Pablo Picasso, in front of his painting "The Aficionado", 1912
His name is synonymous with 20th-century art, and this will remind you why. A bona fide child prodigy, Pablo Picasso (1881—1973) grew up to be one of the creators of cubism, one of art’s most explosively influential avant-garde movements. But that was just the beginning. For the next six and a half decades Picasso was a wildly successful, prolific, and often-controversial painter, sculptor, draftsman, printmaker, and theatrical designer. His grand passions—for beautiful women and art—led to a complicated personal life and an enormous body of work, countless exhibitions and awards, and an ever-growing bibliography.
Picasso still looms large in our world. He’s been portrayed in feature films by Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas. There are three European museums dedicated to preserving and displaying his work. Forty-six years after his death his erotic etchings continue to scandalize, and nine years ago a painting of his mistress Marie-Therese Walter set an auction record of 106.5 million.
Art historian Nancy G. Heller, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, explores the highlights of Picasso’s extraordinary career, examining the sociopolitical and cultural contexts in which he lived and worked. Through images of his works, she also discusses Picasso’s rich relationship to earlier art history and his continuing relevance for art lovers and emerging artists in the 21st century.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit