BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in October 2006We've left it here for reference.More information

14 July 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
Simon Schama's, Power of Art

BBC Homepage
BBC Arts

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

Picasso

 


Biography

Full Name:

Pablo Picasso

Born:

1881

Died:

1973


Born in Malaga, Spain, Picasso's many styles and prolific work rate have marked him out as one of the most recognised artists of the twentieth century. Not limited to one medium he created sculptures, etchings and prints. His artistic career only began to boom once he moved to Paris in the early 1900s. His Blue Period, reflecting the colour and his mood at the time was followed by his Rose Period, work inspired by primitive art and then Cubism, which shocked the critics, but ultimately made his name.

Guernica (1937) was created during Picasso's Surrealist period and captures the horror of the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. By the end of World War II, Picasso had become an internationally known artist and celebrity.


Simon Schama on Picasso


"Pablo Picasso's Guernica is so familiar, so large, so present. It's physically bigger than a movie screen. But what is the painting about? Is it an account of the Spanish town obliterated by Nazi warplanes - a piece of reportage? Is that why it's in black and white?

This is the reason why the painting has such an impact. Instead of a laboured literal commentary on German warplanes, Basque civilians and incendiary bombs, Picasso connects with our worst nightmares. He's saying here's where the world's horror comes from; the dark pit of our psyche."



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy