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Most Memorable of Picasso Quotes - The Ultimate List

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May 7, 2016

We can all agree that Pablo Picasso was a genius, in every possible meaning of this word. And with this list of Picasso quotes we are presenting here, you will probably be completely convinced of that fact. He is, without any doubt, one of the most significant and famous painters of the 20th Century. Still, many would argue that he was one of the most important artists of the century. Of course, when we speak about Picasso’s ingenuity, we have his art in our mind. But, it’s not only his art that influenced so many contemporary art movements – it’s also his personality, way of life and philosophy. Behind the famous Cubist paintings, his collages and assemblages, there is a brilliant mind – a mind capable of understanding the world, reality and contemporaneity perfectly. He wasn’t a “nice guy”, many would say – he was often stubborn, impulsive, direct. The list of his friends contains famous artists, writers, actors; but, he also had a lot of enemies, precisely because of his character. His private life was marked with intrigues, love affairs, scandals. Still, no one can deny his ingenuity. So, read some of the most memorable Picasso quotes, and you will see what we are talking about.

Scroll down, and enjoy some of the most memorable Picasso quotes

Editors’ Tip: Picasso: A Biography

Everything about Picasso, except his physical stature, was on an enormous scale. No painter of the first rank has been so awe-inspiringly productive. No painter of any rank has made so much money. A few painters have rivaled his life span of ninety years, but none has attracted so avid, so insatiable, a public interest. Patrick O’Brian knew Picasso sufficiently well to have a strong sense of his personality. The man that emerges from this scholarly, passionate, and brilliantly written biography is one of many contradictions: hard and tender, mean and generous, affectionate and cold, private despite the relish of his fame. In his later years he professed communism, yet in O’Brian’s view retained to the end of his life a residual Catholic outlook.

Editors’ Tip: A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932

This is the third volume of John Richardson’s magisterial Life of Picasso. Here is Picasso at the height of his powers in Rome and Naples, producing the sets and costumes with Cocteau for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and visiting Pompei where the antique statuary fuel his obsession with classicism; in Paris, creating some of his most important sculpture and painting as part of a group that included Braque, Apollinaire, Miró, and Breton; spending summers in the South of France in the company of Gerald and Sara Murphy, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald. These are the years of his marriage to the Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova—the mother of his only legitimate child, Paulo—and of his passionate affair with Marie-Thérèse Walter, who was, as well, his model and muse.

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Good Artists Steal

Throughout his life, Pablo Picasso had a huge number of friends-fellow artists. His most notable friendship was with Andre Breton, with whom he shared similar political views (but, later on, they disagreed on Stalin’s politics). He was also a close friend with Marc Chagall. Picasso also knew Salvador Dali, however, their relationship was always a bit tense – they disagreed on both art issues, as well as on political views, particularly after the end of the Spanish Civil War. So, what Picasso quotes are memorable when it comes to the artists in general?

Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.

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About Art

During his lifetime, Picasso has changed a number of art styles, but movements as well. His biography can be divided into the Blue Period, Rose Period, Cubism, Crystal Period, Surrealism, and so on. And thousands of books can be written about his oeuvre. But, how Picasso understood the art? What did he think about abstract art? What was art at all, in his opinion?

There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.

Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.

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On Cubism

Pablo Picasso, as all art lovers know, is best-known as a co-founder of Cubism. As an early 20th Century avant-garde art movement, it revolutionized European painting and sculpture. The movement was pioneered by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Pablo Picasso’s 1907 painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon has often been considered a proto-Cubist work. Usually praised, Cubism was targeted with critics as well. Let’s see what Picasso said about Cubism!

“When we discovered Cubism, we did not have the aim of discovering Cubism. We only wanted to express what was in us.”

The goal I proposed myself in making cubism? To paint and nothing more… with a method linked only to my thought… Neither the good nor the true; neither the useful nor the useless.

Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?

Cubism is no different from any other school of painting. The same principles and the same elements are common to all. The fact that for a long time cubism has not been understood and that even today there are people who cannot see anything in it, means nothing. I do not read English, and an English book is a blank to me. This does not mean that the English language does not exist, and why should I blame anyone but myself if I cannot understand what I know nothing about?

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On Love and Women

Picasso’s personal life is known for many intrigues – it’s not a secret that he had a number of love affairs; simply, his life was quite turbulent. He had two spouses: Olga Khokhlova and Jacqueline Roque; however, he had a lot of mistresses. The most famous mistress of Picasso was Marie-Thérèse Walter who was also his model for years. Their relationship ended when Picasso moved on to his next mistress, artist Dora Maar.

There are only two types of women – goddesses and doormats.

Love is the greatest refreshment in life.

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Life Philosophy

Finally, what Pablo Picasso had to say about life in general. He was 91 when he died; his life was quite turbulent. With so many famous people that were part of his life, with so many women and children, popularity, even celebrity status – having all these facts in mind, what Picasso thought about life?

It takes a long time to become young.

Action is the foundational key to all success.

It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.

Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one’s bath like a lump of sugar.

All Images used for illustrative purposes only.