Pablo Picasso, one of the most famous and influential artists in history, was born today in 1881, in Malaga, Spain. He was groomed from an early age to be an artist. By thirteen, Picasso had his first exhibition. He was talented and driven to the point that he dropped out of art school to pursue his own style.
At age nineteen, Picasso went to Paris and got an exhibition on Rue Lafitte, a row of prestigious art galleries. The exhibition was well reviewed, and Picasso made the beginnings of a name for himself. He moved to Paris permanently.
Picasso was a prolific artist, producing about 50,000 works over eighty years. His career is broken into "periods." He is most closely associated with the Cubist movement, which he is considered to have founded with George Braque in 1909.
Cubism posited that art no longer had to be representational to be meaningful. His and Braque's experimentation in the new form led to many influential innovations.
Picasso's most famous work is Guernica, a depiction of the Basque town being demolished by German war planes in the Spanish Civil War. Picasso was an ardent anti-Fascist and a member of the French Communist Party.
Picasso the man was known to be daunting in person, and highly charismatic. He continued to produce new works until he died in 1973. He was 91 at the time of his death.