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Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) returns to Paris from Barcelona and decides to live and work permanently there. He lives in a tenement building called the Bateau-Lavoir at 13, rue de Ravignan.
Picasso meets Fernande Olivier, with whom he would live for nine years. She describes Picasso’s quarters in the Bateau-Lavoir when she first visits him: There was a mattress on four legs in one corner. A little iron stove, covered in rust with a yellow earthenware bowl on it, served for washing; a towel and a minute stub of soap lay on a whitewood table beside it. In another corner a pathetic little black-painted trunk made a pretty uncomfortable seat. A cane chair, easels, canvases of every size and tubes of paint were scattered all over the floor with brushes, oil containers and a bowl for etching fluid. There were no curtains. In the drawer of the table was a pet white mouse which Picasso tenderly cared for and showed to everybody. (Olivier 1964, p. 27).
Picasso meets the American writer Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo, both avid collectors of modern art who had lived in the city as expatriates since 1903. Picasso begins to paint a portrait of Gertrude Stein (completed 1906, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). The American painter Max Weber arrives in Paris and will stay for three years, during which he studies with Matisse and meets Picasso.
An exhibition of ancient Iberian sculpture excavated from Osuna in southern Spain is held at the Louvre Museum, Paris. Picasso responds strongly to its imagery in works such as Seated Nude and Standing Nude (1906, Philadelphia Museum of Art).
Picasso spends three months at Gósol near Andorra in the Spanish Pyrenees. Fernande Olivier later writes, “He lived for several months in a Catalan village above the Andorra valley, at Gósol, where he worked regularly and felt far healthier” (Olivier 1964, p. 94). The works he paints there, such as Woman with Loaves (1906, Philadelphia Museum of Art), have the pale terracotta tonality of the soil.
Upon his return from Spain, Picasso completes Portrait of Gertrude Stein and paints Self-Portrait with Palette (Philadelphia Museum of Art).
The death of Paul Cézanne on October 22 in Aix-en-Provence, France, is acknowledged by the showing of ten of his paintings at the Salon d’Automne.
A young German, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, opens a gallery on the rue Vignon near the Madeleine cathedral.
Picasso begins to work on the large canvas of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907, Museum of Modern Art, New York), based on a watercolor study (1907, Philadelphia Museum of Art). [1952-61-103] He finishes the painting in July.
Picasso meets Georges Braque (French, 1882–1963). The two work incredibly closely over the next several years, developing the coded visual language of Analytic Cubism seen in Picasso's Man with a Guitar (1912, Philadelphia Museum of Art).
A Cézanne memorial exhibition featuring fifty-six works opens at the Salon d’Automne.
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler buys Picasso’s work when he can afford it.
In his review of an exhibition of Braque’s work at Kahnweiler’s gallery, the critic Louis Vauxcelles uses the word “cubes” in reference to the artist’s paintings.
Picasso arrives in Barcelona with his girlfriend Fernande Olivier to visit his parents.
Picasso and Fernande move to a large and comfortable apartment at 11, boulevard de Clichy, Montmartre. She later writes:
He worked in a large, airy studio, which no one could enter without permission, where nothing could be touched and where, as usual, the chaos . . . had to be treated with respect.
Picasso ate his meals in a dining-room furnished with old mahogany furniture, where he was served by a maid in a white apron.
He slept in a peaceful room, on a low bed with heavy, square, brass ends.
Behind the bedroom, at the back, was a little drawing-room, with a sofa, a piano and a pretty Italian cabinet, inlaid with ivory, mother-of-pearl and shells, sent him by his father, along with several other beautiful old pieces of furniture. . . .
There were two windows, and if one leant out one could feel the sun and see beautiful trees and gardens (Olivier 1964, p. 135).
Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is reproduced for the first time, in the American magazine The Architectural Record.
Picasso leaves for Cadaqués, a small village on the Mediterranean.
Picasso and Fernande visit his parents in Barcelona.
An exhibition of Picasso’s work is held at Ambroise Vollard’s gallery; no catalogue seems to exist. Vollard, who had been buying works from Picasso since 1901, becomes disillusioned with his work in 1910—the year the artist paints his now-famous portrait of the dealer (The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow)—and stops purchasing his work.
Marc Chagall (French, born Belorussia, 1887–1985), who recently arrived in Paris from art school in Saint Petersburg, makes his monumental painting Half-Past Three (The Poet), whose prismatic composition reveals the influence of Cubism.
Braque sends Picasso a postcard from Le Havre, France, saying he will see him Thursday. Braque has begun to live with Marcelle Lapré, whom he will marry in 1912 but who is always known as Mme Braque.
Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery, 291, in New York presents the first exhibition of Picasso’s work in the United States. In the exhibition catalogue, a translation of an interview between the illustrator Marius de Zayas (Mexican, 1880–1961) and Picasso is published. The interview took place during the winter of 1910–11 for de Zayas’s father’s Spanish-language publication, América revista mensual ilustrada.
