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Pablo Picasso was a Spanish artist born in Malaga on October 25, 1881, died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, buried in the park of the Château de Vauvenargues, Bouches du Rhône. He is best known for his paintings, and is one of the major artists of the 20th century.

He is, with Georges Braque, the founder of the cubist movement. Pablo Picasso (1916) His full name was Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispin Crispiniano de la Sentissima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso. Picasso’s father, Don José Ruiz y Blanco, was a painter and drawing teacher at the Malaga school called “San Telmo”. He is also curator of the municipal museum, coming from an old and well-regarded family in the province of Leon, in northwestern Spain, Picasso’s mother, Dona Maria, is originally from Andalusia and has Arab origins.

Picasso thus began painting at an early age and produced his first paintings at the age of eight. In 1896 he entered the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona. Signing first with his father’s name, Ruiz Blanco, he eventually chose to use his mother’s name, Picasso, from 1901.

niood lists the 10 Most Famous Artworks of Pablo Picasso:

1. Le Reve, 1932

  • Dimensions: 51 cm × 40.5 cm (20.08 in × 15.94 in)
  • Period: Surrealism
  • Subject: Dream-like imagery featuring a woman with closed eyes and a distorted face, reclining on a rock formation with a landscape in the background.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Date: 1932
  • Support: Canvas
Painting a dream: Le Rêve—Pablo Picasso - Sleep Health: Journal of the  National Sleep Foundation

Le Rêve (The Dream) is a famous painting by the renowned Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, created in 1932. This oil-on-canvas painting is celebrated for several reasons:

  1. Artistic style: Le Rêve is a quintessential example of Picasso’s Surrealist period, where he experimented with dream-like imagery and symbolism. The painting employs a mix of vivid colors, distorted forms, and overlapping shapes to convey a dream-like state.
  2. Subject matter: The painting features Picasso’s 22-year-old mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter, who was a significant muse and inspiration for him during this period. Many of his works from this time depict her in various poses, highlighting the importance of their relationship in his artistic journey.
  3. Composition: The painting depicts Marie-Thérèse Walter seated in a red armchair with her head tilted back, eyes closed, and hands folded on her lap. The composition is simple yet striking, with the subject occupying most of the canvas.
  4. Color palette: Picasso employs a vibrant color palette in Le Rêve, using bold shades of red, green, yellow, and blue. The warm, rich colors contribute to the dream-like atmosphere and evoke a sense of sensuality and passion.
  5. Surrealist elements: The painting features various distorted and abstract elements characteristic of Surrealism, a movement that sought to explore the irrational and subconscious mind. For instance, Marie-Thérèse’s face is split into two distinct sections, with one side depicting a more traditional portrait, while the other side is heavily stylized and abstract.
  6. Cubist influence: Although Picasso had largely moved away from Cubism by the time he painted Le Rêve, the work still bears traces of the movement. The fragmented and overlapping forms, as well as the use of geometric shapes and lines, reflect Picasso’s earlier explorations in Cubism.
  7. Erotic undertones: Le Rêve has been widely interpreted as an erotic and sensual portrayal of Marie-Thérèse Walter. The painting’s voluptuous shapes, bold colors, and suggestive imagery all contribute to this interpretation.
  8. Controversy: Le Rêve gained notoriety when it was involved in a high-profile accident in 2006. Casino mogul Steve Wynn accidentally put his elbow through the canvas while showing it to guests, resulting in a six-inch tear. The painting was subsequently restored and went on to be sold for a record-breaking price.
  9. Record sale: In 2013, Le Rêve was sold to billionaire Steven A. Cohen for a reported $155 million, making it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold at that time. The high price tag further solidified its status as an iconic work of art.

