Paris in October 1944, presenting some 74 paintings and 5 sculptures. The Victoria & Albert Museum in London organised Picasso and Matisse, an important exhibition of the two artists’ work, in 1945. The following year, a major Picasso retrospective was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Picasso continued to make very regular trips to the South of France, staying in Ménerbes, Antibes and Golfe-Juan with Françoise in the summer of 1946 and even setting up a studio in the Château of Antibes. The new setting and the brilliant light the artist found in the South of France inspired him to explore new themes—both Mediterranean and mythological. Centaurs, fauns and bacchantes populated his new artistic universe, as illustrated by the painting La Joie de vivre. Painted in the summer of 1946 in soft tones, the work is now housed at the Musée Picasso in Antibes. Instead of canvas, Picasso painted his works on asbestos-cement panels and plywood panels at the time.
In Vallauris, Picasso took an interest in working with pottery during a visit to the Madoura, the town’s famous ceramic workshop. He began working with this new discipline in 1947, when he made his first ceramic works. The artist moved to the villa La Galloise in Vallauris in 1948 with Françoise and their son Claude. In the same year, Picasso’s ceramics were shown for the first time in an exhibition organised at the Maison de la Pensée Française in Paris. The film Visite à Picasso, shot in 1948 by Haesaerts, shed light on the private life of the artist in Vallauris and Antibes. In 1950, Picasso’s sculpture L’Homme au mouton was unveiled in the public square in Vallauris and Picasso was made an honorary citizen of the town.
In parallel, Picasso continued to pursue his artistic explorations through printmaking, creating prints to illustrate Le chant des morts by the poet Pierre Reverdy and Vingt Poèmes by the baroque poet Luis de Góngora in 1948.
Picasso went to Poland in 1948 to attend the World Congress of Intellectuals in Defence of Peace in the city of Wrocław. Picasso’s La Colombe [The Dove] was chosen to illustrate the poster of the World Peace Congress in Paris in 1949. The year was also marked by two births for Picasso with the arrival of his second daughter Paloma and his first grandson, Pablito—the son of Paulo. These were closely followed by the births of two more grandchildren—Marina, born in 1951 and Bernard, born in 1959. Picasso created a series of playful sculptures during this period, using a variety of materials: plaster, ceramics, wicker, wood, iron and everyday objects. The works he created include La petite fille à la corde, La Chèvre and La Femme à la poussette. In 1951, Picasso collaborated with the poet Paul Éluard on the collection Le Visage de la Paix to illustrate his poems.
For Picasso, the 1950s were characterised by his work on the interior of the Romanesque chapel in Vallauris. The artist started work on the two large panels for the chapel in 1952. Entitled War and Peace, the panels were inaugurated in 1959. Picasso was commissioned by UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris to create The Fall of Icarus, a huge mural that was unveiled in 1958.
The decade was also marked by a new romance with Jacqueline Roque, who became Picasso’s girlfriend in 1954 and his second wife in 1961. The artist’s first wife, Olga, died in 1955.
A touring retrospective exhibition of Picasso’s work was presented at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1955, before travelling to Munich, Cologne and Hamburg in Germany.
In 1955, Picasso moved to a new villa—La Californie—in Cannes, which inspired a new creative universe in the artist’s body of work. In 1958, he moved to the Château de Vauvenargues at the foot of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire, where he set up another studio.
In the 1950s, Picasso worked with the Norwegian sculptor Carl Nesjar using a concrete sculpting technique known as betograve to create three-dimensional drawings in concrete. The collaboration gave rise to a number of pieces, including a version of Le déjeuner sur l’herbe sculpted in concrete in 1965—housed at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm—and the Buste de Sylvette, which was installed in front of New York University in 1968.
Picasso also experimented with linocut, a relief printing technique that uses linoleum sheets. He used the technique to create his Portrait de jeune fille, d’après Cranach le Jeune in 1959. In the same year, Picasso produced variations on Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe inspired by the work by Édouard Manet. In 1957, he created Las Meninas, a series inspired by the work by Diego Velázquez.
The 1960s began with a major retrospective of Pablo Picasso’s work at the Tate Gallery in London. In 1961, the artist turned 80 years old and was celebrated worldwide. In the same year, Picasso married Jacqueline Roque and the couple settled in his traditional Provençal farmhouse—Notre-Dame-de-Vie—in Mougins. Roque was a source of inspiration for the artist and modelled for a variety of his works in all different media, from paintings and sculptures to etchings.
