Happy Birthday Pablo Picasso!! Born in Malaga, Spain in 1881 to an art teacher, Picasso displayed talent early on. After a visit to Paris in his early twenties, he launched into his “blue period” to be followed by his “rose period”, both of which exhibit color dominated depictions of harlequins and street people. Meeting George Braque led to a discovery that the two artists were seeking the same truth: how to define volumetric objects and figures on the flat picture plane. Why should the painter be restricted to displaying only one viewpoint? These ideas led to faceted, fragmented items and the evolution of Cubism. Initially the color palette was restricted to monochromatic greys, browns, olive green, and yellow ochre gradually other colors were introduced. Picasso’s career took another detour when he created the first collage (French for paste) in Still Life with Chair Caning. Bits of brown paper, newspaper, twine, etc. found their way into his work. Painting dancers, nudes and bullfights, gave way for his masterpiece Guernica, a statement in opposition to the horrors of war, specifically the Spanish Civil War. I am including this incredible work in my blog today. Although there is no graphic war scene included, the terror displayed in the mother holding her dead son, the screaming animals, the dread displayed through the bullfighting icons, clearly conveys Picasso’s abhorrence for the violence of war. The tonal black, white and grey serve to heighten the drama. The latter part of Picasso’s life was devoted to mural painting as well as ceramics. Perhaps no other artist in history has contributed such a dazzlingly wide array of influential art than Pablo Picasso.