Picasso and Cubism

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1. Introduction

2. Development

3. Cubism

4. Analytical Cubism

5. Synthetic Cubism

6. Training Process

7. Development of Cubism

8. Analysis of Guernica

9. Analysis Demoiselles dAvignon

10. Conclusion

11. Some Pictures

12. Bibliography

1. Introduction

Pablo Ruiz Picasso is the great genius of contemporary painting. Creator of Cubism with Braque, his capacity for invention and creation is placed on top of world painting.

2. Development


Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in Malaga on October 25. It is the first son of Jose Ruiz Picasso, born Basque, painter, professor at the School of Fine Arts in Malaga and curator of the Municipal Museum. His mother, of Italian origin in the male line, was named Maria Picasso Lopez.


Jose Ruiz Picasso was appointed professor at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de La Coruna, where they move to live in September. With ten years Picasso entered the Secondary School of the store and began his education as a painter revealing a large capacity.


They moved to Barcelona when his father obtained a professorship at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de La Lonja. In that same school Picasso enrolled fourteen years, despite twenty years were required to enter.


In April participates in the Municipal Exhibition of Barcelona with the work “First Communion.” A year later sent to the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Madrid the book “Science and Charity”, with which you get an honorable mention. That same year he entered the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, but ultimately falls ill with scarlet fever course and must return to Barcelona.


Back in Barcelona usually stop at the cafe Els Quatre Gats “, a place frequented by many intellectuals. Soon after, in February 1900, states in the Cafe a series of portraits of artists and friends in the line of Ramon Casas. In October he made his first trip to Paris, where he met the Catalan dealer Manach, which offers a monthly stipend in exchange for a number of works, is his first contract. There he painted works such as “Self” or “le Moulin de la Galette.” In December he returned to Barcelona.


He moved to Madrid where he founded and edits the magazine Art Young and Francisco A. Soler. Jaime met in October Sabartes to accompany you as a friend and secretary for life. With the portrait of his friend started the Blue Period, during which predominates in this color pictures in their dense and matte shades. His bitterness is reflected primarily in women in attitudes of misery and helplessness. At that time painting “Girl with Dove” and “Seated Girl.” In January next year Manach breaks and returns to Barcelona. Pinta “Mother with child” and “Beggar curled.” In October, made his third trip to Paris where he met Max Jacob.


Started studying for “life” fundamental fabric of the Blue Period. Pinta “La Celestina.”


He settled in Paris permanently, setting up a miserable-looking hut, which offers accommodation to greengrocers, actors, writers and washers, in Montmartre, and Max Jacob baptized with the famous Bateau-Lavoir name. It relates how Catalan artists such Canais, Pitxot, Manolo and poets Salmon and Apollinaire. In the fall meets Fernanda Oliver, 191 1 will turn up his companion. He makes his first major recorded “frugal food.”


Befriended by the prestigious American collectors Gertrude Stein Levy, with whom he met Matisse, who, along with Georges Braque and Juan Gris tend to frequent the studio of Picasso. In late February, the Gallery presents work Serrurier composed an album of drawings, twenty-six paintings and etchings from the collection entitled “The acrobats.” Between this year and next is developed Epoca Rosa, called thus because the triads, circus scenes (clowns, acrobats and harlequins), are usually treated based on shades of gray and pink. This period represents an important development towards a brighter and more chromatic light and disappears desolation and anguish, become more sober style. The works “Mother and Child” (1905) and “The Head” (1906) reflect his personality and mature.


Vollard buys all of the works of Picasso, this time for 2,000 francs. So the artist can realize his dream of returning to Spain for a few months, is accompanied on the trip Fernanda Oliver.


Around this year is for the so-called Epoch Black, which was christened as such by the leadership that took on a series of cultural events, hitherto unknown in Europe and mainly from Black Africa. These influences along with other romantic and Iberian give rise to the work “Les Demoiselles dAvignon” which will mark the starting point for Cubism. When Picasso launches this adventure is already a renowned painter, author of over two hundred paintings, watercolors, gouaches, pastels, sculptures, woodcuts and etchings. Although this is an incredibly versatile piece for a man so young, Picasso decided to abandon what has been the way they feel to face the problems of spatial representation of shapes.

Despite the advice of his friends to return to its previous style, including its dealers abandon him, Picasso started on the road towards the style that will represent a milestone in modern art.

The major exhibition of Cezanne, 1907 is critical to Picasso. Cezanne reduces objects to primary volumes, but often curved (cones, cylinders …), while Picasso and Braque, and united by a deep friendship, prefer completely straight edge: cubes, pyramids …


Picasso traveled to Spain in May and spent the summer in Horta de Ebro, where he painted landscapes and portraits in outlining the beginning of Analytical Cubism. It is conducting a comprehensive analysis of the subject represented by decomposing it into many planes and views have. In the autumn model Fernanda head is considered the first cubist sculpture.


Cubist painting portraits of Uhde, Vollard and Kahnweiler. Is in full Phase Hermetic Cubism to the danger of completely losing touch with reality that this artistic movement is declared anchored. With Braque able to overcome the impasse and find a link with objectivity.


Marcell Humbert meets with the soon begin a new life together move into the house Rapasil Blvd. Picasso participates in group exhibitions in Berlin and New York Arnsterdam.


Between that year and the next Picasso Braque and Synthetic Cubism developed, which means leaving the analysis of the object to capture its essential features incorporating real elements. In these paintings, known as papiers colles, glue pieces of painted paper, newspapers, cords, etc. .. It also seeks new ground in sculpture, as in the play “La Guitarra”, which represents a break with the past. His only fear is stagnation experimentation.


At thirty-three years is already a famous painter and very well paid. His work “The acrobats” 11,550 francs is purchased at an auction in Paris in the Hotel Drouot. On 2 August the First World War broke out. Marcelle Humbert has just died and the war dissolved the group of the founders of Cubism. Picasso war is far from taking refuge in a small village in the street Victor Hugo, live alone, sometimes accompanied by Spanish sculptor also Gargallo.


Jean Cocteau presented to director Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, who offers him the sets and costumes for the play “Parade,” whose music has made Eric Satie. When the work premiered in Paris, the audience loudly expressed their indignation at the ballet, but applauds the set of mobile cubist forms. During this time Picasso met Olga Chochlova, Russian ballet dancer. Olga is leaving the company to go live with the painter. Together they move to Madrid and then Barcelona. A year later married.


Olga Picasso traveled to London together to work on the costumes and sets for a ballet, Diaghilev also based on the play “The Three-Cornered Hat” by Falla. In that year began a new phase characterized by a dual formula interpretation. On the one hand develops sculptural forms and images of a grandeur that has been defined as neoclassical style of the works “The Bathers”, “Women sit” or “Women in the source.” On the other hand develops a cubism in multiple ways.


Birth of first son, Paulo. This event will lead to a romantic phase in the predominantly maternity and children’s issues. In 1923 he met Andre Breton, who is doing a portrait. During those years, performs new works for theater.


Participate in the first exhibition of Surrealists at Galerie Pierre in Paris, obtaining a great success. It is published in the journal “The Surrealist Revolution” several works by Picasso, including for the first time in Europe, “Les Demoiselles dAvignon.”


Meet Marie-Therese Walter, who becomes his model and lover.


It starts on the metal sculpture in the workshop of Julio Gonzalez.


In February pint, inspired by Gr”unewald, a “Crucifixion” which anticipated aspects of “Guernica.” He received the Carnegie Foundation, which allows you to purchase the Mansion of Boisgeloup. It is the year that distorted female figures and fantastic culminate in a large canvas surrealistic “Swimmer sitting.” The following year, major exhibitions of his work in London, Paris and New York. Meanwhile, devoted almost exclusively to sculpture.


Held in June at the Gallery Georges Petit formed a retrospective exhibition of 236 pieces. A year later made the cover of first issue of Minotaure, surreal publication includes an article by Breton on Picasso.


Together with Olga and Paulo made a trip around Spain. In 1935, his mistress, Marie-Therese Walter gives a daughter Maya, which is the main reason is separated from Olga. That year he recorded a series of “The Minotauromaquia” and the book “The Muse.”


Spanish Civil War broke out. Picasso takes sides with the Republic appointed him director of the Museo del Prado, a position that it does not succeed. Since August of that year living with Dora Maar. When the April 29, 1937 the news reached Paris that the small town of Guernica was bombed in broad daylight, the streets filled with people, incensed Picasso know what the theme of the work that has the Spanish Republic commissioned to paint for the Paris Universal Exhibition of that year. Performed Picasso’s Guernica, one of his greatest works.


With the echo of “Guernica” still alive World War II broke out, Picasso and Dora Maar who were living in Antibes was transferred to Paris. Two years later wrote a play “Le desir Attrape the queue pair.” Julio Gonzalez died in 1942, Picasso painted a series of still lifes he describes as “the death of Julio Gonzalez.”


Meet the young painter Francoise Gilot to be his companion for nearly ten years. A year later, in October, he joined the French Communist Party.


Delivered with enthusiasm to a new technique of lithography, coming to work in three years nearly two hundred works.


Opens in June at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the exhibition “Picasso. Fifty Years of His Art”, on this occasion Alfred H. Barr Jr. made a catalog becomes a fundamental part of the bibliography of the artist.


Claude was born, from his relationship with Francoise Gilot. All three moved to live in Vallauris. In this small city near the Mediterranean, Picasso developed a new chapter art: ceramics. In just one year produces six hundred different objects: figures, plates, jugs, tiles …


The French Government awarded him the Medal of French recognition in its category of silver. In August participates in Wroclaw (Poland), the Congress of Intellectuals for Peace.


Birth of his daughter Paloma and motherhood again a familiar theme in his works. Louis Aragon chosen for the poster of the Peace Congress, held in April in Paris, the lithograph “La Paloma Picasso, the supreme symbol of hope for the people. A year later received the Lenin Peace Prize.


In January, presented in the May Salon the play “The Massacre in Korea”, the artist is not well received, not even by the Communist Party, which, however, pays tribute in February of that year. Picasso sculpture is still working. In April the following year he made the preparatory drawings for the chapel in Vallauris, which will focus on two major issues: war and peace. That same year his friend Paul Eluard dies.


The artist begins a long series of drawings on the theme “The painter and his model” will that shortly after the painting and engraving.


Matisse and Derain die. That same year saw the work of Jacqueline Roque Picasso, which will soon become his new partner.


Vallauris leaves his village and moved to a huge stone mansion situated in

Cannes and called “La Californie”. Olga Chochiova Jaqueline died and is the inspiration for many works that Picasso created with the same intensity with which he portrayed his other companions. In the same year began a period defined as the period of encounter with the classics, in which large series devoted to masterpieces of artists like Velazquez, Manet, Delacroix, to return later to a different topic: bullfighting.


In October there is Picasso’s first exhibition in the Hall Joan Gaspar de Barcelona.

A year later he made a series of aquatints purporting to show the “Bullfighting. Art of fighting” by Jose Delgado.


Takes place the official presentation of the decoration that Picasso has made to UNESCO. “The Fall of Icarus.” Shortly after Barcelona Gustavo Gili published in the “bullfighting” with engravings by Picasso.


He moved to Notre-Dame-de-Vie in Mougins, where be spent the last years of his life. Exhibits in the main capitals of the world. In October start work on the decoration of the College of Architects in Barcelona, will use a concrete engraving technique developed by Norwegian sculptor Carl Nesjar. In 1961 he married Jacqueline Roque.


In March, inaugurates the Picasso Museum, housed in the Palacio Aguilar Montcada Street. In this museum brings together the collection donated by Jaime Sabartes, initiator of the project and the existing works in the Museum of Modern Art, as well as donations from collectors Catalans.


There are numerous exhibitions of his work on his 85 birthday. In November in Paris opens a major retrospective organized by Jean Leymarie occupying the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais paintings drawings and sculptures.


Jaime Sabartes dies. In his memory donations to the Picasso Museum Picasso in Barcelona in the series “Las Meninas” painting he admired all his life. A year later published in Barcelona Gustavo Gili “The Burial of Count Orgaz” with text and engravings by Picasso.


From May to October is presented in the Palace of the Popes in Avignon a large exhibition of Picasso with 165 paintings and 46 drawings. Are transferred to the Museo Picasso’s works that has his family in Barcelona.


France national pays homage on his 90th birthday, while Picasso continues to work tirelessly in their series of engravings.


On April 8, died at his home in Notre-Dame-de-Vie. That year was working on a series inspired by the “Night Watch” by Rembrandt.

3. Cubism

It begins with the work “Les Demoiselles dAvignon” by Pablo Picasso.

The authors of this current are frugal with the color, use neutral colors, gray, brown.

The two main authors of this current are Picasso and Braque.

Renouncing the traditional perspective, the real colors to see the figures from the unique viewpoint. Issues less important than treatment. Looking for daily figures: train, car. Is exalted plane, interior scenes are rescued. Figurative Painting “destroys” the forms. It creates the taste of paint, break the taboos of Western art, painted with no rules. The most famous painter Picasso painted in 1907 “Les Demoiselles dAvignon”, which eliminates the depth and dimensional representation => Cubism Puro. In Cubism we can distinguish two phases: analytical cubism and synthetic cubism.

