Portrait of Olga Picasso – 1924 – She was Picasso’s first wife, married on July 12, 1918. She met the artist at the theatre in which she was performing with the ballet. Picasso designed the set and costumes. She bore him a son, after which the marriage began to deteriorate. They never divorced, because Pablo didn’t want to share his fortune with her. In this portrait we can see the artist’s depth with naturalism. He was an early learner and was studying art with his father at the age of ten. As he grew into a man, he started exploring different artist’s styles and wanted to take the new ideas a step further. He became famous as one of the founders of modern art.
The National Geographic channel has been airing the life of artist, Pablo Picasso, in its second season of the GENIUS series. The title role is being played by Anthony Banderas. The show is well done, includes much of Picasso’s body of work and his relationships throughout his life – which were many,
Somewhere along the line, with all his philandering and womanizing, Picasso was able to create art which appealed to the new generation of artists at the turn of the 20th century. Gertrude Stein was one of his greatest patrons. She hosted a salon in Paris for all the new age artists, novelists and poets.
He started to paint like other artists, which I think happens when schools of artists gather. They look to the master artist for guidance. Egocentric Pablo believed he was better than those he followed and often criticized them for their inferior work. A man not to be outdone, he was on a constant search to bring something new and better to the world of art.
In his later years, he became enamored with Francois Gilot, a woman who could easily have been his daughter. She too was an artist and her admiration for Picasso and his work were probably the driving force which led her to live with and have two children by him. He realized great wealth from his art during his lifetime. One of few artists that have been so blessed.
I’ve had an interest in art history since I started dating my husband. When you’re young and in love, you try to impress – right? In fact when we were in our early years of marriage, my husband purchased a print done by Francois Gilot (one of Picasso’s mistresses.) We were in no position to do something so spontaneous. Our budget was busting at the seams, but we paid $25 a month to own a piece of art which I never grew to like. “A good investment in the future,” he said. When it no longer became possible to keep this treasure, it was sold at a profit, and helped us through some tough financial times. Today that print is undoubtedly priceless, but at the time we needed groceries.
If you have the chance to watch it, the National Geographic Channel has done a stunning job of telling Picasso’s story. I’d recommend it highly. In my experience as the wife of an artist, I haven’t witnessed my husband slicing off his ear, or having illicit affairs with women. He doesn’t take mood altering drugs nor does he smoke, In fact the closest he came to doing anything avant-garde, was having his full head of hair permed so he looked sort of like Bob Ross. He’s not your typical artist, but in my book, he’s one of the best.