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Important Terms, People, and Events

Important Terms, People, and Events

Important Terms, People, and Events

Important Terms, People, and Events

Important Terms, People, and Events

Important Terms, People, and Events


Analytical Cubism  -   · In The Path to Cubism, published in 1920, Kahnweiler first made the distinction between Analytical and Synthetic Cubism that later art historians borrowed and used. Kahnweiler used the term Analytical Cubism to characterize the work produced by Picasso and Braque from about 1908 to 1912. The idea behind their work of this period was an extension of Cézanne's; they wanted to paint not the appearance of the subject (after all, a camera can do that) but an analysis of the subject. Cubism has nothing to do with cubes; the work of this period instead looks like a shimmering group of facets, because appearance is fragmented into discontinuous planes. The word "analysis" comes from a Greek word meaning "to undo," "to loosen throughout," and so it is fitting that this style of painting aimed at an understanding of the subject by breaking the subject up into constituent parts. Picasso's Analytical Cubist work is mostly in very dull colors, browns and blacks and grays, so as not to distract the viewer's attention from the formal experiment. By comparing Braque's "Houses at L'Estaque" with a photograph of the view that he was painting, one can clearly see how Analytical Cubism renders a subject.  · The best way to understand what Analytical Cubism means is to look at the pictures; it is, after all, a visual concept. Picasso's development of the style over time shows what he was aiming for.
Art Nouveau -   · People began speaking of "Art Nouveau"–which means "New Art" in French–in the 1890s. Architects, who were now as likely to be using iron and glass as stone, felt that different building materials called for a new style of ornament; they were ready to draw on sources besides the Greek and Roman, which had been very nearly the only source of architectural inspiration since the Renaissance.  · Asian art was held up as a new model for European art. However, Art Nouveau did not just copy Asian examples, but transformed them into something new. The influence of the sweeping arabesques of Asian decoration encouraged architects to try to transpose these curves into iron. From Japanese art in particular, Europeans saw that design could be harmonious without being symmetrical. The super-curvaceous, asymmetrical designs of the Belgian architect Victor Horta (1861-1947) were wildly popular in the 1890s.  · The influence of Asian art was even more profound among painters and printmakers. Instead of aiming to present a convincing representation of reality, artists tried to paint pleasing patterns. "Decorative" was a word of high praise. Pictorial space was flattened and contrast sharpened, so that outlines and shapes took on a life of their own. The work of Aubrey Beardsley, inspired by Japanese prints, was well loved.
Assemblage -   · An assemblage is, simply, a sculpture that is "assembled" instead of carved or chiseled or cast. The sculpture consists of miscellaneous objects and materials glued or otherwise stuck together, like a three-dimensional collage. Picasso's "Guitar" (1912) is a good example.
Avant-garde -   · "Avant-garde" is French for "advance guard." The term describes how certain groups of artists since the mid-nineteenth century have thought of themselves as plunging bravely into the future, ahead of the laggards of mainstream society. It is difficult to pinpoint the origin of the phrase; an early example of its use, in a French essay from 1845 on the role of the artist, gives a good sense of its meaning (the pompous tone is also quite typical): Art, the expression of society, manifests, in its highest soaring, the most advanced social tendencies: it is the forerunner and therevealer. Therefore, to know whether art worthily fulfills itsproper mission as initiator, whether the artist is truly of theavant-garde, one must know where Humanity is going, what the destinyof the human race is...
Blue Period -   · Towards the end of 1901, Picasso started painting entirely in shades of blue; his subject matter was appropriately melancholy–emaciated vagrants and old prostitutes. He continued painting in this style until the end of 1904, when rose tones began to dominate his palette.
Collage -   · "Collage" is French for "gluing," and refers to making pictures by pasting together scavenged scraps (like old newspapers, photographs, pieces of cloth, whatever) instead of drawing or painting. Picasso's "Still Life with Chair Caning" (1912) introduced the practice into the fine arts, although, strictly speaking, he did not invent it: the technique is found in nineteenth-century folk art. Picasso, however, was the first to see its possibilities in a modern context.
