His Childhood

60. Picasso had such a difficult birth and was such a weak baby that when he was born, the midwife thought that he was stillborn. She left him on a table to attend to his mother. It was his uncle, a doctor named Don Salvador, that saved him when he blew a puff of cigar smoke in his face. Picasso said his uncle recalled him reacting with a “grimace and a bellow of fury.

59. Picasso’s first word was “piz,” short of lápiz the Spanish word for ‘pencil.’ His father Ruiz, an artist and art professor, gave him a formal education in art starting from the age of 7. By 13, Ruiz vowed to give up painting as he felt that Pablo had surpassed him.

58. At the tender young age of 9, Picasso completed his first painting: Le picador, a man riding a horse in a bullfight.

57. His first major painting, an “academic” work is First Communion, featuring a portrait of his father, mother, and younger sister kneeling before an altar. Picasso was 15 when he finished it.

56. Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso. He was named after various saints and relatives. The “Picasso” is actually from his mother, Maria Picasso y Lopez. His father is named Jose Ruiz Blasco.

55. Picasso was artistically brilliant. He was years ahead of his classmates who were all five to six years older than him. But Picasso chafed at being told what to do and he was often thrown into detention at school where he was forced to sit alone in a room. Here, he’d bring his art book and draw. Image from 1886.

54. Pablo Picasso regarded Cezanne as his one and only true master, regarding him as a “mother hovering over.” In fact, Picasso used to carry a pistol loaded with blanks. He’d fire at anyone that ever insulted Cezanne.

53. Picasso has had 1,147 works listed as stolen, missing or disputed, more than twice as many as any other artist, according to the Art Loss Register. The most recent theft occurred in October, when robbers made off with a Picasso and six other paintings that were on exhibit at a Dutch museum. A Picasso was likewise lifted from a Greek museum in January 2012, and in May 2010 a Picasso was among five paintings taken from the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris.

52. In 1909, Picasso and French artist Georges Braque co-founded an art movement known as cubism. Actually, it was a French art critic Louis Vauxcelles who first called it “bizarre cubiques” or cubism, after noting that Picasso and Braque’s paintings are “full of little cubes.”

51. “Art is the lie that allows us to understand the truth.” –Pablo Picasso


Join us February 18th for the Pablo Picasso: The Diary of a Master Exhibition Opening Reception to get the first look at the exhibition and to learn more about Picasso. Tickets are available for purchase here. The exhibition will be open to the general public from Feb 20th – May 5th, 2017.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *