Happy Birthday, Picasso: 10 (+ One) Picasso Facts

Today is the birthday of one of the world’s most famous and visionary artists, Pablo Picasso. Born on this day is 1881, he would go on to revolutionise the world of art.

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Here are 10 (and a bonus one) facts about the artist’s life.



Self Portrait, 1901 by Pablo Picasso

  1. Picasso’s Full Name Has 23 Words

Picasso was baptised Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso. He was named after various saints and relatives. The “Picasso” is actually from his mother, Maria Picasso y Lopez. His father is named Jose Ruiz Blasco.

  1. When He Was Born, The Midwife Thought He Was Stillborn

Picasso had such a difficult birth and was such a weak baby that when he was born, the midwife thought that he was stillborn so she left him on a table to attend his mother. It was his uncle, a doctor named Don Salvador, that saved him.

Guernica, 1937 by Pablo Picasso

  1. Picasso’s First Word: Pencil

It’s like Picasso was born an artist: his first word was “piz,” short of lápiz the Spanish word for ‘pencil.’ His father Ruiz, an artist and art professor, gave him a formal education in art starting from the age of 7. By 13, Ruiz vowed to give up painting as he felt that Pablo had surpassed him.

  1. Pablo’s First Drawing

At the tender young age of 9, Picasso completed his first painting: Le picador, a man riding a horse in a bullfight.

The Old Guitarist, 1903 by Pablo Picasso

  1. Picasso was a Terrible Student

No doubt about it, Picasso was brilliant: artistically, he was years ahead of his classmates who were all five to six years older than him. But Picasso chafed at being told what to do and he was often thrown into “detention”:

  1. Picasso’s First Job

Picasso signed his first contract in Paris with art dealer Pere Menach, who agreed to pay him 150 francs per month (about US$750 today).

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907 by Pablo Picasso

  1. Did Picasso Steal the Mona Lisa?

Actually no, but in 1911, when the famous painting Mona Lisa of Leonardo da Vinci was stolen from the Louvre, the police took in Picasso’s friend, the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Apollinaire fingered Picasso as a suspect, so the police hauled him in for questioning. Both were later released.


  1. Cubism: Full of Little Cubes

In 1909, Picasso and French artist Georges Braque co-founded an art movement known as cubism. Actually, it was a French art critic Louis Vauxcelles who first called it “bizarre cubiques” or cubism, after noting that Picasso and Braque’s paintings are “full of little cubes.”

Massacre in Korea, 1951 by Pablo Picasso

  1. Picasso was a close friend of Marc Chagall

Picasso and Chagall, two of the greatest painters of the last century, were friends…Read the whole story.

  1. Picasso claimed “Paul Cézanne was my one and only master.”

In 1943, Pablo Picasso declared to photographer George Brassaï that artist Paul Cézanne was “my one and only master.”…Read the whole story

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  1. Where is Picasso buried?

Picasso was buried in the grounds of a château that he bought on a whim in 1958 in the village of Vauvenargues in the south of France.

Small groups of visitors are now allowed to view his final resting place, where he has lain since his death aged 91. The raised burial mound is topped with his 1933 sculpture, Femme au vase.

Picasso is said to have bought the estate after discovering that it lay on the slopes of Mont Sainte-Victoire, which was painted more than 30 times by Paul Cézanne, the Impressionist artist. “I have just bought myself Cézanne’s mountains,” he told his agent.


Facts And Photos courtesy of https://www.pablopicasso.org/picasso-facts.jsp