Cubism  -   · Cubism was a new style of painting–often divided into two main phases or tendencies, Analytical and Synthetic–invented by Picasso and Braque. Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" (1907), which took "primitive" art as its inspiration, cleared the way for this radical redefinition of painting. Other pieces by Picasso in 1907, such as "Mother and Child," show how the influence of African masks moved him in a proto-Cubist direction.  · By October 1907, the poet Apollinaire had introduced Picasso to Braque, a young painter extremely devoted to Cézanne. Together the two developed Cubism, beginning in 1908. Their partnership and cooperative development of Cubism was disrupted by the outbreak of World War I in August, 1914. Picasso's last major purely Cubist work was his "Three Musicians" of 1921; afterwards, his interests turned towards Surrealism, politics, and the old masters. All of Picasso's later works engaged in clear dialogue with Cubism, but did so as they would with an already-developed, complete style–that is, they did not try to reshape or rework Cubism, simply referencing it and leaving it intact.
Fascism -   · Fascism arose in the social disorder and nationalist discontent in Italy after World War I. The word was first used by the political party founded by Mussolini, who ruled Italy from 1922 until defeat in World War II, but it is used more generally to describe right-wing totalitarianism, such as that of Hitler's Germany and Franco's Spain. Picasso was very involved emotionally in the Spanish Civil War and sold work to benefit the Spanish Republic; one of his most iconic works, "Guernica" (1937), was commissioned by the Spanish Republic and represents the barbarity of a Fascist attack on the town of Guernica. Picasso's embrace of Communism was probably an effort to voice his rejection of Fascism as loudly as possible.
Fauvist  -   · In 1905 a group of young painters exhibited in Paris. They began to be called "Les Fauves," or "the wild beasts" because they used such savagely bright colors and free brushstrokes and disregarded all the traditional rules of illusionistic rendering. They were not really so very wild; their compositions aimed towards more at decoration than at revolution. Georges Braque was a member; later, explaining the decline of the Fauve movement, he remarked, "you can't remain forever in a state of paroxysm." The dull colors of Analytical Cubism were a sort of counter-movement to the wild colors of Fauvism. Henri Matisse became the most well known of the group and, later, perhaps the most famous artist of the century besides Picasso.
Fin-de-siecle -   · "Fin-de-siecle" means "end of the century" in French. The term is used to describe the 1890s and a particular atmosphere of decadence, like that palpable in Art Nouveau, especially in the work of Aubrey Beardsley.
Illusionistic -   · A painting or drawing is illusionistic if it tries to create the illusion of being what it represents. For example, a painting of a landscape might look almost like a window, looking out onto a view, or a plaster wall might be painted to look like marble, or the shell of a lobster might be rendered in such minute detail that it almost fools the eye. When one praises a painting for "looking very realistic," one is praising the skill of the artist in creating illusionistic effects.
Impressionist -   · The Impressionists were a loose group of late-nineteenth-century French painters who painted casual, everyday scenes of middle-class life with bright colors laid on rapidly, almost hastily. Some of the best known include Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro. While the Impressionists' work became extremely popular in the twentieth century–a museum show would be an almost guaranteed blockbuster–they were outcasts in the art world of their own time. One critic wrote in 1876: An exhibition has just been opened at Durand-Ruel whichallegedly contains paintings. I enter and my horrified eyes beholdsomething terrible. Five or six lunatics, among them a woman, have joined together and exhibited their works. I have seen peoplerock with laughter in front of these pictures, but my heart bled whenI saw them. These would-be artists call themselves revolutionaries,"Impressionists." They take a piece of canvas, color and brush, daub a few patches of paint on it at random, and sign the whole thing with their name.
Minotaur  -   · In Greek mythology, the Minotaur was a monster with the head of a bull and body of a man, born from a mating between the queen of Crete and a white bull. The monster was confined to a maze built by the master craftsman Daedalus. Athens had to make a yearly sacrifice of seven boys and seven girls for the Minotaur to devour, until the creature was finally slain by the hero Theseus.