Picasso goes to Céret in the French Pyrenees.
Braque joins Picasso, and both begin to experiment with lettering in their work. Picasso writes to Kahnweiler that he has already shown Braque the whole region. He remains in Céret until early September (possibly September 4) before returning to Paris.
Jean Metzinger’s Tea Time (Woman with a Teaspoon) (1911, Philadelphia Museum of Art) is shown at the Salon d’Automne in Paris. The prominent art critic André Salmon dubs it “The Mona Lisa of Cubism.”
This is the probable date of the beginning of Picasso’s liaison with Marcelle Humbert (born Éva Gouel), whom he calls Éva (as well as “Ma Jolie”) to distinguish her from Mme Braque, who is also named Marcelle.
An exhibition of the work of the Italian Futurists, including Gino Severini’s La Modiste (The Milliner) (1910–11), is shown at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune. The accompanying text by artists Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo, Giacomo Balla, and Severini attacks the French Cubists. The exhibition closes on February 24.
Gertrude Stein buys Picasso’s The Architect’s Table (1912, Museum of Modern Art, New York), her first purchase without her brother Leo.
Picasso returns from an expedition with Braque to Le Havre (Cousins 1989, p. 389).
Picasso goes to Céret with Éva.
Picasso writes to Kahnweiler about sending him painting materials. His interest in decorators’ techniques is apparent in his request for stencils and combs for making faux bois, or wood-graining. The colors of paints he requests are white, ivory, black, burnt sienna, emerald green, Verona green, ultramarine blue, ocher, umber, vermilion, cadmium dark, and clear or preferably cadmium yellow. He already has cobalt purple and Peruvian ocher (1984–1985 Paris, pp. 165–166).
Picasso writes to Kahnweiler how much he loves Marcelle (Éva). He also says he has been working and has begun eight canvases. He adds, “I believe my painting has gained in robustness and clarity.” He is also curious to know whether the book on Cubism by Jean Metzinger and Albert Gleizes has appeared (1984–1985 Paris, p. 168).
In a notebook, now in the Musée national Picasso in Paris, Picasso writes in a characteristic mixture of French and Spanish, “trouver le equilibre entro le nature et votre imagination” (find the balance between nature and your imagination) (MP 1864, p. 40 v).
Picasso writes to Braque from Céret, “I get no letters except from you, and I’m very happy when you write me, as you well know” (Cousins 1989, p. 395).
The artist moves from Céret to Sorgues, where Braque joins him in late July.
Braque writes Kahnweiler, “Picasso and I are spending pleasant evenings by the fire,” and signs it “Wilburg Braque,” alluding to Wilbur Wright of the Wright brothers (1984–1985 Paris, p. 26).
Picasso writes to Kahnweiler that he has removed the wallpaper from one wall of the house he is renting in Sorgues and has painted a fresco in its place—a still life with his usual tribute to Éva as “Ma Jolie” (Cousins 1989, p. 402).
During Picasso’s absence from Paris, Braque makes the first papier collé, or collage, Fruit Dish and Glass.
The Salon de la Section d’Or exhibition opens at the Galerie de la Boétie in Paris, and includes Juan Gris’s Man in a Café (1912, Philadelphia Museum of Art). Gris was the only artist included in the exhibition who actually used the ideal mathematical proportions of the Golden Section to construct his compositions. The Salon d’Automne exhibition in the same month includes Albert Gleizes’s Man on a Balcony (Portrait of Dr. Théo Morinaud) (1912, Philadelphia Museum of Art). Gleizes and Jean Metzinger publish their treatise Du Cubisme, which defends Cubism in the face of hostile attacks from the press.
Picasso, who has returned to Paris, writes Braque in Sorgues, “I’ve been using your latest papery and powdery procedures” (Cousins 1989, p. 407).
Picasso writes to Braque, who had stayed longer in Sorgues and rescued Picasso’s fresco from his rented house, Les Clochettes. Picasso tells Braque that he has received the fresco, which Braque had removed, packed, and shipped carefully. It is oil on a whitewashed plaster wall transferred to canvas (Cousins 1989, p. 410).
As each artist challenges the other, Braque and Picasso enrich their works with other materials. Picasso creates constructions frequently made of relatively ephemeral materials such as paper and cardboard. The combinations are often visually beautiful and full of a joie de vivre, and animated by humor. Toward the very end of the year, Picasso employs newspapers in surprisingly large papiers collés.
Picasso sends a signed contract to Kahnweiler (as Braque also does) giving the dealer exclusive rights to buy his entire production. In the contract, the dealer specifies the prices he will pay. The contract lasts less than two years, until the outbreak of World War I in August 1914.
Picasso and Éva go to Barcelona, where they stay until January 21, 1913.
