7 Most Popular Paintings of Pablo Picasso
Probably the most important and the most influential artist to have been born in the 20th century, Pablo Picasso, like a vast, roaring flood, conquered the modern western art in its entirety. He is unarguably among the greatest the world has ever produced. Picasso, before he was even 50, became largely popular with the masses and eventually came to be known as the most well known name in art. No other artist, prior to him had such a massive impact on the art world.
His works have varied in tone and style all throughout his life and it’s really quite hard to summarize what exactly characterizes his paintings; makes them as majestic, as soulful as they appear to the eye. Perhaps his refusal to obey the general dictates of art (of his time) made him stand out the most. The artworks of the Spanish maestro are, to this day, among the most prized possessions of museums and art collectors all over the globe. He is probably the only artist to have had a mass following of critics and fans both. His most famous periods of work are the blue period, the rose period and the cubist period.
Though art collectors are largely disinclined towards readily selling and auctioning the works of Picasso they have in their possession, his paintings still sell for millions of dollars. Here are, for your eyes to see, 7 most popular paintings of Pablo Picasso, the Spanish maestro:
Garçon a la Pipe
Picasso’s paintings from his uniquely stylistic rose period, captured, quite often, the essence of the local entertainers (by profession) such as comedians, gymnasts et cetera. These profound works earned him a good deal of recognition. Garçon a la Pipe was painted by the Spanish-born artist while he was living in Paris. It is said to be an oil on canvas depiction of the boy who loved to watch him paint. The boy volunteered to pose for the maestro as he made the painting. Sold for a breathtaking $104 million, Garçon a la Pipe’s worth made it to the world records in 2004 at an auction in New York.
Pablo Picasso painted the First Communion when he was only fourteen years of age. His earlier works are very lifelike. The painting is a sketch of a real life event: Picasso’s sister, Lola, receiving first communion. For those of us who gaze upon his later (cubist) works and dare doubt his ability to paint realistically, this painting should easily suffice. Picasso painted following precise academic rules in his youthful years but, through the rest of his career, he refused to conform to the dictates of the academic art. Along with many other works from esteemed artists, this painting was displayed at a very prestigious exhibition in Barcelona.
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon marked the beginning of Pablo Picasso’s period of analytic cubism. It is among his later works. An obvious change in style began to trend in the maestro’s previous paintings when compared with his (new) cubist works. He used fast, lengthy strokes while making these sketches. Picasso, drawing a great deal of inspiration from native art of Africa (which he was studying prior to his period of cubism), took a huge step away from the traditional western art. It is unlike any of his works from the past. Owing to the unique blend of colors and strokes used in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, it came to be known as the most innovative work of art since the works of Giotto. In addition to the intensity the dislocated faces generate, the intended scarcity of space in the painting is fascinating. Other influential painters of the same age and realm – like Georges Baraques and Apollinaire – rejected Les Demoiselles d’Avignon at first only to accept it as a masterful work of art later on. It is currently exhibited in the museum of modern art, New York.
Dora Maar Au Chat
Dora Maar Au Chat, for Picasso, is the most valued depiction of his lover, Dora Maar. She was one of Pablo Picasso’s many mistresses and a surrealist photographer by profession. This painting, for the maestro himself, is one of his most beloved works. On top of that, it is among Picasso’s most iconic paintings and thus, very (one of the most) expensive. It features Picasso’s mistress: Dora sitting on an armchair and a small black cat stand behind her in the background. The brilliant use of bold colors with the explosive combination of dense patterns of Dora’s dress is what is remarkable in this painting. This complexity of form adds to Dora’s dramatic posture in Dora Maar Au Chat. Picasso held a very high regard for Dora Maar and often spoke about her being his very own “private muse”. The painting was originally sold to Chicago’s Gidwitz family by two art collectors, Leigh and Mary Block. It then returned to the market in 2006. It’s pre-auction price was estimated to be around $50 million but the actual price at which it was bought was twice that much. The painting was bought from the Chicago’s Gidwitz family by an anonymous art collector from Chicago for $95.2 million.
Guernica is, regarded by the Spanish, as a national treasure; a monumental mark of pride for the entire nation. It is one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous paintings. It depicts the bombing of Guernica’s Basque town during the Spanish civil war. The town suffered heavy casualties during the bombing, and the dark shades of grey and black upon the white of death embody the unimaginable terror and chaos that befell upon the victims. The Spanish maestro originally intended to paint something else when he heard the horrible news, discovered about the bombing and came up with the idea for Guernica. The painting, in addition to describing the entire scenario, also makes important symbolic references (the eye shaped light bulb). Picasso considered the civil war a hideous crime and condemned it at great lengths. Guernica is, in itself, a condemnation of the exploits of the war. In 1937, this painting was commissioned by the Spanish Republican Government to be displayed at the Paris world fair. However, upon it’s creator’s wish, it was not to be returned to Spain until Fascism was put an end to. And so it returned to Spain in 1981 and became Spain’s property.
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust
Pablo Picasso had many mistresses all through his life. One of them, Marie-Therese Walter, was depicted in this painting. Sprawling across the bottom half of the painting, can be seen a nude woman lying down with her bust bare naked. The leaves in the background are the leaves from the Spanish masters favorite, philodendron (also know as the love) tree. He developed a liking for this plant in this phase and kept it where he resided. Upon closer inspection, we can see that a face is emerging from behind the curtains. This is Picasso’s own self reaching out for his muse, Marie-Therese Walter. This masterful work of art was unbelievably finished within a single day! By this time, the Spanish-born artist had mastered his skill and began to employ deep symbolism in his paintings. Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was initially bought for quite less by art collectors Sidney and Frances Brody in 1952, but in 2010, it was sold at an auction by it’s owners for a mind-boggling $106.2 million.
Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso’s mistress and muse, becomes the subject of yet another master piece of his. The maestro, with sheer brilliance, captures his beautiful, young mistress asleep on an armchair. At that time, Picasso was 50 and Marie-Therese Walter only 24. Many believe that La Reve was finished in one sitting on the afternoon of January 24th, 1932. The iconic painting is widely recognized for the arousing ambiance that it generates through the erotic content encapsulated inside it. The Spanish maestro painted this with an intentional modesty of form; plainer outlines upon a few bright, well-contrasted colors. American casino tycoon, Steve Wynn set out to sell this painting to prodigious painting collector, Steven Cohen in 2006. This deal was soon to be dropped because of La Reve being accidently damaged by Wynn. However, after a splendid set of amends being done (making it good as new), it was still sold to Steven Cohen privately in march 2013 for a breath taking 155 million dollars! It is the second most expensive painting ever to be sold.