biographical data

Pablo Picasso biography: 13 things about Spanish painter born in Málaga, Andalusia, Spain

Pablo Ruiz Picasso (©Revista Vea y Lea)
Pablo Ruiz Picasso (©Revista Vea y Lea)

Commonly known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso was a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and theatre designer. He was born in Málaga, Andalusia, Spain to Spanish parents Don José Ruiz y Blasco and María Picasso y López.

In 1891, Pablo and his family moved from Malaga to A Coruña, Galicia, Spain. After his sister Conchita, then 7, died of diphtheria in 1895, the family moved to Barcelona, Spain.

Some of Pablo’s paintings are among the most expensive paintings in the world. Here are 13 more things about him:

  1. In 1900, he made his first trip to Paris, France. His French friend Max Jacob, a journalist and poet, helped him learn the French language and literature.
  2. In 1904, he met French artist and model Fernande Olivier. They started living together in 1905, the same year he created “Head of a Woman,” a sculpture modeled on her. Also in 1905, he painted “Garçon à la Pipe,” which sold for $104 million at Sotheby’s auction on May 5, 2004. In 1907, she adopted a girl named Raymonde, then 13. Olivier sent Raymonde back to the orphanage after discovering explicit drawings of the girl made by him. He and Olivier separated in 1912.
  3. In 1909, he painted “Femme Assise,” which sold for $63.4 million at Sotheby’s in London, England, United Kingdom on June 21, 2016. Also in 1909,
  4. On July 12, 1918, he and Russian ballet dancer Olga Khokhlova got married in Paris. On February 4, 1921, she gave birth to their son Paul Joseph “Paulo” Picasso. She left him in 1935 but stayed legally married to him until her death from cancer in 1955 in Cannes, France.
  5. From 1927 to 1935, he was in a relationship with French model Marie-Thérèse Walter. On September 5, 1935, she gave birth to their daughter Maria “Maya” de la Concepcion Picasso.
  6. In 1932, he featured Walter in his painting “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” which sold for US$106.5 million at Christie’s on May 4, 2010. In 1937, he painted a portrait of her titled “Femme au Béret et à la Robe Quadrillée,” which sold for $68.97 million at Sotheby’s in London on February 28, 2018.
  7. From 1935 to 1943, he was in a relationship with French photographer Henriette Theodora Markovitch, also known as Dora Maar. Depicting her, he painted “Dora Maar au Chat” in 1941. It sold for $95 million at Sotheby’s on May 3, 2006. 
  8. From 1943 to 1953, he was in a relationship with French painter Françoise Gilot. She gave birth to their son Claude Pierre Pablo Picasso on May 15, 1947 and their daughter Anne Paloma Picasso on April 19, 1949.
  9. In 1939, he painted “Woman’s Head,” which he donated to Greece in 1949 to honor the Greek people for their resistance against the German-led occupation in World War II. On January 9, 2012, the Cubist painting was stolen from the National Gallery in Athens, Greece. On June 29, 2021, authorities announced the arrest of a Greek construction worker accused of stealing the sculpture, which was recovered along with the stolen Piet Mondrian work “Stammer Mill with Summer House.”
  10. In 1953, he met a French woman named Jacqueline Roque at the Madoura Pottery in Vallauris on the French Riviera in France where she was working. He was 72 and she was 26. They got married on March 2, 1961.
  11. From 1954 to 1955, he created a series of 15 paintings and numerous drawings titled “Les Femmes d’Alger,” which sold for $179.3 million at Christie’s in New York, United States on May 11, 2015.
  12. He helped make “Le mystère Picasso,” a French documentary film about him released in France on May 18, 1956. He made a cameo appearance as himself in “Testament of Orpheus,” a back-and-white film written and directed by Jean Cocteau and released on February 18, 1960.
  13. On April 8, 1973, he died in Mougins, France from pulmonary edema and heart failure at the of 91. Jacqueline prevented his children Claude and Paloma and his grandson Pablito Picasso, who is Paulo’s son, from attending his funeral. She fatally shot herself in her house in Mougins on October 15, 1986.

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