Modernism  -   · When we say that something is modern, we usually mean only that it is up-to- date, of the moment, the latest thing. The word modern has been used in this sense for centuries and centuries, and we still use it this way. For example, if we install new appliances in the kitchen, we might say that we had modernized it. However–and this is where things get tricky–artists in the early twentieth century had such an acute sense of themselves as up-to-date, of- the-moment, the latest thing, that the word "modern" stuck to them. And so, strangely, "modern" has come to describe a historical period that has passed. Sometimes museums have one curator for "modern" art, roughly defined as that produced in the first half of the twentieth century, and another for "contemporary" art, meaning art produced since 1950 or so. To avoid confusing the contradictory meanings of the word "modern," one can use the word "modernist" to describe the art of the historical period from 1900 to 1950; this way, one can still describe one's kitchen as "modern," and signify that one has installed a new dishwasher–and not a Picasso print.
Neo-classicism  -   · In art, classicism refers to the style of Greco-Roman antiquity–white marble sculptures of naked heroes, red-and-black pottery, ruins with columns, etc. Since the Renaissance, the ancient world has been a continuous source of inspiration for European art and architecture; thus banks in American cities are often made to look like Greek temples, for example. Art that is not in fact ancient and Greco-Roman, but is inspired by or made to imitate it, is called neo-classical.
Old Masters  -   · Distinguished, canonical European artists from the period from about 1500s through the early 1700s, especially the painters who are in every art history textbook, are called old masters.
Papier Collé -   · "Papier collé" is French for "glued paper" and refers to collages which use not only found scraps but also invented shapes cut from blank paper. Georges Braque invented this technique and shared it with Picasso in 1912.
Salon  -   · The Salon was an annual exhibition of art works chosen by jury and presented by the French Academy since 1737. It later became a more generic term for a large art exhibition featuring multiple artists.
Surrealist  -   · Surrealism was an literary and art movement officially founded in Paris by André Breton with his Manifeste du surréalisme in 1924. The movement celebrated weirdness for weirdness's sake and held that the unconscious, combined with chance, was the source of art; thus, hypothetically, the purest Surrealism was achieved by psychic automatism, by letting the brush wander over the paper without conscious control. Most of the most important Surrealist writers were friends of Picasso's, including Louis Aragon, Paul Éluard, and Jean Cocteau. The most famous Surrealist image, which captures the obsessive alternate reality that the Surrealists were trying to enter, is the Spanish painter Salvador Dali's "The Persistence of Memory" (1931.)
Symbolism  -   · Symbolism was mostly a literary movement, never officially organized–perhaps it was actually more a contagious mood than anything else–although certain visual artists are often associated with it. The Symbolists sprang up first in late nineteenth-century France, rebelling against the predominant naturalism and realism of their time. They wanted to express by suggestion rather than by direct statement, liking to give everything an enigmatic air. Symbolism first developed in poetry, where it spawned free verse. Forefathers included the poets Baudelaire, Verlaine, and Rimbaud; practitioners included Laforgue, Moréas, and Régnier. The Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin is perhaps the most well known Symbolist painter; his pictures are like allegories without keys, drenched in melancholy and mystery. His paintings exist more to conjure up a certain mood than to convey any idea. Other artists working in this vein include Odilon Redon and Gustave Moreau. The Surrealists drew heavily on the Symbolists.
Synthetic Cubism  -   · In "The Path to Cubism" (1920), Kahnweiler designates as Synthetic Cubism Braque's and Picasso's work after around 1912. Typically both more playful and more colorful than Analytical Cubism, Synthetic Cubism was based on the new techniques of the collage and the papier collé. Even when there were no actual pasted scraps involved, the technique of collage, with its sharp edges and stylistic discontinuities, still left its marks. Picasso's rather jazzy "Three Musicians" (1921), his last major Synthetic Cubist work, is all oil paint on canvas, but one can see that, at this point, Picasso painted like a collage; the shapes are flat and sharp-edged, as if they were cut paper. The pattern on the outfit of the guitar-player in the center is flat; rather than mimicking the way in which patterned fabric curves over the body, Picasso creates the effect of a cut-out piece of patterned paper pasted right onto the canvas. The incongruity of the small detail of the musical notes on the score held by the musician to the right with the extreme simplification and lack of detail throughout most of the painting is also typical of collage.


Spanish Civil War -  At the time of the Spanish Civil War, Spain had been Europe's backwards backwater for over a century. The monarchy had been overthrown rather quietly in 1931, and Spain was governed by a liberal, modernizing republican government. This government moved against the privileges of the Catholic Church and did some small-scale land reform, which was much too little to satisfy the leftists but was enough to make the priests, landowners, and former royalists very angry. The rightists took over the government in 1933 and were quite brutal towards the Catalans and unionists. By the time of the general elections of 1936, the line between left and right was clearly drawn and tension ran high. Leftists joined together in a Popular Front against the rightists–the priests, the landowners, the former royalists and the Fascists, known in Spain as the Falangists. The Popular Front won a narrow victory but the right-leaning army, led by General Francisco Franco, decided to take over the country. Very bloody civil war ensued, complicated by the intervention of Hitler and Mussolini on Franco's side and of Stalin on the republicans' side, until 1939, when Franco emerged victorious, crushing the leftists.
World War I  -  World War I, 1914-18, sprung from imperialistic, territorial, and economic rivalry among the great powers of Europe, was horribly bloody; the suffering was further compounded because it all seemed perfectly senseless, the product of violent nationalism and complicated, distant diplomatic maneuvers that had nothing to do with the common people who ended up fighting and dying. Poison gas and large-scale trench warfare were used for the first time. The Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919 after an armistice in 1918, imposed harsh reparations on Germany which led to more rancor, and, eventually, World War II. The generation of artists active in the 1920s (including the Surrealists) was marked by a disgust at the older generation, for having dragged them into such disgusting brutality, similar to that which stirred up the anti-war movement of the 1960s and '70s in the United States.
World War II  -  After World War I, a defeated Germany, disappointed Italy, and ambitious Japan all became extremely militaristic and nationalistic. War broke out, after a long period of extreme tension, with the German invasion of Poland in 1939. German forces swept through France in 1940; armistice was signed on June 22 and the Vichy regime, a Fascist government that served as the Germans' tool, was set up. Picasso and other artists and writers managed to survive in Occupied Paris until the city was freed by the Allies in August, 1944, after the landing at Normandy, but it was a very dark time. Some of Picasso's friends, such as Sartre and Aragon, worked in the resistance against the occupying German forces. Picasso's post-war embrace of Communism was probably all the more ardent because he had experienced the Nazi Occupation.


José Ruiz Blasco -  Blasco, 1838-1913, was Picasso's father and first teacher. He eked out a living for his family by teaching at various provincial art schools. Picasso and his father never got along very well; while still a mere child, the son already overshadowed the father's modest talent, a fact which Blasco probably found hard to take. Picasso later distanced himself further from his father by referring to himself solely by his mother's maiden name.
Guillaume Apollinaire -  Apollinaire, 1880-1918, was a French poet and avant-garde leader. Influenced by the Symbolists before him and their technique of free verse, he worked in a casual lyricism blending modern and traditional images. His best-known poems were published in Alcools (1913) and Calligrammes (1918). His play Les Mamelles de Tirésias (1918) exhibited aspects of Surrealism before Surrealism officially existed. Good friends with both Picasso and Braque, he gave them critical support by writing Les Peintres cubistes (1913).
Louis Aragon -  Aragon, 1897-, was a French writer, considered one of the leaders of Surrealism in literature, and a leader in the French resistance. His novel Le Paysan de Paris (1926) evoked the secret Paris, of flea markets and forgotten streets, treasured by the Surrealists. After a trip to the USSR in 1931, he abandoned Surrealism for Marxism and became one of the leading spokesmen for Communism in Western Europe.
Georges Braque -  Braque, 1882-1963, was a French painter and, along with Picasso, the inventor of Cubism. Before being introduced to Picasso by Apollinaire in 1907, Braque had worked with the Fauvists. A life-long devotee of Cézanne, he realized the radical formal possibilities that lay waiting to be unpacked inside "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," although he was also horrified by that painting's ugly intensity. Braque was a more careful and painstaking soul than Picasso. In 1908, he painted his response to "Les Demoiselles," a comparatively timid piece called "Grand Nu" ("Large Nude"). From there on out, however, he and Picasso were "roped together like mountaineers," locked together in one of the most productive partnerships of art history, as they together invented Cubism. In 1911, Braque led the way by introducing stenciled lettering onto his painting, pointing the way towards collage. Badly injured in World War I, he afterwards shied away from the harshness of early Cubism and painted mostly still-lifes in a curvier, more graceful style.
