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Pablo Picasso

Picasso with the Cradlesong

David Douglas Duncan
b.1916
Picasso tenant à bout des bras son tableau de Vuillard, La berceuse: Marie Roussel au lit (Picasso with The lullaby: Marie Roussel in bed by Vuillard) 1959
Photography Collection: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
The University of Texas at Austin
© David Douglas Duncan

Pablo Picasso is one of the best known artists of the twentieth century. His extraordinary talent, output and extroverted personality produced an image of the artist synonymous with modern art. His experimentation with techniques and materials in painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, theatre design and ceramics was enormously influential on successive generations of artists and designers.

The stylistic changes which emerged over a period of 70 years — from the early years of radical experimentation in Paris to his late years — encompassed some of the most significant periods and events of the twentieth century, including World War Two and the succession of major artistic movements such as abstraction and Surrealism.

Picasso’s enduring legacy to modern art was through the mediums of painting, sculpture and collage. His development of Cubism with Georges Braque, his construction and assemblage sculptures, and his use of collage techniques — where ephemera such as theatre tickets and fragments of the daily newspaper were incorporated into the space of painting — changed the direction and history of modern art.