Old Masters of The Art World: Picasso (Early Age)

Do you know Picasso? Of course, you do (at least you heard of him), but actually he was a prodigy in terms of realism even at a very early age. My wife, Anna has already written about him, so check it out. Our perspectives are pretty different, so it can be interesting to read both.

Canines of The Art World: Pablo Picasso’s “Dog” (sometime between 1957-1973)

I can’t not mention this if I’m writing about art featuring dogs. Picasso is super famous for many paintings, but this one in particular is one of my favorites because of the story behind it. This is a painting of a dog named Lump (the German word for rascal). I’ve heard some people say that this was Picasso’s dog, but Lump actually belonged to Picasso’s friend named David Douglas Duncan.…

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Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in October, 1881, in Spain. The boy on the left in the picture is Picasso, and the girl on the right is his younger sister, Lola. His father, Don José Ruiz Blasco was originally a drawing teacher and a curator of a local museum. Being affected by him, Picasso started drawing and painting at 7 or 8 years old.


PICADOR was painted when Picasso was 8 years old. It was his first oil painting and he kept it thorough his lifetime. The way he captured the horse on the painting is quite impressive considering his age at the time. You can see the definition of horse’s muscle. The proportions of the figures are not quite perfect, but it is still amazing that most things on this painting can be recognized like, boots , a horse saddle, a jacket, a string from a hat, glasses on a man behind, and things like that.

STUDY FOR A TORSO 1893 – 1894

Looks at these! Just three years later, he drew these drawings. As you can see, 10-12 years old boy Picasso could capture the accurate proportion with subtle contour lines. And he did express a strong contrast and reflection in a shadow very subtlety to show realism. When he was 13 years old, his father pushed him to enroll in Barcelona Academy of Art. He finished drawing a nude model in a day for the examination even though he was given a month to do so.

Let’s see some of what young Picasso painted with artistic education.

Self Portrait (1986)
The Altarboy 1896

Portrait of Artist’s mother 1896

You can see how he improved his skills a lot in such a short time, can’t you? I think he made those when he was still 13- 14 years old.


Even though he did not devote himself heavily into religion, he created this religiously themed painting. This painting was made for attending an exhibition in 1986 with his father’s advice. Also, this was the first large-scale painting for Picasso. The girl on the front in this painting is his sister, Lola, and the guy next to her is his father, Don.


This was painted when he was 15 years old. And this piece is 197 x 249,5 cm, so it is a sorta gigantic painting (way bigger than me lol). Everything painted on this piece is amazingly done. The guy sitting on the chair is Picasso’s father. Like he has done in a study of torsos in 1893 – 1894, he used contrast quite well to express his countenance. He is checking the pulse of the female lying on the bed. And the way he painted the frame on the wall is quite similar to the techniques used to paint the frame in The Altarboy (1896). They are physically the most distant from any other objects/portrait, so are expressed more subtly than the others. However, at an exhibition in Madrid in 1897, critics did not like the hand of the patient. They pointed out that her hand was big like a glove from realism persepective.

Picasso in 1904

Later, as you know, he changed his direction toward more modern abstract paintings, leading into the “Blue Period (1901 – 1904)” & “Rose Period (1904 – 1906)”. However, Picasso himself seems happy about how his art turned out in the end. He left a famous saying to us: “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child”.

HiRO Williams (Artist)

11 thoughts on “Old Masters of The Art World: Picasso (Early Age)

  1. Very interesting information on Picasso! I am amazed at how impressive his paintings were at such a young age. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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