Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, and stage designer who is considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. He co-founded the Cubist movement, an avant-garde art style that revolutionized modern art.

What is Cubism?

Cubism is an artistic movement in which objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form. Instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint or angle, Cubists represented them from multiple viewpoints at once. This made it possible to create a more dynamic and complex representation of reality.

The Evolution of Picasso’s Style

Picasso’s early paintings were primarily influenced by traditional European painting styles such as realism and impressionism. However, he soon became interested in non-traditional forms of expression found in African sculpture and masks.

In 1906, he met Georges Braque, a French artist who shared his interest in breaking away from traditional perspectives and finding new ways to represent objects. Together they developed the key principles of Cubism, which they termed “simultaneity”.

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Picasso's most famous early Cubist work is his painting "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon". It depicts five nude female figures that have been simplified into geometric shapes and sharp angles.

This painting not only marked a major departure from traditional representational art but also signified the beginning of what would become known as Analytic Cubism.

Synthetic Cubism

In Picasso's later years (1912-1919), he began to experiment with introducing non-traditional materials into his paintings such as newspapers and pieces of cloth. This technique came to be known as Synthetic Cubism.

His work during this phase became even more abstract; color was used more freely and forms became increasingly fragmented until they barely resembled their original subject matter.


Picasso’s contribution to the development of Cubism was instrumental. His innovative approach to art and techniques paved the way for future artists who explored further into abstraction.

Today, his work continues to inspire and influence contemporary art movements around the world.