2. Guernica, 1937

  • Dimensions: 349 cm × 776 cm (137.4 in × 305.5 in)
  • Period: Cubism and Surrealism
  • Subject: A depiction of the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, specifically the bombing of the town of Guernica by German and Italian warplanes. The painting is dominated by distorted, anguished figures and animals, including a bull, a horse, and a woman holding a dead child.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Date: 1937
  • Support: Canvas
Guernica, 1937 - image via jkrwebcom

Guernica is an iconic painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, created in 1937. It has gained fame and acclaim for several reasons:

  1. Historical context: Guernica was created in response to the bombing of the town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War by Nazi German and Italian Fascist air forces supporting General Francisco Franco’s Nationalist forces. The event resulted in significant civilian casualties and was a horrifying example of the violence and devastation of modern warfare.
  2. Anti-war message: Picasso’s painting serves as a powerful anti-war statement, capturing the chaos, suffering, and terror experienced by the people of Guernica. The work has become a symbol of the brutality of war and has been used to protest against political violence and aggression.
  3. Artistic style: Guernica is a masterpiece of modern art and a prime example of Picasso’s Cubist style. The painting features stark monochromatic tones, fragmented forms, and overlapping shapes to create a sense of disorientation and distress. Picasso’s use of abstract forms and symbols allows the viewer to interpret the scene and empathize with the suffering depicted.
  4. Scale: The size of the painting adds to its impact. Measuring approximately 11.5 feet tall and 25.6 feet wide, Guernica is a massive and imposing artwork that confronts viewers with the scale of the devastation it represents.
  5. Iconic imagery: Guernica is filled with powerful and haunting imagery, such as the weeping woman, the dismembered soldier, and the wounded horse. These symbols have become synonymous with the painting and serve as a reminder of the horrors of war.
  6. Cultural significance: Over time, Guernica has taken on a life of its own, becoming a symbol of peace and a rallying point for anti-war movements. It has been widely reproduced, referenced, and reinterpreted by artists and activists, further solidifying its status as an iconic work of art.

3. Dora Maar au Chat, 1941

  • Dimensions: 130 cm × 97 cm (51 in × 38 in)
  • Period: Cubism and Surrealism
  • Subject: A portrait of the artist’s lover and muse, Dora Maar, seated in a chair with a small black cat perched on her shoulder. The painting features Maar’s characteristic piercing gaze and elongated hands.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Date: 1941
  • Support: Canvas
Dora Maar au Chat, 1941 by Pablo Picasso

Dora Maar au Chat (Dora Maar with Cat) is a famous painting by Pablo Picasso, created in 1941. This artwork has gained recognition for several reasons:

  1. Subject matter: Dora Maar, a talented photographer and painter, was Picasso’s lover and muse during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Their relationship was tumultuous and passionate, and Picasso created numerous portraits of Maar during this period. Dora Maar au Chat is one of the most well-known and celebrated of these portraits.
  2. Artistic style: The painting showcases Picasso’s Cubist style, with its fragmented forms, bold colors, and geometric shapes. Maar is depicted seated in a chair, wearing a purple dress, with a small black cat perched on the back of the chair. The sharp angles and distortions of her face and body evoke a sense of tension and unease, which some art critics believe reflects the couple’s tumultuous relationship.
  3. Emotional intensity: The portrait captures a sense of emotional intensity and complexity. Maar’s expression is enigmatic, and her distorted features seem to convey a mix of vulnerability, defiance, and melancholy. The cat in the painting is often interpreted as a symbol of sensuality, mystery, or danger, adding another layer of depth to the work.
  4. Auction success: Dora Maar au Chat gained additional fame when it was sold at Sotheby’s auction in 2006 for $95.2 million, making it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold at that time. The high price tag further solidified the painting’s status as an iconic and valuable work of art.