Picasso and Braque begin to develop what will be known as Synthetic Cubism, continuing to experiment with papier collé in works such as Picasso’s early 1913 collage, Bowl with Fruit, Violin, and Wineglass (Philadelphia Museum of Art).
Chaim Soutine (1893–1943), a Jewish painter from Lithuania, moves to Paris and works in relative obscurity until 1923, when the noted American art collector Dr. Albert C. Barnes purchases fifty-two of his expressionist paintings for his Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania.
Éva sends a postcard to Gertrude Stein to say that she and Picasso have settled in Céret.
In a letter to Kahnweiler, Picasso writes, “Max [Jacob] will be coming to Céret. Would you be kind enough to give him the money for the trip and also some pocket money for his expenses? Put it on my account” (1984–1985 Paris, p. 170).
Picasso writes to Braque, “I’ve been very worried about my father’s illness. He’s not doing very well” (Cousins 1989, p. 416).
Fernand Léger (French, 1881–1955) begins a series of works, all of which are entitled Contrast of Forms, shortly after giving a lecture at the Académie Wassilief in Paris. In this celebrated lecture, Léger argued for the independence of painting from its traditional role of representation and proposed instead that it should express the experience of living in a modern technological environment through nonrepresentational contrasts of lines, shapes, and colors.
Picasso’s father, José Ruiz Blasco, dies.
Picasso notifies friends of his father’s death. To Kahnweiler he writes, “I am announcing the death of my father last Saturday morning. You can imagine the state I am in” (1984–1985 Paris, p. 170).
Picasso is suffering from an illness that Éva describes to Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas as a “little typhoid fever” (Cousins 1989, p. 420).
Picasso writes to Kahnweiler that he and Éva had come back to Paris and found a studio with an apartment, 5 bis, rue Schoelcher, into which they will move in the fall (1984–1985 Paris, p.170). They return to Céret.
Picasso’s constructions are published in Les Soirées de Paris, a magazine edited by his friend Guillaume Apollinaire and underwritten by the wealthy Comte Étienne de Beaumont. The press is violently opposed to the works.
The first issue of the Italian Futurist publication Lacerba is published and includes two of Picasso’s papier collé still lifes (Daix 701, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; and Daix 702, private collection, Paris).
Picasso uses paint and sand to decorate six different versions of his Synthetic Cubist sculpture Glass of Absinthe (Philadelphia Museum of Art). The work is cast in bronze and incorporates a silver-plated absinthe spoon.
Picasso goes to Avignon with Éva; they will return to Paris mid-November.
Kahnweiler and his wife leave Paris on their annual holiday to Italy but, due to his German citizenship, they cannot return to Paris. They will live in Switzerland for the duration of World War I, and return to Paris in 1920. Kahnweiler is unable, however, to continue to support his artists.
At the Avignon railroad station, Picasso sees Braque and André Derain (French, 1880–1954) off for their military service, which he recognizes will end his close collaboration with Braque.
Germany declares war on France.
Picasso and Éva return to Paris after five months in Avignon.
On the back of a watercolor of an apple (Daix 801), Picasso writes: “Souvenir pour Gertrude [Stein] et Alice [B. Toklas] / Picasso / Noël 1914.” This painting was intended to be a consolation for Gertrude’s having lost a painting by Paul Cézanne in a division of property with her brother Leo.
Spanish artist Juan Gris (1887–1927) paints Still Life before an Open Widow, Place Ravignan (Philadelphia Museum of Art).
Éva’s health deteriorates; she has tuberculosis, which, according to Gertrude Stein, she attempts to hide from Picasso.
Braque is wounded in the war.
Picasso may have begun a dalliance with Gabrielle (Gaby) Lespinasse (John Richards in 1987/1988 Basel/London, p. 184).
Éva is taken to a hospital at Auteuil, a Paris suburb.
Picasso writes to Gertrude Stein, “My life is hell. Éva becomes more and more ill each day. I go to the hospital and spend most of the time in the Metro.” He continues, “However, I have made a picture of a Harlequin that, to my way of thinking and to that of many others, is the best thing I have ever done” (Museum of Modern Art, New York) (1980, p. 179).
Éva dies. Among the small group of friends at the funeral are Max Jacob and Juan Gris, who describes the funeral in a letter to Maurice Raynal written on December 18: “Picasso’s mistress died the other day. There were 7 or 8 friends at the funeral, which was a very sad affair except, of course, for Max’s [Jacob] witticisms, which merely emphasized the horror. Picasso is rather upset by it” (Letters by Juan Gris, collected by Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, trans. and ed. Douglas Cooper [London: privately printed, 1956], letter XLI, p. 34).
Picasso creates a construction intended as a declaration of love to Gaby Lespinasse. The work features oval photographs of each of them, a small oval painting of Cupid waking a sleeping Venus, and three oval Cubist still lifes of musical instruments, adorned with flowers. In the middle is the illuminated inscription, “Je t’aime, Gaby” (I love you, Gaby), and pasted below it is a handwritten statement: “j’ai demandé ta main au Bon Dieu Paris 22 février 1916” (I have asked the Good Lord for your hand, Paris, February 22, 1916).
Apollinaire returns from the war with a head wound.
Wearing a Harlequin costume, French poet Jean Cocteau (1889–1963) visits Picasso and asks him to design the sets for Parade, a ballet to be performed by Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. He leaves the costume with Picasso.
Picasso moves to a small house in the working-class suburb of Montrouge.
Picasso agrees to work on Parade, choreographed by Léonide Massine, and for which Cocteau is writing the scenario, and Erik Satie the music.
Picasso visits his family in Barcelona.
With Cocteau, Picasso leaves for Rome to work on Parade. He will meet the Russian dancer Olga Koklova there.
Gaby Lespinasse marries Herbert Lespinasse, whose name she had been using for some years.
Picasso accompanies Diaghilev’s troupe, including Cocteau and Massine to Naples. Massine writes, “We made a number of trips to Pompeii and Herculaneum, Picasso was thrilled by the majestic ruins, and climbed endlessly over broken columns to stand staring at fragments of Roman statuary” (Massine 1968, p.108). Visits to the Naples Museum and possibly to the Vatican in Rome give Picasso a familiarity with Roman art, including fresco and mosaic.
The opening performance of Parade at the Théâtre du Chatelet shocks Paris. In his program notes for the ballet, Apollinaire uses the word surréalisme, his invention, for the first time.
The Ballets russes performs at the Teatro de Liceo in Barcelona. Picasso follows Olga Koklova there, living with his family while Olga stays at the Pension Ranzini. She remains in Barcelona while the rest of the company tours South America.
Picasso’s old Barcelona friends give him a banquet at the Lyon d’or.
The only presentation of Parade in Barcelona is given at the Tivoli theater.
Picasso and Olga return to Montrouge; he has been absent in Spain for nearly six months.
Picasso signs a contract with Paul Rosenberg’s gallery in Paris (Rudenstine 1976, p. 610 n. 1).
Picasso and Vollard are witnesses at the wedding of Apollinaire and Jacqueline Kolb. Apollinaire has been seriously ill.
Picasso and Olga are wed at the Russian Orthodox church on rue Daru, Paris. Cocteau, Max Jacob, and Apollinaire are witnesses at the civil ceremony.
Picasso and Olga spend their honeymoon with Mme Eugenia Errazuriz in her villa; she introduces them to international society.
Picasso and his wife return to Paris.
Apollinaire dies of Spanish influenza.
The armistice ending the First World War is declared. French poet Jean Cocteau, a close friend of Picasso, initiates the rappel à l’ordre (call to order) movement, arguing for a return to the classical themes and high levels of craftsmanship that had defined European painting before the advent of modern art.
Picasso and Olga move to 23, rue La Boëtie, an elegant neighborhood in which his dealers live and have galleries.
Picasso and Olga move to 23, rue La Boëtie, an elegant neighborhood in which his dealers live and have galleries.
Picasso visits his family in Barcelona.
Picasso leaves for London to design the sets and costumes for Le Tricorne.
An exhibition of Picasso’s work is held at the Galerie de l’Effort Moderne, owned by Léonce Rosenberg.
First performance of Le Tricorne at the Alhambra Theatre in London (music by Manuel de Falla, choreography by Massine, decor by Picasso).
Picasso vacations on the Riviera with Olga, where he completes a number of gouaches showing still-life arrangements before an open window
The opening of an exhibition of Picasso’s drawings and watercolors at Paul Rosenberg’s gallery, 21, rue La Boëtie takes place.
Fernand Léger’s The City is shown to great acclaim at the Salon des Indépendants exhibition in Paris, announcing in spectacular fashion the continued vitality of Cubism in the post-World War I era.
Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, Pulcinella, premiers in Paris. Commissioned by Diaghilev, the production features sets and costumes designed by Picasso, and libretto and choreography by Massine.
Picasso and Olga leave Paris for Juan-les-Pins on the Riviera.
Picasso and Olga return to Paris.
Arthur B. Carles takes a leave of absence from teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and travels to France. He stays at the home of the American photographer painter Edward Steichen, who lives in the small village of Voulangis, thirty miles east of Paris, and begins to make paintings utilizing the new principles of color espoused by Picasso’s great rival, Henri Matisse, such as Steichen’s Garden.
Picasso’s son Paulo is born. The nickname used for the French Paul (perhaps after Cézanne) appears to have been a compromise with the Spanish Pablo, and perhaps even the Italian Paolo.
This is the date of the single performance of Diaghilev’s Cuadro Flamenco with music by Manuel de Falla, for which Picasso produces the costumes and decor.
First of four sales of works from Kahnweiler’s gallery, sequestered during the war, is held. Among the works sold is Glass of Absinthe.
During this summer Picasso paints some of his greatest Cubist works, including the two versions of The Three Musicians (1952-61-96 and Museum of Modern Art, New York) and some large neoclassical paintings, such as Three Women at the Spring (Museum of Modern Art, New York).
Comte and Comtesse Étienne de Beaumont give a New Year’s Eve party. Marcel Proust arrives about midnight. Jean Hugo tells us: “He had entered with the New Year, the year of his death . . . His pale face had become puffy; he had developed a paunch. He spoke only to dukes. ‘Look at him,’ Picasso said to me, ‘he’s pursuing his theme’” (Jean Hugo, Avant d’oublier [Paris: Fayard, 1976], p. 127).
Tristan Tzara defends the survival of Cubism in a pamphlet entitled Le Coeur à barbe: Journal transparent.
Olga and Picasso leave for Dinard in Britanny sometime in June.
Man Ray’s portrait of Picasso at his apartment at 23, rue de La Boëtie is published in Vanity Fair.
Olga is ill, bringing the Picassos back to Paris sooner than expected.
The interview Picasso gave Marius de Zayas in Spanish appears in English in The Arts, New York. In this famous statement Picasso is clearly defensive about Cubism, which has increasingly come under attack and may also have seemed undermined by his own classical works. He argues with conviction that, Cubism is no different from any other school of painting. . . . Our subjects might be different as we have introduced into painting objects and forms that were formerly ignored. We have kept our eyes open to our surroundings, and also our brains . . . in our subjects we keep the joy of discovery, the pleasure of the unexpected our subject itself must be a source of interest (Barr 1946, PP. 270–271).
During a Dadaist “Soirée du ‘Coeur à barbe’” at the Théâtre Michel, someone yells, “Picasso dead on the field of battle [by implication Cubism],” which causes André Breton to climb on the stage to come to his defense.
Picasso’s mother joins the artist and his family vacationing at Cap d’Antibes.
The Picassos return to Paris.
A group of young writers and artists, led by the French poet André Breton, launches the Surrealist movement in Paris.
The great French couturier and collector, Jacques Doucet, writes to André Suarès about buying several important works including “Un grand Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” of 1907. We know that Doucet paid 25,000 francs for this painting in several installments, and that Picasso almost immediately regretted having sold it (Cousins/Seckel 1988, p.587).
At a Picasso exhibition at Paul Rosenberg’s gallery, rue de La Boëtie, a rival dealer, René Gimpel, records “twelve paintings, each 100,000 francs, and some drawings” (Gimpel, Journal d’un collectionneur, marchand & tableaux [Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1963], p. 264).
The first performance of Mércure at the Théâre de la Cigale (music by Satie, choreography by Massine, decor and costumes by Picasso, produced by Massine and Comte Étienne de Beaumont) takes place as part of a series of avant-garde events known as “Les Soirées de Paris.” Some Dadaists enter Picasso’s box and call him a “vieux pompier,” or old Academician, and other invectives during the performance (Massine 1968, p. 160).
In answer to an attack on Picasso by certain Dadaists for his participation in Mércure, which was made for a bourgeois audience, other artists come to his defense in a letter published in Paris-Journal. Among the artists, writers, and musicians signing the letter are Louis Aragon, André Breton, Robert Desnos, Max Ernst, and Francis Poulenc.
Picasso, Olga, and Paulo spend the summer at Juan-les-Pins.
In the first issue of the review La Révolution surréaliste Picasso’s metal Guitar is published with a photograph of the artist by Man Ray.
John Quinn’s entire collection of more than 60 works by Picasso is sold to Paul Rosenberg.
Picasso’s old Barcelona painter friend, Ramon Pichot, dies; his death was memorialized in Picasso’s painting The Three Dancers (1925, Tate Modern), which he would finish in June.
Picasso leaves Paris for Monte Carlo with Olga and Paolo for the season of the Ballets Russes. They will stay through the month.
The fourth issue of La Révolution surréalist reproduces his The Three Dancers, along with Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, painted eighteen years before. At the same time André Breton argues that Picasso is a Surrealist in the issue and declares, “Proudly we claim him as one of us.”
Picasso’s Man with a Guitar (1912) is included in the first Surrealist exhibition, which takes place at Pierre Loeb’s gallery in Paris.
Christian Zervos publishes the first issue of the art magazine Cahiers d’art. Zervos will later publish a thirty-two-volume catalogue raisonné of Picasso’s work.
One of Picasso’s two relief sculptures titled Guitar is illustrated in La Révolution surréaliste.
An exhibition of Picasso’s recent work (from 1923) is held at the Galerie Paul Rosenberg.
Picasso visits his family in Barcelona.
The African American artist Aaron Douglas and his wife, Alta, move to France for a yearlong period of study.
This is the date Picasso is alleged to have first met the teen-aged Marie-Thérèse Walter (born in July 1909), but it was undoubtedly earlier.