André Breton -  Breton, 1896-1966, was a French writer best known as the founder and chief theorist of Surrealism. He had studied neuropsychology and was one of the first in France to take notice of Freud. He experimented with automatic writing, put out a batch of Surrealist manifestos in the twenties and thirties, and founded several Surrealist journals, including Minotaure. His most famous work–besides organizing the most tightly-run avant-garde of the century–was the experimental novel Nadja (1928). In the painting "Rendez-vous of Friends," a gentle caricature of the group by the Surrealist artist Max Ernst, Breton is the one with the red cloak, bestowing his blessings with a pontifical gesture on Paul Éluard, Louis Aragon, and the rest of the gang.
Albert Camus -  Camus, 1913-1960, was a French writer born in Algiers. Like Sartre and de Beauvoir, he joined the French resistance; often he is also called, along with them, an Existentialist, but he always denied the validity of the label. He was briefly a Communist. His lucid prose style is evident in works like his essay, The Myth of Sisyphus (1942) and his novels The Stranger (1942) andThe Plague (1947). He won the Nobel Prize in 1957.
Carles Casagemas -  Casagemas, 1880-1901, was a Catalan painter Picasso met when he was a teenager hanging out at Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona. The two became tight friends. Picasso was extremely upset by his suicide in Paris in 1901, while Picasso was in Madrid, and dedicated several paintings to his memory. In his major Blue Period painting, "La Vie" (1903), Picasso first painted the male figure as a self-portrait but later gave it the features of Casagemas.
Paul Cézanne -  Cézanne, 1839-1906, was a key figure–perhaps the key figure–in the revolution away from the illusionistic conventions of the Renaissance in modern painting. He went to Paris in 1861, where he came to know the Impressionists. In his paintings, particularly in his landscapes, he abolished traditional perspective and painted from several viewpoints at once, expressing a shifting, questioning gaze. Living in seclusion in the south of France, Cézanne invented a new painting to express the intertwining of the seeing eye and what it sees, subject and object. His influence on Cubism was essential; it would not have happened without him. Braque, in particular, adored and tried to base his own work upon Cézanne's. However, it's important to keep in mind that Cézanne, who died in 1906, did not paint as he did in order to launch Cubism; he would not have imagined it and he probably would not have liked it, especially when it turned towards the more abstract. He was intensely interested in the relativity of vision, not in abstraction; the two ideas are related, but not equivalent. Cézanne was always firmly grounded in the physical world.
Jean Cocteau -  Cocteau, 1889-1963, was a French writer, visual artist, and filmmaker. He began to court Picasso's friendship in 1916; he was working on a ballet, Parade, for the Ballets Russes and wanted Picasso's collaboration. His work is pervaded by the fantastic; during the 1920s, prime time for Surrealism, he became an avant-garde leader. His work includes the novel Les Enfants Terribles (1929), the plays Orphée (1926) and La Machine infernale (1934), Surrealist renditions of the Orpheus and the Oedipus myths, respectively, and the film Beauty and the Beast (1946)– not the animated version.
Simone de Beauvoir -  De Beauvoir, 1908-, was a French philosopher and writer and Sartre's best friend. With Sartre, de Beauvoir was a leading exponent of Existentialist philosophy. Her most famous work is The Second Sex, a profound analysis of the status of women and the genesis of modern feminism.
Serge Diaghilev -  Diaghilev, 1872-1929, was a Russian ballet impresario and art critic. He took a company of Russian dancers to Paris in 1909 that became the famous Ballet Russes. His principles of asymmetry, perpetual motion, and the unity of dance, music, and scenery revolutionized dance. He had a terrific eye for collaborators, working with all the best dancers, including Pavlova and Nijinsky, composers, including Stravinsky and Strauss, and set designers, including, of course, Picasso.