In the 1960s, Picasso increased his production of cut-out sheet metal sculptures, creating a huge 15-metre steel sculpture entitled Tête de femme, among other works. Commissioned by the architects of the Richard J. Daley Center building, the piece was installed in the heart of Chicago’s financial district in 1967. In 1971, Picasso donated his first metal construction—Guitar, dating from 1912—to MoMA in New York.
During his final years, Picasso explored a series of new themes—musketeers, bullfighters and mother-and-child scenes—in a number of works that were exhibited at the Palais des Papes in Avignon in 1970.
In 1962, Picasso’s friend Jean Cocteau devoted a monograph to the artist entitled Picasso de 1916 à 1961 and in 1964, Brassaï’s Conversation avec Picasso was published by Gallimard. In 1963, the Museu Picasso was inaugurated in Barcelona, housing Picasso’s early works and the Las Meninas series.
During the 1960s, numerous retrospectives paid tribute to the world-famous painter Pablo Picasso. A major retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1966 presented a large selection of the artist’s paintings and sculptures. In 1971, Picasso exhibited eight paintings at the Grande Galerie of the Louvre—one of the highest tributes for an artist—and the city of Paris made him an honorary citizen. Pablo Picasso died on 8 April 1973, at the age of 91. The artist is buried at the Château of Vauvenargues in the South of France.
© Diane de Polignac Gallery / Astrid de Monteverde
Translation: Lucy Johnston
Photo © Herbert List / Magnum
Aix-en-Provence, Musée Granet
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art
Antibes, Musée Picasso
Arles, Musée Réattu
Basel, Fondation Beyeler
Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Museum of Art
Barcelona, Museu Picasso
Belfort, Donation Maurice Jardot
Bilbao, Guggenheim Bilbao
Bordeaux, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Boston, MA, Museum of Fine Arts
Canberra, National Gallery of Australia
Cambridge, MA, Fogg Art Museum
Céret (France), Musée d’Art Moderne
Chicago, IL, Art Institute of Chicago
Cleveland, OH, Cleveland Museum of Art
Cologne, Ludwig Museum
Düsseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
Fort Worth, TX, Kimbell Art Museum
Fort Worth, TX, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Gothenburg (Sweden), Göteborgs Konstmuseum
Grenoble, Musée de Grenoble
Hakone (Japan), Hakone Open-Air Museum
Horta de Sant Joan (Spain), Centre Picasso d’Horta
Humlebaeck (Denmark), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
London, National Gallery
London, Tate Modern
Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Lucerne (Switzerland), Rosengart Collection & Picasso Donation
Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Madrid, Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum
Malaga, Fundación Pablo Ruiz Picasso – Casa Natal de Málaga
Malaga, Museo Picasso
Marseille, Musée Cantini
Merion, PA, Barnes Foundation
Munich, Pinakothek der Moderne
Münster, Kunstmuseum Pablo Picasso Münster
Nantes, Musée d’Arts de Nantes
New Haven, CT, Yale University Art Gallery
New York, Museum of Modern Art, MoMA
New York, NY, Guggenheim Museum New York
New York, NY, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ontario (Canada), Art Gallery of Ontario
Otterlo (the Netherlands), Kröller-Müller Museum
Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris
Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie
Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou
Paris, Musée Picasso
Pasadena, CA, Norton Simon Museum
Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Prague, National Gallery Prague
Rennes, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Saint-Étienne, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain
Saint Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum
San Francisco, CA, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Stockholm, Moderna Museet
Strasbourg, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain
Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Toledo, OH, Toledo Museum of Art
Toulouse, Les Abattoirs
Vallauris (France), Musée Picasso
Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Villeneuve-d’Ascq (France), Musée LaM – Lille Métropole Musée d’Art Moderne, d’Art Contemporain et d’Art Brut
Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art
Washington, D.C., the Phillips Collection
Exhibition of Fine Arts and Industry, Barcelona, 1896
Picasso, Els Quatre Gats café, Barcelona, 1900
Exposition Universelle, Spanish Fine Arts Section, Paris, 1900
Group exhibitions, Galerie Ambroise Vollard, Paris, 1901, 1905, 1910
Group exhibitions, Galerie Berthe Weill, Paris, April 1902, June 1902, November–December 1902, 1904
Solo exhibition, Stieglitz Gallery, New York, 1911
Ausstellung Picasso 1901–1912, Galerie Heinrich Thannhaüser, Munich, 1913
Armory Show, group exhibition, New York, 1913