The Spanish artist Juan Gris dies. Although they had been estranged, Picasso is a pallbearer at the funeral on May 13.
Picasso vacations at Cannes with Olga and Paulo.
Picasso vacations at Dinard with Olga and Paulo, while Marie-Thérèse stays (concealed) nearby. Picasso completes a series of naked female bathers based on Marie-Thérèse’s body, including Bather, Design for a Monument (Dinard).
Picasso begins to work with Julio Gonzalez, a compatriot in Paris, to learn welding for his sculpture.
In Cahiers d’art 111, no. 7 (1928): 288, two versions of Picasso’s sculpture, the Glass of Absinthe, are published (Daix 753, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and Daix 756, Museum of Modern Art, New York).
Picasso spends the summer at Dinard.
A special issue of Documents, no. 3, published by the former Surrealist writer Georges Bataille, is devoted to Picasso.
Picasso buys a country home (Château de Boisgeloup) at Gisors, about seventy kilometers north of Paris.
Picasso leaves for a vacation at Juan-les-Pins.
Picasso returns to Paris and installs Marie-Thérèse at 44, rue de La Boëtie near his and Olga’s apartment at 23, rue de La Boëtie.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the first American institutions to acquire a painting by Picasso, when Charles Ingersoll donates Woman with Loaves (1906, Philadelphia Museum of Art).
Picasso converts a barn at the seventeenth-century Château de Boisgeloup into a sculpture studio. He continues to weld sculpture with González, which he had begun to do in 1928, but he also returns to modeling in clay and plaster.
Picasso spends the summer at Juan-les-Pins and works on etchings for The Vollard Suite.
The photographer Gyula Halász, known as Brassaï, first enters Picasso’s studio when “Picasso had just passed his fiftieth birthday,” which was October 25. When Brassaï visits him, he finds: The man in front of me was simple and direct, without affectation, without arrogance, without sham. His frank and open manner and his kindness put me at ease at once. But then he goes on: I began then to survey my strange surroundings. I had expected an artist's studio, and this was an apartment converted into a kind of warehouse. Certainly no characteristically middle-class dwelling was ever so uncharacteristically furnished. There were four or five rooms each with a marble fireplaces surmounted by a mirror—entirely emptied of any customary furniture and littered with stacks of paintings, cartons, wrapped packages, pails of all sizes, many of them containing the molds for his statues, piles of books, reams of paper, odds and ends of everything placed wherever there was an inch of space, along the walls and even spread across the floors, all covered with a thick layer of dust . . . Picasso had stood his easel in the largest and best-lit room-what once had surely been the living room-and this room was the only room that contained any furniture at all. The window faced south, and offered a beautiful view of the rooftops of Paris, bristling with a forest of red and black chimneys, with the sle,der, far-off silhouette of the Eiffel Tower rising between them. Madame Picasso never came up to the apartment with the exception of a few friends, Picasso admitted no one to it. So the dust could fall where it would and remain there undisturbed (Brassaï 1966, p. 5).
Picasso paints Girl Before a Mirror (Museum of Modern Art, New York), a portrait of Marie-Thérèse.
A major retrospective exhibition of Picasso’s work opens at Galerie Georges Petit. Picasso was heavily involved in the choice and in the installation of the 236 works shown.
Picasso spends the summer at Boisgeloup, while Olga and Paulo vacation at Juan-les-Pins. He continues to make sculpted heads of Marie-Thérèse.
Joaquín Valverde Lasarte’s The Hunters (1931; Philadelphia Museum of Art) is shown at the 1932 Venice Biennale.
A large exhibition of Picasso’s work, drawn largely from the one shown that summer in Paris, opens at the Kunsthaus, Zurich.
Zervos publishes the first volume of his catalogue raisonné of Picasso’s works; it covers works from 1895–1906.
The government of Catalonia acquires the collection of Luis Plandiura for the Barcelona Museum. It includes twenty early works by Picasso.
Picasso makes 57 etchings, 40 on the theme of The Sculptor’s Studio, which he would later publish with others as The Vollard Suite.
The first issue of the Surrealist periodical, Minotaure, appears, for which Picasso made a collage of a minotaur for the cover (see 1980 Museum of Modern Art, New York, p. 317, color repr.).
Picasso travels with Olga and Paulo to Barcelona; he shows Paulo the Plandiura collection at the Barcelona Museum.
Fernande publishes her memoirs; Picasso reportedly had attempted to stop their publication.
Russian artist Vasily Kandinsky and his wife Nina move to Paris from Germany, where he had been teaching at the Bauhaus in Dessau. Kandinsky lost his teaching position at the Bauhaus in April 1933, after the school was closed following the Nazi party’s accession to power.
Picasso creates six etchings and thirty-three drawings to illustrate Gilbert Seldes’s new edition of Aristophane’s great anti-war drama Lysistrata. These include Drawing for Lysistrata (Philadelphia Museum of Art), which the artist made while blind-folded.