El Greco -  El Greco (1541?-1614)–actually Domenikos Theotokopoulos, but El Greco ("The Greek") for short–was a painter who was born on the Greek island of Crete and settled to work in Toledo, Spain. His work boldly elongates figures and distorts landscapes, for maximum effect. The result is feverish, visionary rapture. Picasso first saw and loved his work as a teenager at the Prado in Madrid; the Catalan modernists who he got to know in Barcelona were also big El Greco fans.
Paul Éluard -  Éluard, 1895-1952, was a French poet and another leading Surrealist. His books of poetry include Mourir de ne pas mourir (1924) and, with Breton, L'Immaculée Conception (1930). He was an ardent leftist and a Communist Party member from 1942 on. He was one of Picasso's closest friends from 1936 until his death, and an important source of stability for Picasso when Picasso's personal life, especially with the women, was in turmoil.
Francisco Franco -  Franco, 1892-, was the general who led the military to victory against the Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War; once that was done, with Hitler's and Mussolini's help, he established himself as a Fascist dictator. Picasso's caricature of him, "The Dream and Lie of Franco" (1937) was sold to benefit the Spanish Republic.
Sigmund Freud -  Freud, 1856-1939, was an Austrian psychiatrist and founder of psychoanalysis. He gave us the terms and concepts of oral fixation, the Oedipal complex, anal- retentiveness, penis envy, defense mechanisms, castration anxiety, the unconscious, the ego, the id, the superego, and so forth. His emphasis on the workings of the unconscious as revealed in dreams, as well as his analyses of Greek myths which make them relevant in the modern world, was a major influence on the Surrealists.
Françoise Gilot -  Gilot, 1921-, was a young painter Picasso met and seduced in 1943. The two began living together in 1946; they had two children, Claude (b. May 15, 1947) and Paloma (b. April 19, 1949). Picasso was most active in the Communist Party during the span of this relationship. Gilot, ambitious and sick of living in Picasso's shadow, left him and took the children in 1953. Picasso, although he had several artist-mistresses–as well as Gilot, there was Olivier and Maar–was always dismissive of women artists. For him, women were, as he famously remarked, either "goddesses or doormats." Gilot, it seems, preferred leaving him to becoming a "doormat" ex-muse.
Julio González -  Picasso met González, 1876-1942, in 1902. Like Picasso, the Spanish sculptor González settled in Paris at around the turn of the century. When they met up to work together in 1928, González's metalworking expertise allowed Picasso to realize large-scale sculptures for the first time; González became Picasso's most important collaborator besides Braque. González was an important sculptor in his own right, a maker of ingenious semi-abstractions based on the human figure. Some of his work is in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Eva Gouel -  Picasso struck up a liaison with Eva Gouel in the autumn of 1911 and commemorated her presence in his life by putting the words "ma jolie" ("my pretty"), taken from a popular song, in his canvases. Picasso was devastated by her death in 1915.
Mathias Grünewald -  Grünewald, a German painter of the early sixteenth century, is a complete mystery; we have no biographical information on him whatsoever, only some wonderful paintings. The altarpiece that he made for the Alsatian village of Isenheim in 1515 is an outstanding work; its central panel, "The Crucifixion," a moving rendering of the Man of Sorrows, inspired Picasso to do a radical re- make, the precursor of the old-master remixes which he turned out at such a tremendous rate in his old age.
Max Jacob -  Jacob, 1876-1944, was a French novelist, poet, and painter and a dear friend of Picasso's during the early, hungry years at the Bateau-Lavoir. His dreamy work was related to both Symbolism and Surrealism. Born into a Jewish family, Jacob converted to Roman Catholicism in 1914 and became a monk in a Benedictine monastery in 1921. Some have suggested that the monkish figure on the right in "Three Musicians" represents him (and that the Harlequin in the middle stands for Picasso, and that the Pierrot on the left is Apollinaire). Jacob died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1944.
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler -  Kahnweiler was an art dealer who backed Braque and Picasso during the development of Cubism. The Path to Cubism, a book he wrote in 1920, publicizing his discoveries, continues to affect how we think about Cubism; Kahnweiler invented the terms Analytical and Synthetic Cubism, which are still in common use.
