Considered by many to be the world’s greatest modern artist Pablo Picasso produced more than 25,000 works of art during his long career.
Born in Spain in 1881 Picasso quickly became enamoured with art under the formal guidance of his art professor father, Don José Ruiz y Blasco.
Picasso found himself as a painter, sculptor and ceramicist, and made his first trip to Paris, then considered Europe’s art capital, in 1900 – with his Blue period starting around the same period.
By 1904, he had settled permanently in Paris, taking a studio in a rundown building on the Seine. It was here that he met Fernande Olivier, an artists’ model who had striking red hair, almond eyes and a voluptuous figure.
Picasso was entranced by this beautiful, liberated woman. She moved into his squalid little studio. This signalled the end of his Blue Period and the start of his Rose Period as he painted her sensuous pink body on canvas.
Several years later Picasso co-founded the Cubist movement, which began in 1907 – he spent most of his adult life in Paris or on the Riviera.
Despite his prolific output, producing the most original works of any artist in history, Picasso’s art work has also become some of the most valuable and sought after in the world.
Hundreds of his works have been listed as missing with many still emerging, either because they were stolen or given away.
His work has been increasing in value for many years making it a very attractive buy for many art collectors. Paintings which were created by the artist in his Blue Period or Rose Period often are sold for the most. However pieces from his cubism and Neo-Classicism periods have also broken records, especially if they hold a link the artist’s personal life.
In 2015 Picasso’s Women of Algiers (Version O) was sold for a record-breaking $180million after a tense 11 minute auction at world-famous Christies – it is now valued at $197.4million and considered the world’s eighth most expensive art work.
In 2016 Picasso’s ‘Femme assise’ was sold for £43.3 million.
Picasso had eight long-term lovers who are featured in his work. Two were driven to mental breakdowns and two committed suicide.
He married twice, first to Olga Khokhlova, then to Jacqueline Roque who he was with for 11 years until his death.
Picasso died aged 91 in 1973 after amassing great wealth and notoriety.