Solo exhibition, Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris, 1919
Group exhibitions, Galerie Simon (dir. Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler), Paris, 1922, 1923
Group exhibition, Galerie Pierre, Paris, 1925
Exposition Picasso, Galerie Gorges Petit, Paris; and then the Kunsthaus, Zurich, 1932
Les maîtres de l’art indépendant, 1895-1937, group exhibition, Petit Palais, Paris, 1937
Picasso, Forty Years of His Art, touring solo exhibition in the United States: Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1939–1940, then Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Cleveland, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Utica, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Hanover, Poughkeepsie, Wellesley College, Sweet Briar, Williamstown, Bloomington, Alton and Portland
Salon d’Automne, Paris, 1944
Picasso and Matisse, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1945
Retrospective, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1946
Solo exhibitions, Galerie Louis Leiris (dir. Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler), Paris, 1948, 1953, 1957, 1959, June–July 1960, November–December 1960, January–February 1962, June–July 1962, 1964, 1968, 1968–1969, 1971, 1972, 1973
Picasso: His Graphic Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1952
Exposition Picasso, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, 1953
Pablo Picasso, Palazzo Reale, Milan, 1953
Picasso in Russia. Opere del Museo d’Arte Occidentale di Mosca, Galleria dell’Obelisco, Rome, 1954
Picasso, 1900-1955, Musées des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1955, and then a touring solo exhibition in Germany: Munich, Cologne, Hamburg
Picasso. L’œuvre gravé, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1955
Picasso: Fifty Years of Graphic Art, Arts Council Gallery, London, 1956
Picasso: 75th Anniversary Exhibition, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1957, then a touring solo exhibition in Chicago and Philadelphia
Cinquante chefs-d’œuvre de Picasso, Musée Cantini, Marseille, 1959
Picasso: Retrospective, 1895-1959, Tate Gallery, London, 1960
Picasso in the Museum of Modern Arts: 80th Birthday Exhibition. The Museum’s Collection, Present and Future, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1962
Picasso and Man, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1964, then Montreal
Picasso et le théâtre, Musée des Augustins, Toulouse, 1965
Picasso: 150 Handzeichnungen aus sieben Jahrzehnten, Kunstverein, Hamburg, 1965
Picasso: Sixty Years of Graphic Works, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 1966
Hommage à Picasso, retrospective, Grand Palais & Petit Palais, Paris, 1966–1967
Pablo Picasso dans les collections publiques françaises, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1971
Picasso dans les musées soviétiques, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, 1971–1972
Picasso in the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1972
Œuvres reçues en paiement des droits de succession, Grand Palais National Galleries, Paris, 1979–1980, then a touring solo exhibition in Minneapolis, New York, Humlebaek, London, Mexico and Beijing
Pablo Picasso. A Retrospective, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1980
Picasso: The Saltimbanques, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980
Master Drawings by Picasso, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 1981
Picasso, opera dal 1895 al 1971 dalla collezione Marina Picasso, Centro di Cultura di Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 1981
Picasso 1881-1973. Exposición Antologica, Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo, Madrid, 1981
Picasso: Works from the Marina Picasso Collection, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1984–1985
Picasso, l’œuvre gravé, 1899-1972, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1984-1985, then a touring solo exhibition in Nantes and Villeneuve-d’Ascq
Der junge Picasso: Frühwerk und blaue Periode, Kunstmuseum, Bern, 1984–1985
Pablo Picasso, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 1988–1989
Picasso : une nouvelle dation, Grand Palais, Paris, 1990, then a touring solo exhibition in Marseille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Amiens
Picasso, jeunesse et genèse. Dessins 1893-1905, Musée National Picasso, Paris, 1991, then a touring solo exhibition in Nantes
Picasso : Toros y Toreros, touring solo exhibition: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Quimper; Musée National Picasso, Paris, 1994–1995
Picasso and Portraiture: Representation and Transformation, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1996, then a touring solo exhibition in Paris
Picasso: The Early Years, 1892-1906, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1997, then a touring solo exhibition in Boston
Picasso. Papiers collés, Musée National Picasso, Paris, 1998