Olga Koklova -  Picasso married the dancer Koklova, of the Ballet Russes, in July, 1918. She had social ambitions; it was during their marriage that Picasso first started living in swell apartments and going to fashionable resorts. The two had a son, Paulo (b. February 4, 1921). Unfortunately, the marriage soon began to crumble; the two considered and rejected divorce in 1935 and decided to separate. Koklova's behavior later became extreme. She died in 1955.
María Picasso Lopez  -  Picasso was very fond of his mother and chose to go by her name instead of his father's. However, we know very little about her; it seems she was physically delicate, with a strong personality.
Dora Maar -  Dora Maar, 1909-, was a Surrealist painter and photographer and Picasso's mistress. Their affair began in 1936, overlapping with his liaison with Marie- Thérese Walter. Since she was brought up in Argentina, the two could speak Spanish to each other. She photographed the progress of "Guernica" (1937), showing the different stages of the work, and participated in the private reading of Picasso's play Desire Caught by the Tail. With the end of the war came the end of their relationship; later, she had a nervous breakdown.
Henri Matisse -  Matisse, 1869-1954, a French painter, sculptor, and lithographer is perhaps Picasso's main rival for most lauded artist of the twentieth century. It is no wonder that Picasso, when introduced to Matisse by Gertrude Stein in 1906, was originally mistrustful of and competitive with the older artist. Towards the end of Matisse's life, however, the two became friends. Matisse began painting in 1890; studying under the Symbolist Gustave Moreau, he met many painters who would later become his fellow Fauvists. In 1905, he exhibited with the Fauvists at the Salon d'Automne. One Fauvist remarked that "One can talk about the Impressionist school, because they held certain principles. For us there was nothing like that; we merely thought their colors were a bit dull"–Matisse would continue with the bright colors and total lack of interest in the political, ideological, and theoretical aspects of art that characterized the Fauves throughout his life. He was interested in pattern and ornament, and accordingly flattened out his paintings to highlight this aspect. Singularly serene, Matisse seemed to be the embodiment of Mediterranean joie de vivre. He called one of his early pieces "Luxe, Calme et Volopté" (French for "Luxury, Calm, and Pleasure"), and indeed, this phrase seems to fit his life and work.
Joan Miró -  Miró, 1893-, was a Spanish Surrealist painter. He studied in Barcelona and then moved to Paris in 1919, where he fell in with the Surrealists. His paintings use pure colors and shapes derived from the free forms of psychic automatism.
Edvard Munch -  Munch, 1863-1944, was a Norwegian Symbolist painter and print-maker and one of the most angst-ridden artists of all time; he said that he heard all around him and wanted to express "the scream of nature." His most famous work is, indeed, "The Scream" (1895).
Fernande Olivier -  Once Picasso settled into Paris, in 1904, he struck up an affair with another young artist, Fernande Olivier. When his career began to pick up speed, the couple was able to move out of the Bateau-Lavoir into an apartment with a maid near the Place Pigalle, where they held an open house every Sunday. In 1911, they split up and Picasso fell in love with Eva Gouel.
Manuel Pallarés -  Picasso became friends with Pallarés when he was a teenager studying at La Lonja in Barcelona, and the two shared a studio. In June 1898, the friends set out to Pallarés's hometown, the village of Horta de Ebro. Staying there for eight months, Picasso liked to paint local scenes. He would go there again in the summer of 1909 with Fernande; there, inspired by Cézanne, his painting took a decisive turn in the development towards what would become Cubism. Later, Picasso would often repeat, "Everything I know, I learned in Pallarés's village."
Nicolas Poussin -  Poussin, 1594-1665, was a French painter who settled in Rome to soak up the dignity and harmony of ancient Roman art. After making paraphrases and variations of Poussin's "Bacchanale" in 1944–picking up again on what he had done to Grünewald's "Crucifixion" in 1930–Picasso worked for much of the rest of his life working with the old masters.
Romain Rolland -  Rolland, 1866-1944, was a French novelist, playwright, and biographer who established his reputation with the 10-volume novel Jean-Christophe (1904-12). A committed pacifist, he chose to spend much of his life in Switzerland.
