Good question. Why is Pablo Picasso a great artist?

 In the network it is quite common to find a comparison of the works of Pablo Picasso from different periods of his work with comments about degradation, that he «learned» to draw or simply mocked the audience, forcing them to buy doodles signed by his name. Of course, the artist's sense of humor was not to occupy, but can it be called only skillfully sawed upstart? Or is it really not that simple? Let's deal with it.

Picasso perfectly knew how to draw. and draw well

They say that in order to defeat the enemy, you need to visit his skin. And Picasso so successfully defended his creativity and achieved such fame in particular because he first visited «from that side». He drew from the moment he learned to hold the pencil until his death. and received the most that no traditional academic art education: first from his father, and then-in several art schools and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid.

Thanks to classical education Picasso mastered the full range of techniques available at that time-from etching to sculpture. And in his «unconventional» creative work the artist did not abandon his acquaintances, proven tools. He just figured out how to use them in a new way. Picasso destroyed the usual methods, literally disassembled them by brick. But unlike the multitude of rebels that existed at all times, it destroyed not for the sake of destruction, but to build something new from the received «building materials».

Pablo Picasso. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums Pablo Pickasso1901, 81.1 × 65.1 cm

Pablo Picasso. Portrait of Picasso's father

Portrait of the Father of Pickassonpablo Picasso 1895

Pablo Picasso. Portrait of Aunt Pepa

Portrait of Aunt Pepypablo Picasso 1896, 57.5 × 50.5 cm

Pablo Picasso. Matador Luis Miguel Domigen

Matador Luis Miguel Domengenpablo Picasso 1897

Pablo Picasso. First Communion

First Communepablo Picasso 1896, 166 × 118 cm

Pablo Picasso. Rural landscape

Rustic landscape Pablo Picasso 1898, 33 × 44 cm

Pablo Picasso. Portrait of the artist's mother

Portrait of the artist's mother Pablo Picasso 1896, 50 × 39 cm

Pablo Picasso. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums Pablo Pickasso1901, 81.1 × 65.1 cm

Pablo Picasso. Portrait of Picasso's father

Portrait of Father Pickassonpablo Pickasson1895prevnettin This, perhaps, and is a true skill: take all the best of the great predecessors, study the composition, shape and color, understand the basic techniques and learn the rules to understand how to break them. Do not allow other masters to restrain you. If Picasso wanted to go on a beaten track, he would certainly have achieved considerable success. He was a great drafer and a very talented imitator. This can be judged by one indicative story. 

When Henri Matisse was at the peak of popularity with his series Odalisok, Picasso jokingly drew a piece of the phone, perfectly simulated the manner of the letter Matisse, style, colors and orientalist background-absolutely everything, including the signature. The joke was so convincing that one of the most serious Parisian magazines about art, having obtained a photo of the caller Odaliska, in full seriousness presented it as a work of Matisse. Great artist-as a great inventor or discoverer: after its opening it is difficult to continue to live in the old way. It changes the world and changes the view of man and even of all mankind on this wo
rld «. READ ALSO: 10 children's Questions about art

Picasso did not hesitate to «fall into childhood»

In fact, many great painters could and loved to joke and fool around. On the contrary, there are not many artists who have treated their creativity with murderous seriousness.

Pablo Picasso in the guise of a sailor Popeye. Photo: Andre Vilé, 1957 Picasso repeatedly said how he admires the primitive art and drawings of children. One day he said, «When I was at their age, I could paint like Raphael. It took me a lifetime to learn how to draw them. » And there is some sense in it. Most of the artists know that it is almost impossible to simulate a children's drawing to a person who already knows all the rules. Children are unaware of the fear of pure canvas, they are not limited to the framework, behind their backs are not worth several generations of ghostly painters, strictly watching that everything was on the canon. Only children fully possess the omnipotence of a novice who does not yet know «how to do It». This was the purpose of Picasso: to learn to forget everything that has already been studied and familiar, to be able and to afford to draw with the directness and honesty of the child.

Pablo Picasso. Bathing suit with a beach ball

Swimsuit with beach Miompablo pickasso1932, 156.2 × 114.6 SMA Picasso has never been too serious about himself. He did not allow himself to «bronze», to become a venerable master, and the case of the saying wise thoughts. He adored masks and games in dressing up, often took guests dressed in unusual outfits, with pleasure photographed washable in the bath or dancing Neglihe before his paintings. When the film «The Mystery of Picasso» was presented in Cannes, the artist, who was used to see in shorts, sandals and vest, unexpectedly appeared at the premiere in a strict suit and a bowler hat. Perhaps it was in this ability to preserve the child's perception and was to a certain extent the success of Picasso as an artist.

Picasso was looking for sources of inspiration always and in all

At least one Picasso corresponded to the generally accepted notions of artists: in all his studios always reigned a terrible mess. It was part of the creative process. The artist was surrounded by African sculptures, bronze statues, ceramics, musical instruments with torn strings and, of course, paintings-their own and strangers. Friends and acquaintances said that he did not throw anything away, he kept checks, labels from bottles and came in the disrepair of things. Despite the fame and wealth, Picasso was rather unpretentious in domestic matters and very pressing. Probably, the beggar's Parisian youth in the wind-blown «floating laundry», where Pablo had to huddle in a tiny dirty room and by any right and wrong to get money for food and paints, has spoken. Picasso was asked about the choice of Colors for his paintings of the blue period. He replied that he simply had no other paints. Of course, now it is impossible to determine whether the artist said the truth or just flirnded. However, the ability to create, using a very limited set of materials, is a valuable quality. But Picasso had never had a flaw in subjects. He endlessly absorbed everything that could be «melted» into creativity: ideas and conversations, spy scenes and interesting tipazhi, emotions and fantasies. Picasso worked very fast. Usually he lacked a brief glimpse of the idea to write a picture. But sometimes, especially when it concerns very important canvases, work on them could stretch for many months. This was the case with Gernica and the Avignon maidens. To write his last, we can say, inspired Henri Matisse and his «Joy Of Life» (1906). This work was a resounding success, and Picasso began to think about what he can oppose such masterpiece. He wanted to create something as impressive as the picture of Matisse, but at the same time, which has no analogues in art. In an attempt to rethink the Western pictorial methods, Picasso filled the sketches with one notebook after another. He decided to turn to the very roots, to primitive art. The African sculptures and works of Native Americans, which he saw in the Parisian ethnographic museum, amazed him with a completely different approach to form. It was not an attempt to recreate the world around us, but a symbolic, almost shaman's vision.

Pablo Picasso. Avignon Girls

Avignon Devitonpablo pickasso1907, 243.9 × 233.7 smafter Long eight months of work Picasso still wrote his «counter-masterpiece»-frightening, pressing on the viewer angular irregular forms, causing the picture «Avignon Maidens.» At that time the canvas was still too provocative. Picasso showed it to only a few friends, and it shocked them so much that the artist hid it from prying eyes. The girls were presented to the public for the first time almost 10 years after the creation. During this time the real revolution has occurred in painting. The revolution, which was largely due to this «counter-masterpiece».

Picasso was not too good a man, but it became a part of his creativity

Now, in the era of #MeToo movement and the third wave of feminism, began to talk often about the attitude of Picasso to women. There are assumptions that the artist had a narcissistic personality disorder, which made him «light up» a woman, idealize her (perhaps even every time he believed that a new love is for life), but rather quickly disappointed and Turned her life into a nightmare. Arguing here, in general, has nothing to do with: Picasso psychologically distorted almost all his sweethearts with a few happy exceptions. He himself said that every time a relationship with a new woman destroys her predecessor. However, despite the fact that such attitude to any person is impossible to justify anything, diagnose is not our task. And here is what the journalist and art critic Miles Anger says, the author of the book «Picasso and the picture that shook the world»:

«Picasso was born into a very patriarchal family in a part of the world where women at the time had to sit at home and take care of their husbands and children. All social life revolved around men. They were interlocutors and companions. For sex They went to the brothel and sometimes returned home to their wives. So, I think, as Picasso's lover and husband was terrible.

Pablo Picasso. A crying woman with a handkerchief. Dora Maar

A crying woman with a handkerchief. Dora Maarpablo pickasso1937, 40 × 26 smsome people, speaking of artists like Picasso, admit that he was a great artist and at the same time-a terrible person, but say that these two have nothing to do with each other. I think this is a mistake, especially in the case of Picasso, because his attitude towards women was part of his art. If you look at the «Avignon Maidens», you will see how this picture is filled with fury and contradictory feelings for women. It does not mean that we should forgive his attitude towards real women. But it is worth acknowledging that art is often born in very dark corners of the soul. Just as the art of Matisse was born in joyful, sensual and light parts of it. «

Picasso was able to sell himself, but with contempt he treated fame

Pablo Picasso once said: «An artist is a person who paints something that can be sold. A good artist sells what he paints. « And in one of this scandalous Spaniard certainly do not refuse-he always remained true to himself. Popularity and demand came to Picasso far not immediately. He came several times to «Conquer Paris»: failed, disappointed, surrendered, left, but then undertook a new attempt. Yes, the artist was favored by Ambroise Vollar, and eventually he had influential patrons-Gertrude and Leo Styna, but for the most part Picasso had to make their own way. And at the same time he did not try to become what the audience wanted him to be, and to write «pleasant» pictures. And, having achieved popularity, was not afraid to continue creative searches and to experiment.

Pablo Picasso. The figure of Rembrandt and Eros

The figure of Rembrandt and Errospablo pickasso1969

Pablo Picasso. Old guitarist

Old guitarist Pablo Pickasso1904, 123 × 83 cm

Pablo Picasso. Glassware

Glass Posudampablo pickasso1906, 38.5 × 55.5 cm

Pablo Picasso. Queen Izabo

Queen Andsappablo pickasso1909, 92 × 73 cm

Pablo Picasso. Coffee table (bottle Perno)

Coffee table (bottle Perno) Pablo pickasso1912, 45.5 × 32.5 cm

Pablo Picasso. Harlequin with Mirror

Harlequin with mirrors Pablo pickasso1923, 100 × 81 cm

Pablo Picasso. Dreamer

Mechtatelnicapablo pickasson1932, 101.3 × 93.3 cm

Pablo Picasso. Man with Lollipop

Man with Candy, Pablo pickasso1938, 68.3 × 45.4 cm

Pablo Picasso. Portrait of an artist, imitation of El Greco

Portrait of an artist, imitation of El Grekopablo pickasso1950, 100.5 × 81 cm

Pablo Picasso. The figure of Rembrandt and Eros

The figure of Rembrandt and Errospablo pickasso1969

Pablo Picasso. Old guitarist

Old guitarist Pablo Pickasso1904, 123 × 83 Smresvnewtpicasso radically changed the style of his works several times for a long creative career. Perhaps this too became part of his secret of «eternal youth.» This is what the artist says about acquiring the recognizable manners of the philosopher Lev Shestov: «Every connoisseur of art is pleased if he learns in the new work» the manner «of the artist, and few people guess that the acquisition of manners marks the beginning of the end. Artists understand this well and would love to get rid of their manners, which is already a template. But it requires too much stress, new torments, doubts, uncertainty-who once experienced «enthusiasm of creativity», another time voluntarily will not be tempted by them. He prefers to «work» on the previously created template, only to be calm and firmly confident in the results-the benefit, except him no one knows that he is no longer a creator.

However, despite the fact that Picasso was eager for popularity, the relationship with his own fame was contradictory. Miles Anger says the painter hated the Subkhalms and the hypocrites who came to him as a pilgrimage to «kiss the Ring of Genius.» Anyone who called him a master, Picasso with screams exposed at the door, and once he was so bored with the flow of ice speeches that he snatched the revolver and began to burn in the air. He valued the talk of art and his paintings, but he did not tolerate a reckless and blind reverence.

Picasso in the cowboy hat and with Gary Cooper's gun. Photo: Rene Burri, 1957

Picasso was ruthless to himself

In 1952, while giving an interview to the writer Giovanni Papini, Picasso said: «Today, as you know, I am famous, I am rich. But when I am alone, I do not have the courage to consider myself an artist in the ancient sense of the word. Great artists are people like Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt, Goya. I am just a public artist who understands his time and takes advantage of the stupidity, vanity and greed of his contemporaries. My confession is bitter, more painful than it may seem, but it is sincere. «

Pablo Picasso. Sitting Old man

Sitting Starkpablo pickasso1970, 145.5 × 114 smart critic Jonathan Jones wrote in the Guardian that absolutely every work of Pablo Picasso is an illustration of a certain episode of his biography. Sometimes it is quite obvious, as portraits of wives, mistresses and friends. Sometimes it is encrypted or symbolic. His art has always been self-revealing, often even self-incriminating. Picasso did not flatter himself and did not try to expose himself in a more favorable light. His whole life appears before the spectator as in the palm of his hand — passions and fears, love and hatred, admiration and envy. Perhaps the most recent works of the artist are particularly revealing in this respect. In the last years of his life he often painted himself: not a venerable gray-haired sage, but a small grotesque old man, who is in the costume of the musketeer in comical attempts to play the usual role of a lady's pleaser.