Picasso 1901-1909. Chefs-d’œuvre du Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Musée National Picasso, Paris, 1998–1999
Picasso collectionneur, Musée National Picasso, Paris, 1999
Picasso: Sculptor/Painter, Tate Gallery, London, 1994
Picasso The Early Years 1892–1906, National Gallery, Washington, 1997
Picasso Minotauro, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2000
Picasso érotique (Picasso erotic, Picasso erotico), touring solo exhibition: Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal; Museu Picasso, Barcelona, 2001
Picasso et le théâtre, les décors d’Œdipe Roi, Musée National Picasso, Paris, 2001
Picasso et le cirque, touring solo exhibition: Museu National Picasso, Barcelona; Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, 2006–2007
Picasso cubiste, 1906-1925, Musée National Picasso, Paris, 2007–2008
Picasso et les maîtres, Grand Palais and the Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2008–2009
Picasso. Masterpieces from the Musée national Picasso Paris, touring solo exhibition: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Helsinki, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Seattle, Richmond, San Francisco, Taipei, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto, Hong Kong, Cannes, Milan, 2008–2013
Picasso, Léger, Masson : Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler et ses peintres, Musée LaM – Lille Métropole Musée d’Art Moderne, d’Art Contemporain et d’Art Brut, Villeneuve d’Ascq, 2013–2014
Picasso.mania, Grand Palais, Paris, 2015–2016
21 rue La Boétie, Musée Maillol, Paris, 2017
Picasso. Bleu et rose, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, 2018–2019
Picasso. Chefs-d’œuvre ! Musée National Picasso, Paris, 2018–2019
Picasso. Tableaux magiques, Musée National Picasso, Paris, 2019–2020
Maurice Raynal, Picasso, Paris, Crès, 1922
Ambroise Vollard, Souvenirs d’un marchand de tableaux, Paris, Albin Michel, 1937, republished in 1957
Gertrude Stein, Picasso, London, B.T. Batsford, 1938
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Huit entretiens avec Picasso, Mulhouse, Le Point, 1952, republished by L’Échoppe, 1988
Jaime Sabartés, Picasso : Toreros, New York, Braziller, 1961
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Mes Galeries et mes peintres, interviews with Francis Crémieux, Paris, Gallimard, 1961, republished in 1998
Jean Cocteau, Picasso de 1916 à 1961, Monaco, Éditions du Rocher, 1962
Brassaï, Conversations avec Picasso, Paris, Gallimard, 1964, republished in 1997
Pierre Daix, Georges Boudaille, Joan Rosselet, Picasso 1900-1906, Neuchâtel, Ides et Calendes, 1966
Douglas Cooper, Picasso Théâtre, Paris, Cercle d’Art, 1967, republished in 1987
Georges Ramié, Céramiques de Picasso, Paris, Cercle d’Art, 1974
Pierre Cabanne, Le Siècle de Picasso, 4 volumes: volume I: La Naissance du cubisme; volume II: L’Époque des métamorphoses; volume III: La Guerre; volume IV: La Gloire et la Solitude, Paris, Denoël, 1975
Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, 33 volumes, Paris, Cahiers d’art, 1978
Pierre Daix, Le Cubisme de Picasso. 1907-1916, Neuchâtel, Ides et Calendes, 1979
Picasso. A Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, MoMA, New York, 1980
Josep Palau i Fabre, Picasso Vivant (1881-1907) [Picasso: The Early Years (1881-1907)], Paris, Albin Michel, 1981
Georges Bloch, Catalogue of the Printed Graphic Work, volumes I to IV, Bern, Kornfeld & Klipstein, 1984
Josep Palau i Fabre, Picasso Cubisme (1907-1917) [Picasso: Cubism (1907-1917)], Paris, Albin Michel, 1990
Picasso: Sculptor/Painter, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London, 1994
Brigitte Baer, Picasso peintre-graveur, volumes I to VII, Bern, Kornfeld, 1996
Picasso: The Early Years 1892–1906, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery, Washington, 1997
Carsten-Peter Warncke, Pablo Picasso, volumes I & II, Taschen, 1997 and 1998
Josep Palau i Fabre, Des Ballets au drame (1917 – 1926) [Picasso: From the Ballets to Drama (1917-1926)], Cologne, Köneman, 1999
Picasso Minotauro, exhibition catalogue, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2000
Werner Spies, Picasso, sculpteur / Picasso die Skulpturen / Picasso Sculptures, Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou for the French edition, 2000
Picasso érotique (Picasso erotic, Picasso erotico), exhibition catalogue: Jeu de Paume, Paris; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal; Museu Picasso, Barcelona; RMN Paris, 2001
Anne Baldassari, Marie-Laure Bernadac, Anaïs Bonnel & Al., Picasso et les maîtres, exhibition catalogue, Grand Palais, Paris, Éditions RMN, 2008
Laurent Le Bon, Claire Bernardi, Stéphane Molins, Emilia Philippot, Picasso. Bleu et rose, exhibition catalogue, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Hazan, 2018
Émilie Bouvard and Coline Zellal, Picasso. Chefs-d’œuvre ! exhibition catalogue, Paris, published by Gallimard & Musée Picasso, 2018