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Picasso changed his companions at least as often as his painting styles. The relationships with women influenced his mood and even his art styles. The shift from the "blue" to the "rose period" was probably a result of meeting Fernande Olivier, his first companion. The artist made numerous portraits of his wives and companions and of his children.
First Publication: May 2001
Latest Update: April 2013
For copyright reasons we cannot show you any pictures of Picasso art works on this web site. That's a pity. But you find a rather popular, easy to read biography on this page and on a continuation page. And to make this page look less sad, we show a painting by a young emerging Chinese artist. Her name is Poon Shu. And you can see more works by Poon Shu on our website dedicated to contemporary Chinese art.
During his early years in Paris, he lived with Fernande Olivier for seven years. During World War I, from 1914 to 1918, Picasso worked in Rome where he met his first wife, Olga Koklova, a Russian ballet dancer. In 1927 he met Marie Therese Walther, a seventeen year old girl and began a relationship with her. In 1936 another woman, Dora Maar, a photographer, steped into his life. In 1943 he encountered a young female painter, Francoise Gilot. In 1947 she gave birth to Claude, and in 1949 to Paloma, Picasso's third and fourth child. The artists's last companion was Jacqueline Roque. He met her in 1953 and married her in 1961.
In 1965 Pablo Picasso had to undergo a prostrate operation. After a period of rest, he concentrated on drawings and a series of 347 etchings. In spite of his health problems, he created a number of paintings during his last years. On April 8, 1973 he died at the age of 91.
Picasso was not only a very prolific printmaker, but also a very diverse one in the use of a great variety of different techniques. He created lithographs, etchings, drypoints, lino cuts, woodcuts and aquatints. Always on the search for something new, he experimented a lot with these techniques. Some of Picasso's graphic works are combinations of several techniques.
Picasso created his first prints in 1905 - a series of 15 drypoints and etchings, Les Saltimbanques, published by the art dealer Vollard in 1913. More graphic works were produced in the early 1930's. But it was in the years after World War II that most of Picasso's prints were created.
Like Chagall, also Picasso worked with the Atelier Mourlot, a renowned art publisher and print workshop in Paris. Pablo Picasso created about 200 lithographs from 1945 to 1949 in close cooperation with Henri Deschamps, a professional printmaker from the Mourlot studio.
There are numerous books and articles with anectodes, citations and interviews by Picasso. It is hard to figure out what is real and what are inventions or fakes. Picasso did not seem to care too much what the press wrote about him as long as they wrote about him at all. Whether by intuition or carefully planned, he was a marketing genius, spinning his own legend at lifetime.
Picasso had an excellent business sense. He paid even small amounts by check: "People rather keep the check for my famous signature than to cash it." He enjoyed being famous and rich. He was charming and witty and he liked to confuse, to provoke and to have his fun with the public.
After visiting an exhibition of children's drawings: "When I was their age I could draw like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them."
About art: "You expect me to tell you what art is? If I knew it, I would keep it for myself."
About abstract art: "There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterwards you can remove all traces of reality."
Picasso had created a total of more than 20,000 art objects during his lifetime - enough to keep the art market for his works in continuous movement.
Picasso prints are a wide hunting ground for art aficionados. Prices vary widely, depending on edition size, whether a print is signed and numbered, on age and on the attraction of the subject. In 1999, an aquatint called La Femme au Tambourin, signed in pencil and numbered 30/30 was sold for US$376,500 at Christie's in New York.
But you can also buy an original Picasso print for a few hundred dollars from a large and unsigned edition or an edition that was made by a skilled printmaker after Picasso. These prints were often produced after drawings of the great master and with the approval or at least his knowledge.
Some have his signatures on the plate, some have no signature at all. Such prints are by no means of any minor artistic value. They may not be the first choice from an investment value aspect. But they are a great way for art lovers who want to own an original piece of art by Picasso without having to spend a fortune.
Author: Dieter Wanczura
Ingo F. Walther, "Picasso", Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH, 1999, Köln, ISBN 3-8228-6371-8.
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Thank you! - Dieter and Yorie