Press "Enter" to skip to content

Pablo Picasso’s Most Famous Pieces

Without a doubt, Pablo Picasso is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. A Spaniard by birth, Picasso was born ‘Pablo Ruiz Picasso’ and lived most of his life in France. He is credited as co-founding the Cubist movement with Georges Braques. Artists – such as Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Robert Delaunay, Henri Le Fauconnier and Fernand Léger – would later join the movement.

Picasso’s career is divided into several periods which are characterised by the style he applied to his painting right up until his death in 1973. In this article, we’ll have a look at a few of these periods and which pieces were the most significant from each one.

Blue Period (1901 – 1904)

Picasso’s first works were from his blue period, so named because of his use of blue tones. He chose to adopt this colour palette as he was depressed after his dear friend – Carlos Sasagemas – committed suicide in a Parisian café.

His figures adopt a very geometrical shape and are not lifelike. Undoubtedly his most famous pieces from this period are the Old Guitarist which he painted in 1903 while he was working in Barcelona. It is currently hanging at The Art Institute of Chicago.

Rose/Pink Period (1904 – 1906)

In this period of his life, Pablo Picasso fell in love with Fernande Olivier. His paintings became happier and more hopeful. His figures became more lifelike and he started adopting more rose-coloured hues. The Garçon à la Pipe (Boy with a Pipe), which he painted in 1905, is a good reflection of this era. This painting is currently in the Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection in Chicago.

African Period (1907 – 1909)

It was during this period that Picasso started playing with the ideas which would form a significant part of Cubism. He was very influenced by African masks as well as the paintings of Cézanne. His figures during his African period adopted quite angular shapes, as they had in the Blue Period.

One of the best examples of pieces from this era was painted in 1907 and is called Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. It can currently be found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Cubism and Collage (1908 – 1912)

Cubism combined two-dimensionality with multiple perspectives as well as reducing forms to geometric shapes. Also, Picasso and Braques combined other media – such as shredded paper, string and fabric – to their work, which was an impressive visually as playing at

Still, Life with Chair Caning (which was painted in 1912) is very representative of Cubist art. This work of art hangs in Picasso’s house, in Paris, which has now been converted into a museum – Musée Picasso. This painting also represents the beginning of Collage.

Pablo Picasso was very sensitive to what was happening in his life and his art reflected what he was feeling. Many other artists have adopted aspects of Cubism in their pieces to make a statement or express what they truly want to say. Picasso is a pioneer, with a lifetimes work as his legacy.