Jacqueline Roque -  Roque was Picasso's last love. He met Jacqueline, a young divorcée with a small daughter, in 1953, the year that Françoise left him. In 1955 they moved together to a villa called La Californie, at Cannes; then, looking for someplace quieter, they moved in 1958 to the Château de Vauvenargues. When Olga died in 1955, Picasso was left free to marry again; Jacqueline and Picasso had a quiet ceremony in 1961 and stayed together until his death in 1973. Later she committed suicide.
Jaime Sabartés -  The Catalan poet Sabartés (1881-1968) was part of the group that met at Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona and quickly became good friends with the teenage Picasso. Decades later, in 1935, confronting personal and artistic crises, Picasso invited his old friend Sabartés to stay with him as his secretary and business manager. Sabartés was happy to accept; the friendship between the two was true and enduring.
Jean-Paul Sartre -  Sartre, 1905-, was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, leader of the resistance against the occupying German forces during World War II, famously tight friends with Simone de Beauvoir and the leading exponent of Existentialism. Some of his best-known works include his first novel, Nausea, the play No Exit, and the absolutely gigantic philosophical treatise, Being and Nothingness.
Erik Satie -  Satie, 1866-1925, was a completely and wonderfully bizarre French composer who worked in a restrained, abstract, deceptively simple style. He often worked with Cocteau.
Stalin -  Joseph Stalin's (1879-1953) real name was Dzhugashvili, but he called himself Stalin, meaning "man of steel." He was the leader of the USSR from the time of Lenin's death in 1924 until his own. Seeking to consolidate socialism in Russia, he made the Communist state extremely repressive and his own dictatorship absolute. (See the SparkNote Biography onStalin for more information.)
Gertrude Stein -  Stein, 1874-1946, was an American writer and extremely influential patron of the arts. Leo Stein was her brother and fellow patron. From 1903 on she lived chiefly in Paris. Her best-known work is her Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933), which is her own autobiographical work presented as that of her secretary-lover Toklas. She encouraged and bought the works of Picasso and Matisse; she felt that she understood Picasso very well. As she wrote in her book about him, called simply Picasso and published in 1938, "I was alone at this time in understanding him, perhaps because I was expressing the same thing in literature, perhaps because I was an American and...Spaniards and Americans have a kind of understanding of things which is the same." Inspired by Picasso's example to try to do for literature what he had done for painting, she called her book of poetry, Tender Buttons (1914) a series of "cubist" verbal portraits.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec -  Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864-1901, was a cripple who left the aristocracy to record the decadent cabaret life of 1890s Paris. Inspired by the Japanese–by their colors, their simplification of form, their asymmetry, their sophistication–he made brilliant lithographic posters for dance-hall acts as well as painted studies of the loose life inside.
Diego Velázquez -  Velázquez, 1599-1660, was the painter for the Spanish court in Madrid. Picasso saw his work hanging in the Prado when he was very young and turned back to it when he was much older, in his series based around Velázquez's wonderfully complex masterpiece, "Las Meninas" ("The Maids of Honor").
Marie-Thérese Walter -  Walter was a young girl when Picasso introduced himself to her in 1927. It must have been love at first sight for him; as she tells the story, "When I met Picasso, I was seventeen. I was an innocent child. I knew nothing–about life, about Picasso. Nothing. I had been shopping in the Galeries Lafayette, and Picasso saw me coming out of the metro. He just took me by the arm and said: 'I am Picasso! You and I are going to do great things together.'" The two fell very much in love and her presence permeated his art during the time of their liaison. As one of Picasso's friends said, "At no other moment in his life was his painting so undulating, all sinuous curves, rolling arms, and swirling hair." Two portraits of Marie-Thérese dozing, both filled with bright, pure colors, smooth lines, and an atmosphere of serene sensuality more typical of Matisse than of Picasso, typify his work under her museship. She gave birth to a daughter, Maïa, in 1935. However, the relationship was not as untroubled as it may appear in these paintings; Picasso met Dora Maar in 1936 and so the liaisons overlapped and Picasso shuttled back and forth. Later, Marie- Thérese killed herself.

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