4. Jacqueline with Flowers, 1954

  • Dimensions: 146 cm × 114 cm (57 in × 45 in)
  • Period: Late works of Pablo Picasso
  • Subject: A portrait of the artist’s second wife, Jacqueline Roque, seated in a chair with a bouquet of flowers. Roque is depicted with a serene expression and a stylized face with simplified features.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Date: 1954
  • Support: Canvas
Jacqueline with flowers, 1954 by Picasso

Jacqueline with Flowers (1954) is a famous painting by Pablo Picasso featuring his second wife, Jacqueline Roque. The artwork has gained recognition for several reasons:

  1. Subject matter: Jacqueline Roque was a significant figure in Picasso’s life, and their relationship lasted from the early 1950s until his death in 1973. As one of his most important muses during his later years, Picasso created numerous portraits of Jacqueline, with “Jacqueline with Flowers” being one of the most notable.
  2. Artistic style: In this painting, Picasso demonstrates his unique artistic approach, blending elements of his earlier Cubist style with a more expressive and fluid technique. The work showcases a harmonious combination of colors, such as greens, blues, and yellows, as well as bold, flowing lines that give life to the composition.
  3. Intimate portrayal: “Jacqueline with Flowers” is a personal and intimate portrayal of Jacqueline, capturing her in a relaxed, contemplative pose. The painting conveys Picasso’s deep affection and admiration for his muse and offers a glimpse into their private life.
  4. Late period work: The painting is representative of Picasso’s later period, during which he revisited and reinterpreted themes and motifs from his earlier years while exploring new styles and techniques. “Jacqueline with Flowers” is an excellent example of the evolution and maturity of Picasso’s artistic vision.
  5. Cultural significance: Works featuring Jacqueline Roque are significant because they provide insight into the artist’s personal life, as well as his creative process during his later years. “Jacqueline with Flowers” is a testament to the lasting impact that personal relationships can have on an artist’s work.

5. Figures at the Seaside, 1931

  • Dimensions: 64.8 cm × 80.6 cm (25.5 in × 31.75 in)
  • Period: Surrealism
  • Subject: A beach scene with distorted, dreamlike figures, including a woman with a fish for a head, a man with a distorted face, and a reclining nude figure. The painting features elements of traditional painting, such as landscape and still life, but in a highly stylized and abstracted form.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Date: 1931
  • Support: Canvas
Figure At The Seaside, 1931 by Pablo Picasso

Figures at the Seaside (1931) is a notable painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. While it may not be as famous as some of his other works, such as Guernica or Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, it is still significant for several reasons:

  1. Artistic style: The painting showcases Picasso’s versatility as an artist. In Figures at the Seaside, he incorporates elements of Surrealism, which was a popular art movement during the 1920s and 1930s. The painting features distorted and dream-like figures, reflecting the influence of Surrealism on Picasso’s work during this period.
  2. Subject matter: The painting depicts a group of nude and semi-nude figures at the beach, seemingly engaged in various activities. The subject matter is reflective of the leisurely scenes often depicted by artists throughout history, but Picasso adds his unique touch with the surreal and distorted figures.
  3. Transition period: Figures at the Seaside was created during a transitional period in Picasso’s career, as he was moving from his earlier Cubist works to his Surrealist-inspired paintings. This work, therefore, offers an insight into the artist’s evolving style and interests.
  4. Use of color: In this painting, Picasso employs a vibrant and rich color palette, with a strong emphasis on blues, greens, and yellows. The bold colors contribute to the painting’s dream-like atmosphere and create a sense of depth and contrast.
  5. Exploration of form: The work showcases Picasso’s ongoing exploration of form, as he experiments with the human figure by distorting and manipulating it in various ways. This aspect of the painting highlights the artist’s innovative approach to art and his willingness to challenge traditional artistic conventions.

6. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907

  • Dimensions: 243.9 cm × 233.7 cm (96 in × 92 in)
  • Period: Early Modernism, Proto-Cubism
  • Subject: A group portrait of five nude female prostitutes in a brothel, depicted in a highly stylized and fragmented form. The painting is notable for its use of sharp angles and primitive, African-influenced masks and statues, which were highly unconventional for the time.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Date: 1907
  • Support: Canvas
Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Paris, June-July 1907 | MoMA

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) is a groundbreaking painting by Pablo Picasso and is considered one of the most important works in the history of modern art. There are several reasons why this painting is famous:

  1. Pioneering Cubism: The painting is often regarded as the precursor to the Cubist art movement, which Picasso co-founded with Georges Braque. The fragmented and geometric forms in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon laid the groundwork for the development of Cubism in the years that followed.
  2. Challenging traditional norms: Picasso challenged traditional artistic norms with this painting, rejecting classical techniques and perspectives. The provocative composition and unconventional depiction of the female form marked a significant departure from the artistic standards of the time.
  3. Influence of African and Oceanic art: The painting reflects Picasso’s fascination with African and Oceanic art, particularly in the mask-like faces of the women. This incorporation of non-Western artistic traditions had a profound impact on the development of modern art.
  4. Depiction of female sexuality: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon presents an unapologetic and raw portrayal of female sexuality, which was considered shocking and controversial at the time. The painting reflects the artist’s exploration of sexuality and desire as central themes in his work.
  5. Radical composition: The painting’s composition, with its fragmented and overlapping forms, was a radical departure from the traditional techniques of Western art. The innovative approach to composition and perspective in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon influenced numerous artists in the 20th century.
  6. Size and scale: The painting measures approximately 8 feet by 7.5 feet, making it a monumental work that captures the viewer’s attention. The large scale of the painting amplifies its impact and reinforces its significance in art history.
  7. Initial controversy: When Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was first unveiled, it was met with shock and outrage from both the public and Picasso’s fellow artists. Over time, however, the painting’s innovative qualities were recognized, and it became an influential work in the history of modern art.
  8. Enduring legacy: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon remains one of the most famous and studied paintings in the history of art. Its impact on the development of modern art, as well as its role in shaping artistic movements such as Cubism and Expressionism, has solidified its status as a pivotal work in the canon of Western art.

7. The Old Guitarist, 1903

  • Dimensions: 122.9 cm × 82.6 cm (48.4 in × 32.5 in)
  • Period: Blue Period of Pablo Picasso
  • Subject: An elderly blind musician, depicted in a monochromatic blue color scheme and hunched over his guitar. The painting is notable for its expression of the artist’s feelings of sadness and melancholy during this period of his life.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Date: 1903
  • Support: Canvas
Picasso - The Old Guitarist, 1903 | Picasso artwork, Famous art paintings,  Picasso famous paintings

The Old Guitarist (1903) is a famous painting by Pablo Picasso, created during his Blue Period. This artwork is well-known and highly regarded for several reasons:

  1. Blue Period: The Old Guitarist is one of the most iconic works from Picasso’s Blue Period, which lasted from 1901 to 1904. During this time, Picasso’s paintings were characterized by somber tones and a focus on themes of loneliness, poverty, and despair.
  2. Color palette: The painting is dominated by shades of blue, which contributes to the melancholic atmosphere of the work. The use of a limited color palette is characteristic of Picasso’s Blue Period and adds to the emotional impact of the painting.
  3. Subject matter: The Old Guitarist depicts an elderly, blind musician hunched over his guitar. The subject matter reflects Picasso’s empathy for the less fortunate and his interest in the lives of the impoverished and marginalized.
  4. Emotional resonance: The painting captures a deep sense of sorrow, loneliness, and vulnerability. This emotional resonance has made The Old Guitarist a powerful and enduring work of art that continues to captivate viewers more than a century after its creation.
  5. Artistic technique: Picasso’s technique in The Old Guitarist demonstrates his mastery of form and composition. The elongated limbs and angular features of the figure contribute to the painting’s emotional intensity and reflect the influence of Spanish painter El Greco on Picasso’s style.
  6. Underlying layers: X-ray analysis of The Old Guitarist has revealed that the canvas was reused by Picasso, and there are hidden images beneath the surface of the painting. These underlying layers offer a fascinating glimpse into the artist’s creative process and the evolution of the work.
  7. Influence on modern art: The Old Guitarist is a seminal work in the development of modern art, as it represents a departure from traditional subject matter and techniques. The painting has inspired numerous artists and has had a lasting impact on the art world.

