Paris Between the Wars – “P” is for Pablo Picasso

A2Z-BADGE 2016-smaller_zpslstazvib

Between 1919 and 1939, Paris experienced a cultural and intellectual boom. This blog will feature artists, writers, composers, musicians, and designers. Paris was at its cultural peak.

Picasso in 1908

Picasso in 1908

I can hear you now – finally, a name I recognize!  I hear you, and believe me, I’ve learned a lot by writing these blog posts, which is partly the intent of the A to Z Challenge (at least for me). I’ve deliberately kept these posts short so that you can soak up a tiny bit of knowledge in a short span of time – and presumably move on to other blogs.

So, Picasso. Born in Spain, died in Paris, one of the most widely-known painters of modern time. But more than a painter, Picasso also was a sculptor, printmaker, poet, playwright, and stage designer who lived most of his adult life in Paris. Among his most famous works is Guernica (1937), a portrayal of the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.




Asked to explain the painting, Picasso replied, “It isn’t up to the painter to define the symbols. Otherwise it would be better if he wrote them out in so many words! The public who look at the picture must interpret the symbols as they understand them.”

Immediate recognition comes by uttering just his last name, but Picasso was born (ready?) Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso. Sent to Spain’s foremost art school at the age of 16, he disliked formal instruction and stopped attending classes. He made his first trip to Paris at age 19 (1900). He befriended poet Max Jacob, and the two shared an apartment (one slept during the day, the other at night). Poor and cold, he often burned his work to keep warm.

Picasso remained in Paris during World War II, under German occupation. He was often harassed by the Gestapo, and during one search of his apartment, a Nazi officer pointed to the painting Guernica. “Did you do that?” the officer asked. “No,” said Picasso. “You did.”




I’m not a fan of Picasso’s work, but I admire him as an artist. I love what he says about interpretating paintings.

Being hungry, tired, and cold is more than enough to suffer for your creations. Harassment from the Nazis is above and beyond the art world! Paint Pablo Paint!!

I love Picasso! I wrote a paper in my Honors Art class on Guernica back in high school.

Great post, Martha!

Quarrel, wrangle, tiff, spat. Writers need not fight w/ #thesaurus.

Great post, Martha! Love his retort to the Gestapo officer. I think he was a genius.

This was interesting. I like Picasso – and didn’t realise he was born in Spain, I’ve made a note of that for future quizzes! I’m sure it’ll come up some time or other. It’s true of writing, too, isn’t it? That it isn’t up to the author to explain a poem or book, but it exists entirely separately to every person who reads it, and it’s up to them to interpret.

I love Picasso, and modern art in general. The soft oil pastels I use were also originally created for Picasso back in 1949.

YAYYYYY!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

What a name!!! What were his parents thinking? Or not. Not a fan of Picasso. I still complain about my travel companion making me spend a day at the Picasso Museum in Paris.

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