4. Analytical Cubism

makes it unrecognizable to the figures.

Braque, “Portuguese”, overlapping geometric planes, dark colors.

Following are tables with newspaper clippings => Queues

5. Synthetic cubism

More broadly, represents the object with unique images.

“In a cylinder make a bottle,” said the Spanish painter Juan Gris, who, along with another countryman, Pablo Picasso, and a Frenchman, Georges Braque, was one of the foremost exponents of cubism, art movement of the first quarter of the century XX, with the breakdown of the figure and his resignation from the traditional perspective, revolutionized the world of painting.

The name of cubism was first coined by the French art critic Louis Vauxcelles referring to the landscape of exposed Breque Kahnweiler in Paris gallery in 1908.

6. Formation process

It has placed the origin of this movement in two very different sources: on one hand, the impact it had on the Paris art circles primitive African sculpture – and, according to many critics, the Iberian – of another, the influence of French painter Paul Cezanne and his tendency to reduce the volume of real objects to key elements as cylinder, cube and sphere. It should be added to the reaction against this background Fauvism, pictorial trend in which the burst of color was one of the highlights. The developers who initiated the experiments were Picasso and Braque Cubist.

The first cubist painting, painted by Picasso in 1907, was “Les Demoiselles dAvignon.” The female figures represented in this painting are uniquely treated. They are flat shapes, whose silhouettes appear as fractured, and the lines that delimit are always straight and angular. At the same time it undertakes an attempt to represent at the same time, a human face on the front and side.

Simultaneously with the research developed by Picasso, Braque had made a series of landscapes of lEstaque, characterized by the lack of color and a faceted volume, based on inclined planes, which were presented in Paris at the exhibition which gave rise to the name cubism.

The cubist painting called a flat, two-dimensional, as opposed to traditional techniques of perspective and chiaroscuro. He rejected also the old theory, maintained and followed for centuries, art was an imitation of nature. Perhaps because of this, although initially the Cubist painters took as models the themes of nature and human faces and figures represented, soon turned their thematic lifes. These compositions were made with everyday objects, usually grouped on a table, which lacked depth, and in which all elements are in the foreground, thanks to a decomposition into facets.

Since the early years established a close relationship between Picasso and Braque, Cubism allowed to pass a preliminary stage of experimentation to a more mature, between 1910 and 1912. At the beginning of this movement was also very important dealer Daniel Kahnweiler, whose gallery became the center for the dissemination of Cubism. Moreover, the theory of the Cubist movement was taking shape in the meetings at the Bateau-Lavoir building, inhabited by Picasso, Juan Gris – Synonymous with Jose Victoriano Gonzalez – and the French writer Max Jacob. Regular attendees at group meetings were also the French Henri Matisse and Diego Rivera, who was one of the leading Mexican muralists and the French writers Jean Cocteau and Guillaume Apollinaire. It was precisely the latter who further contributed to texts such as Les Peintres cubistes, published in 1913, to develop the aesthetic bearing the Cubist movement.

7. Development of Cubism

In addition to the two teachers mentioned there was another group of artists who performed a close Cubism of Picasso and Braque to, but with personal touches, such as Juan Gris and Fernand Leger French painters Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger.

When this beauty spread throughout Europe appeared a number of groups or tendencies with their own characteristics: Orphic Cubism of Robert Delaunay French, who attached great importance to color and compositional elements with invented by the artist, the Puteaux group, with the Frenchman Marcel Duchamp, who provided a dynamic and highly intellectual Cubism, the Neo Piet Mondrian Dutch, Russian Suprematism Kazimir Malievich, constructivism sculptural fellow Vladimir Tatlin, and purism, rational and geometric aesthetic driven Amadeo French and Charles Edouard Jeanneret Ozenfant. The latter, of Swiss origin and known as Le Corbusier, then applied its principles to architecture.

You could say that, with the war of 1914, Cubism, he had a busy life since 1907, disintegrated as artistic vanguard, but his influence was huge throughout the twentieth century. In fact, most of the painters mentioned exerted a decisive impetus in the development of geometric abstraction.

8. Analysis of Guernica

No work of art emerges alone, outside of time and the moment he saw her grow, the Guernica perhaps less than any other. Painted for the Pavilion of Spain at the International Exhibition held in Paris in 1937, mounted flag in advertising by the Spanish Republic and was going to attract a large number of visitors, visitors who went to an exhibition and passed before a mural that looked like a great lineup, nothing to do with the visitor today is addressed to a museum and see the work. This is an element to consider when we see the picture.

