Who was the painter Pablo Picasso?

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 with Georges Braque, the artist never ceased reinventing his colossal body of work throughout his life.

Pablo Ruiz Blasco, known as Pablo Picasso, was born on 25 October 1881 on the first floor of the building that is now number 15 in Plaza de la Merced in the city of Málaga, Spain. His father, Don José Ruiz Blasco, was a professor of painting. Picasso painted his first oil painting at just eight years old: El Picador. The young painter went on to pursue 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. Picasso travelled to Madrid in the summer of 1895 and discovered the Museo del Prado with great excitement. Picasso’s painting The First Communion was presented at the Exhibition of Fine Arts and Industry in Barcelona in 1896. Picasso moved to Madrid in 1897 and enrolled at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. The painter’s first art exhibition was held at the Els Quatre Gats café in Barcelona in 1900, presenting 150 portraits of his friends. In the same year, Picasso’s work Les Derniers Moments was presented at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.

If you would like to find out more about the painter Pablo Picasso’s life and works, please visit the artist’s dedicated page.

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