8. Minotaur With Dead Horse In Front Of A Cave Facing A Girl In Veil, 1936

  • Dimensions: 248 cm × 204 cm (97.6 in × 80.3 in)
  • Period: Surrealism
  • Subject: A surreal and disturbing scene featuring a minotaur, a figure from Greek mythology with the head of a bull and the body of a man, standing over a dead horse in front of a cave. In the background, a veiled girl looks on. The painting is one of many works by Pablo Picasso featuring the minotaur as a symbolic representation of his own inner turmoil and animalistic desires.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Date: 1936
  • Support: Canvas
Minotaur with dead horse in front of a cave facing a girl in veil, 1936 -  Pablo Picasso -

Minotaur With Dead Horse In Front Of A Cave Facing A Girl In Veil (1936) is a notable work by Pablo Picasso for several reasons:

  1. Surrealist influence: Picasso’s exploration of Surrealism is evident in this work, as it features a dream-like scene with a combination of mythical and real elements. Surrealism was an art movement that sought to explore the subconscious mind and irrational imagery, which is reflected in this painting.
  2. Minotaur imagery: The minotaur, a mythical creature with the body of a man and the head of a bull, was a recurring motif in Picasso’s work during the 1930s. The minotaur often symbolized the primal, instinctual side of human nature, and its presence in this painting adds to the overall impact and significance of the piece.
  3. Political context: Created in 1936, the painting was produced during a time of political turmoil in Spain, as the country was on the brink of civil war. The tension and violence of the period are echoed in the unsettling scene depicted in the painting.
  4. Use of symbolism: Picasso employs various symbols in the painting, such as the dead horse, which has been interpreted as a representation of the death and destruction caused by war, and the veiled girl, who may symbolize innocence or hope in the face of adversity. The complex interplay of symbols adds depth and meaning to the work.
  5. Evocative composition: The painting features a dramatic and evocative composition, with the powerful figure of the minotaur contrasted against the more delicate and vulnerable girl. This visual tension creates a sense of unease that resonates with viewers.
  6. Artistic technique: Picasso’s skillful use of line, color, and form is on display in this painting. The bold lines and dynamic composition contribute to the overall impact of the work, while the interplay of light and shadow adds depth and intensity to the scene.
  7. Connection to personal life: Picasso’s personal life and relationships have often been linked to his artwork. Some art historians suggest that the minotaur in this painting may represent Picasso himself, while the veiled girl could be a representation of his lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter. This connection to the artist’s personal life adds another layer of interpretation to the painting.
  8. Enduring impact: Minotaur With Dead Horse In Front Of A Cave Facing A Girl In Veil is an important work in Picasso’s oeuvre, and its combination of Surrealist elements, personal symbolism, and evocative composition has left a lasting impression on the art world. The painting’s exploration of myth, human nature, and the tumultuous political climate of the time make it a significant work in the history of modern art.

9. Garçon à la Pipe (Boy with a Pipe), 1905

  • Dimensions: 100 cm × 81 cm (39 in × 32 in)
  • Period: Rose Period of Pablo Picasso
  • Subject: A portrait of a young boy wearing a blue collar and a wreath of flowers, holding a pipe in his hand. The painting is notable for its use of bright colors and its depiction of a carefree, innocent youth.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Date: 1905
  • Support: Canvas
Garçon à la pipe - Wikipedia

Garçon à la Pipe (Boy with a Pipe), painted in 1905, is a famous work by Pablo Picasso for several reasons:

