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Pablo Ruiz y Picasso Pablo Picasso born in a poor family in southern Spain in 1881 started as a child prodigy and ended as the acknowledged greatest painter of his century After some early training with his father a provincial drawing teacher Picasso showed that he had thoroughly grasped naturalistic conventions--the ways that artists make a picture look realistic--at a very young age After some incomplete sessions of art school in Barcelona and Madrid Picasso spent his adolescence associating with the group of Catalan modernists who gathered at Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona From there he moved to Paris where he quickly found like-minded poets and painters His work began to attract serious critical attention and praise by the time he was twenty His first mature work dating from this time around 1901 is classified as his Blue Period He painted anecdotal scenes of clowns vagrants and prostitutes all in tones of blue Important early works include his Self- Portrait 1901 and La Vie 1903 As Picasso spent more time in Paris as his painting developed and as he began to meet the right people his mood lifted His subject matter remained much the same but his tones were warmer or rosier and the atmosphere of his paintings was gayer This is sometimes called Picassos Rose Period but really there was no marked technical change between this and the Blue Period this phase of the development of his work is more like a cheerful coda to his Blue Period than a separate period He began also to acquire mistress-muses the women in his life would be his most consistent inspiration as he reshaped their bodies in the boldest formal experiments He always saw painting as a kind of sexual activity he would trace back new styles in his painting to the inspiring appearance of a new mistress Unfortunately while his girlfriends were such a valuable impetus to his art they seldom emerged from
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