This painting was created for the community, so that it covers a wide number of people, hence the reduction in size and range from white to black. It is a picture that aims to produce an effect on many people, people of all kinds. The work you get is a box to which no one is indifferent to which an opinion has therefore become a major work of art in our century, but was a table set up as a poster publiciatiario to highlight injustice and the barbarity of the bombing of Guernica on April 26, 1937 at least twenty five in the afternoon. Guernica, a town of 7000 Biscay to 30 km. Bilbao, Basque country of freedoms, since before his famous Oak of the Spanish monarchs and their representatives swore to Basque charters. The reasons of the bombing were exemplary and experimental in nature, were used powerful bombs and explosives, indemenes were only 10 percent of the buildings and the number of dead will never be calculated.

One factor to consider, especially in the wake of the controversy that this table is reached is that the painting was commissioned from Picasso before the bombing occurred, was commissioned by the Second Republic with the propaganda effort referred to above, to express opposition to national uprising and the war had caused it, but it is also true that Picasso did not start painting until the bombing, and it did so fervent and almost fast and within a month work term, so we have to expand the meaning and the reading of this work claims no particular cruelty of slaughter but becomes a plea against the cruelty and injustice of war against fascism and barbarism own national-socially which later was to whip across Europe.

The development of the table begins May 1, 1937. From the first sketches displayed all the figures of the final work: the bull, the woman with the light, the warrior on the ground, the horse. On May 8 introduces the mother to the child, and the dead horse that falls on the warrior. On May 11 he began to paint on canvas final until June 4.

9. Analysis Demoiselles dAvignon

The theme of the painting has been the result of different interpretations, these interpretations are related to the preparatory drawings of the table. The main change between these sketches and the final picture is that in the drawings are a male figures: a sailor and a medical student, figures identified for details see some sort or disappear according to the drawing in question. Following the drawings became more viable interpretation is a scene set in a brothel, especially being so close to a work like the harem. The table does not appear these male figures and thus the effect achieved is that the viewer instead of seeing a room with a prostitute, becomes regarded by them, they are questioning you are who request positioning .

This is one of the fundamental features of twentieth century art, the viewer never contemplated a work by the mere contemplation of it, will have to take sides, to complete the picture, to comment about the image, to participate in creating the image that came to become an installation.

Table first two aspects: the primitive and spatial disaggregation

Primitivism is seen in the faces of these women and the use of the combination of the primitivism of the faces is twofold: the two figures on the right show a clearer relationship with the black sculpture, especially cutting oceanic while both the central and

* Left lead to the Iberian statuary. Picasso’s interest in this type of art lies in the sense totemic and simplified forms. Picasso expresses a romantic approach to these works as they are not left in the stylistic traits, there is an element of expression, deep these faces have some masks and as such become objects of worship, part of a ritual. For Picasso primitive art is an emotional thing, so it pushes the boundaries of form, these masks we produce a feeling of fear, excites the feeling and is the aspect that Picasso is interesting to note in this table. In this primitive would be picking up what mystery and wild art found in the ocean. colors: ocher-pink and light blue.

As for color, the color used to paint the ocean masks, ie masks those oceanic French colonies where the game of pastel pink and white are very common. To achieve capture the texture of these face masks, Picasso will introduce a new element: breathing in white, leaving a blank area, a boundary between two colors without paint, so you see the canvas, becoming the plastic canvas in items themselves. This tool lets you enter and the illusion of depth using the table.

* The disintegration space will result in the picture is no longer telling a story and becomes the construction of objects offered to us. The unity of the picture has to be determined by the viewer, it is our view that the meet and that makes sense. Picasso introduces different points of view in response to a composition for charging independent naturalist squat figure with his face completely flipped back and is an anatomically impossible position, the second figure on the left, is lying at the same time it has been lifted.

10. Conclusion

Pablo Picasso is considered one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Versatile, inventor of forms, innovative techniques and styles, graphic artist and sculptor, created more than 20,000 works.

He died in Mougins in 1973, while preparing two exhibitions, showing their creative abilities to the end.

11. Some Pictures

The Harlequin Blue (1964). Technical crayon and pastel on paper. (65x24cm)


Guernica (1937). Technique oil on canvas. (349x777cm)

Demoiselles dAvignon (1907). Technique oil on canvas. (243.9×223.7cm)

12. Bibliography




* TASCHEN, BENEDIKT: “Picasso”, Germany, 1992.