Picasso returns to Spain with Olga and Paulo, driving to San Sebastián, Burgos, Madrid, Toledo, Saragossa, and Barcelona to see bullfights and visit friends. This will be Picasso’s last trip to his native country.
Picasso ceases painting for almost a year although he does continue with printmaking and writing.
Marie-Thérèse is pregnant. Picasso and Olga separate but for property reasons do not divorce.
Maria de la Concepción (to be known as Maya) is born to Marie Thérèse and Picasso.
Picasso’s old Barcelona friend, Jaime Sabartés, arrives from Spain to become his secretary.
Picasso leaves for Juan-les-Pins incognito with Marie-Thérèse and Maya; they will return on 14 May.
The Spanish Civil War begins. Salvador Dalí’s painting of this year, Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War) (Philadelphia Museum of Art) presents the artist’s savage vision of his country as a decomposing figure tearing itself apart. The work preceded the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and thus prophetically foretold the atrocities committed during this bloody conflict.
Picasso goes to Mougins, where he probably begins his liaison with Surrealist photographer Dora Maar. He will return to Paris on September 20.
At the invitation of Vollard, Picasso visits him at Le Tremblay and leaves Marie-Thérèse and Maya there in the house that he rents from Vollard.
Dora Maar helps Picasso find a studio on the Left Bank, at 7, rue des Grand-Augustins.
The artist is asked by the officials of the Spanish Republican government in exile to paint a mural for the Spanish pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair, scheduled to open in June.
The Basque town of Guernica is bombed, giving Picasso a dramatic and topical subject for his mural for the Spanish pavilion.
Picasso begins his first studies for Guernica (1937, Reina Sofía, Madrid).
In his large studio on the rue des Grands-Augustins, Picasso makes the first compositional outline on the large canvas for Guernica. Dora Maar photographs each stage before the painting is installed in the pavilion in mid-June.
Guernica is finished.
The Spanish pavilion designed by Luis Lacasa and Jose-Luis Sert is inaugurated. Besides Guernica, it contains two pieces of sculpture by Picasso.
Picasso paints his postscripts to Guernica.
With Dora Maar, Picasso goes to Mougins, where Paul Eluard and his wife Nusch are also staying at the same hotel. They return to Paris in mid-September. On the beach near Mougins they find “the bleached skull of an ox which had been scoured by the sea” (Penrose 1958, p. 280).
On a trip to Switzerland Picasso visits Paul Klee, who is very ill.
The New York Times publishes a short statement that Picasso prepared for the American Artist's Congress in New York, which includes the following plea regarding the Spanish Civil War: Artists who live and work with spiritual values cannot and should not remain indifferent to a conflict in which the highest values of humanity and civilization are at stake (Ashton 1972, p. 145).
Austria is annexed by Hitler.
Once again the artist spends a vacation at the same hotel in the fishing village of Mougins in the South of France with his companion, Dora Maar, and the Eluards, returning to Paris in late September. While in Mougins, he paints Head of a Woman (Philadelphia Museum of Art), dislocating the facial features and extremities of Maar, as he had a decade earlier in works such as Bather (Design for a Monument).
Guernica begins a tour of Europe and eventually the United States under the auspices of the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief. The first stop is the New Burlington Galleries in London.
Picasso is confined to bed with painful sciatica.
The artist’s mother dies in Barcelona.
Barcelona succumbs to Franco’s fascist forces.
Responding to his mother’s death and the fall of Barcelona, Picasso paints three still-lifes featuring the skull of a bull.
Madrid falls to General Franco’s forces
Picasso and Dora Maar travel by train to Antibes, where they rent an apartment from the American Surrealist photographer and painter, Man Ray.
Vollard, who had exhibited and bought Picasso’s work almost forty years earlier, dies. Picasso returns to Paris for the funeral.
Russia and Germany sign a nonaggression pact.
Picasso, Maar, and Jaime Sabartés return to Paris.
Germany invades Poland.
Picasso arrives at Royan near Bordeaux on the Atlantic coast with Dora Maar, Sabartés, and Sabartés's wife. Marie-Thérèse and Maya had recently spent the summer there.
France and Great Britain declare war on Germany. Picasso is forced to remain in Paris for the duration of the global conflict.
Picasso paints and draws the skulls and carcasses of sheep.
Picasso returns to Paris to hunt for supplies and check on his works stored in bank vaults, but soon goes back to Royan.
Picasso returns to Paris from Royan for a visit, before returning on December 21.
In Royan, he takes a studio on the fourth floor of a villa, Les Voiliers.
Picasso makes another trip to Paris.
This longer return trip to Paris gives Picasso an opportunity to see certain friends: Brassaï, Man Ray, and the Zervoses, among others.
The Germans invade Belgium and France.
