Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in Málaga in Andalusia, Spain, on October 25, 1881. Son of an academic painter, José Ruiz Blasco, he began drawing at a young age. In 1895 he moved with his family to Barcelona, where he attended the La Lonja Academy of Fine Arts. The stay in Horta de Ebro in the years 1898 and 1899 and joining the Els Quatre Gats café group around 1899, are fundamental moments in his artistic evolution. In 1900 the first exhibition of his works was held in Barcelona and in the autumn of the same year he went to Paris: this was the first of many stays in the French capital in the early years of the century. Picasso moved there permanently in April 1904, soon making friends with Max Jacob, Guillaume Apollinaire, Gertrude and Leo Stein and the art dealers Ambroise Vollard and Berthe Weill.
His style evolved from the "blue period" (1901-04) to the "pink period" (1905), to the pivotal work Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), and to the subsequent elaboration of Cubism, from its "analytical" phase ( 1908-11 circa) to the synthetic one (early 1912-13). From 1916 he began collaborating on staging of ballets and theatrical works. Shortly thereafter, his work enters a phase characterized by neoclassicism and a renewed interest in drawing and figurative representation. Between 1925 and 1930 Picasso was in contact with the Surrealists and from the autumn of 1931 he was mainly interested in sculpture. With the major exhibitions at the Galeries Georges Petit in Paris and at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 1932 and with the publication in the same year of the first volume of the catalog raisonné of his work edited by Christian Zervos, his fame increased considerably.
In 1936 the civil war that afflicted Spain deeply marked Picasso, a profound emotion that culminated on an artistic level in the painting Guernica (1937). In 1944 he joined the Communist Party. Among the numerous exhibitions, particularly significant are those at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1939 and at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1955. In 1961 he married Jacqueline Roque, with whom he moved to Mougins, where he continued his prolific activity artistic, with paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics and sculptures, until his death on 8 April 1973.