  1. Rose Period: The painting was created during Picasso’s Rose Period (1904-1906), which followed his Blue Period. During the Rose Period, Picasso’s color palette shifted to include warmer colors like orange, pink, and beige. The mood of his paintings became more cheerful and optimistic.
  2. Subject matter: The subject of the painting, a young Parisian boy holding a pipe, is a departure from the somber themes of the Blue Period. The boy, dressed in blue work clothes and adorned with a wreath of flowers, exudes a sense of innocence and charm that was rare in Picasso’s earlier works.
  3. Composition and color: The painting’s composition, featuring a harmonious balance of colors and forms, showcases Picasso’s skill in creating visually engaging works. The warm background hues contrast with the cool tones of the boy’s clothing, while the wreath of flowers adds a decorative touch to the composition.
  4. Auction success: Garçon à la Pipe gained international attention when it was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2004 for $104.1 million, making it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold at that time. The high price tag further solidified the painting’s status as an iconic and valuable work of art.
  5. Connection to Montmartre: The painting was created during Picasso’s time in Montmartre, a district in Paris known for its bohemian atmosphere and artistic community. The subject matter of the painting is reflective of the people and surroundings that Picasso encountered during this period.
  6. Artistic development: Garçon à la Pipe is an important work in Picasso’s oeuvre because it marks a transition between his Blue Period and his Rose Period. The painting demonstrates his evolving artistic style, with its brighter colors and more optimistic subject matter.
  7. Rarity: Paintings from Picasso’s Rose Period are relatively rare compared to works from his other periods. This rarity adds to the painting’s significance and value in the art world.

10. The Women of Algiers, 1955

  • Dimensions: 114 cm × 146 cm (45 in × 57 in)
  • Period: Late works of Pablo Picasso
  • Subject: A series of fifteen paintings based on the theme of a harem or brothel, depicting women in various states of undress and repose. The paintings were inspired by the Orientalist paintings of Eugène Delacroix and the work of earlier artists such as Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Date: 1955
  • Support: Canvas
The Women of Algiers, 1955 by Pablo Picasso

The Women of Algiers (Les Femmes d’Alger), 1955, is a famous series of 15 paintings and numerous drawings by Pablo Picasso. The series is well-known for several reasons:

  1. Tribute to Delacroix: Picasso’s Women of Algiers series was inspired by Eugène Delacroix’s 1834 painting, “The Women of Algiers in Their Apartment.” Picasso reinterpreted Delacroix’s work in his own unique style, paying homage to the earlier artist while demonstrating his innovative approach to art.
  2. Variation series: The Women of Algiers is an extensive series, with 15 different versions (labeled A to O) and numerous drawings. This allowed Picasso to explore variations in composition, color, and style within the same subject matter, showcasing his versatility and creativity as an artist.
  3. Artistic style: The series displays a synthesis of Picasso’s various artistic styles, including elements of his earlier Cubist period and his later, more expressive approach. This blending of styles and techniques adds depth and complexity to the paintings.
  4. Cultural and political context: Picasso created the Women of Algiers series during a time when the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) was ongoing. His reinterpretation of Delacroix’s work can be seen as a commentary on the complex relationship between France and Algeria, and the broader postcolonial context of the era.
  5. Celebrating the female form: The Women of Algiers series features a group of women in various poses and states of undress. The paintings celebrate the beauty and sensuality of the female form, showcasing Picasso’s interest in the subject and his skill in depicting it.
  6. Impact on contemporary art: The Women of Algiers series has had a lasting influence on contemporary artists, inspiring new interpretations and adaptations of the subject matter. For example, Roy Lichtenstein’s “Femme d’Alger” (1963) is a Pop Art reinterpretation of Picasso’s work.
  7. Auction success: Women of Algiers (Version ‘O’), one of the paintings from the series, was sold at auction in 2015 for $179.4 million, setting a record for the most expensive painting ever sold at auction at that time. This high-profile sale further increased the series’ fame and significance in the art world.