Picasso leaves Paris because the Germans are expected and finds Royan full of refugees from Belgium and the north of France.
Picasso makes some extraordinary drawings of death’s heads in a notebook that he begins on 31 May and finishes on 10 August (Glimcher, no. 110).
The German army occupies Paris.
Pétain, premier of Vichy France, signs an armistice with Germany.
Picasso goes to Paris by car with Sabartés. Dora Maar follows by train, while Marie-Thérèse and Maya are temporarily left behind.
The photographer Brassaï relates, In occupied Paris, life was difficult, even for Pablo Picasso. No gasoline for his car; no coal to heat his studio. Like everyone else he was forced to adjust himself to the grim existence of wartime: standing on lines for everything, taking the Metro or the infrequent, crowded buses, to go from the rue La Boétie to the rue des Grands-Augustins (Brassaï 1966, p. 48).
Giving up living in his apartment on the rue de La Boëtie, Picasso moves into his studio at rue des Grands-Augustins.
Picasso writes the Surrealist farce, Desire Caught by the Tail, an important stage in his increasing experimentation with writing.
Marie-Thérèse and Maya return to Paris to an apartment on the boulevard Henri IV at one end of the Ile Saint-Louis, where Picasso will visit them on most of Maya’s school holidays, usually Thursdays and Saturdays (Brassai 1966, p. 77, and Gilot 1964, p. 179).
Julio González, the Barcelona sculptor, who had long been a resident of Paris, dies. Picasso attends his funeral.
Picasso paints two startling still lifes with steer heads, probably as a memorial to González.
Paul Eluard rejoins the Communist party and works with the Resistance.
Although it is forbidden to make metal sculpture during the war, Picasso with the help of friends does have some of his works cast in bronze (Daix 1987, p. 282). He also makes sculptures out of found materials.
Picasso meets twenty-one year-old Françoise Gilot at his neighborhood restaurant, Le Catalan.
Picasso completes the large and austere Chair with Gladiolus, a still life that conveys the oppressive mood of the war years in its heavily contoured depiction of a vase of gladiolas on a chair.
Brassaï recalls that Paris was very cold, below freezing, on December 10, and that Picasso’s studio was “glacial.” He adds that, Although central heating had been installed in all of the rooms in 1939, only the vestibule has been heated recently because of the lack of coal (Brassaï 1966, pp.l03–109).
Picasso finishes Man with a Lamb (Philadelphia Museum of Art), his most important wartime sculpture.
Michel and Louise Leiris hold a reading of Picasso’s Desire Caught by the Tail with parts read by the Leirises, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Dora Maar, among others. Albert Camus directs the play. In the audience are the Braques, Brassaï, Sabartés, and others. Picasso tells the audience that his source was Alfred Jarry's scatalogical play Ubu roi.
Picasso appears in public at the memorial service for his old friend Max Jacob, who died in the concentration camp at Drancy.
Because of fighting on the streets of Paris, Picasso stays with Marie-Thérèse and Maya.
The Allied armies reach Paris. Brassaï later recalled: Paris was liberated and from one day to the next Picasso’s studio was invaded. His courageous attitude had made him into a kind of standard-bearer, and the entire world was anxious to salute in him the symbol of liberty restored poets, painters, critics, museum directors, and writers, all wearing the uniform of the Allied armies, officers and ordinary soldiers, thronged up the narrow staircase in a compact mass (Brassaï 1966, p. 149).
The Communist newspaper L'Humanité announces that Picasso has joined the French Communist party.
For the first time Picasso participates in an official salon exhibition in Paris, the Salon d’Automne, where he shows 74 paintings, including Chair with Gladiolus, and five works of sculpture. Picasso was persuaded by Jean Cassou, the curator of the Musée National d’Art Moderne, to participate. There are demonstrations against the exhibition, partly because of Picasso’s decision to join the Communist party, and partly because the modernity of the works seemed shocking after the isolation of Paris for five years during the war.
In an interview with the American Communist paper, New Masses, Picasso explains his decision to become a Communist as “the logical conclusion of my whole life, my whole work.” (Pol Gaillard, L’Humanité, 29–30 October 1944, p. 1).
Mussolini and his mistress are executed by partisans in Italy.
When American armies enter the concentration camp at Dachau, they release photographs of such camps for publication for the first time.
Hitler commits suicide in Berlin.
German forces surrender unconditionally.
V-E Day celebrates the end of the war in Europe.
In Paris at the Tenth Congress French Communists salute Picasso but also ask for realism in art.
Picasso’s friend, the poet Robert Desnos, dies in Czechoslovakia. He had been relocated there (largely on foot) by the Germans from their concentration camp at Buchenwald (Brassaï 1966, p. 115).
With Dora Maar, who has not been well, Picasso goes to Antibes and also gives her a house in Antibes for which he trades a painting. In August he returns to Paris.
The first atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima.