Pablo Picasso - the untouchable genius of 20th century art - gets the Gazpachomonk treatment in this post on Five Things You Don't Want to Know About Picasso. Why did he select an Italian Name? Was he really an Elf and did he steal the Mona Lisa? These, and other crucial facts about one of Spain's most famous sons can be discovered below. And - as a special bonus - the gazpachomOnk presents his blockbuster series of Posters to Download to your smartphone: Picasso - What Do You Think an Artist is? Grab it, Share It and Send it Your Arty Friends... Read the 5 Facts You Didn't Want to Know Below...
PICASSO FACT 1: HIS RATHER LONG NAME
Why did Picasso - born with 14 names - "Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso", choose to adopt his mother's Italian surname?
Well, he claimed it suited him better. For Picasso it suggested something less mundane with its double 's' and lack of Malagueñan familiarity. Plus, I would hazard a guess, it meant that when he had to sign a painting, he wouldn't need half an hour to do so and an extra canvas stuck on the side to accommodate those 14 names.
PICASSO FACT 2: HIS RATHER SHORT HEIGHT
Was Picasso an Elf? It was rumoured that the great artist did in fact belong to this tribe of forest folk as he was, lets say, vertically challenged at just 5 foot 4".
However the gazpachomOnk has spoken to the great man via a Ouija board and can state categorically that it is no more than a popular urban myth. In fact the man was a giant, but throughout his life fought an endless battle over his height. Two little known factors contributed to this popular misconception:
2: We must take into account the era in which Picasso lived. In the Spain of the 1880's and in particular 19th century Andalusia - 5ft 4" was not only a healthy and impressive stature, but one that would have invited the nickname of "lofty" from his barrio buddies. .
PICASSO FACT 3: HIS REPUTATION AS A LOVER
PICASSO FACT 4: HIS PRODUCTIVITY TIPS
With only one item in his wardrobe, Picasso had a surplus of extra time to paint, and paint he did. It has been calculated that he produced every year:
2 scribbles on a napkin
1 early carving for Guernica done with a bread knife on the underside of his Aunts dining table.
Well, ok...maybe it wasn't each year. But although it looks like a lot, we have to take into account that Picasso lived in the pre-digital era where the distractions of Twitter, Facebook or Whatsapp were yet to materialise. Were he living today, we could confidently knock a few zeros of those figures above.
PICASSO FACT 5: HIS VIEWS ON THEFT
It was rumoured that Picasso stole the Mona Lisa. In fact he went to court in Paris to answer accusations that he had shipped it back to his mum's family in Italy. It turned out to be untrue, but in preparation for a life behind bars, Picasso began to a wear a stripy Breton shirt to get himself in the mood. (See Fact Two for more on Stripy shirts).
Yet theft would never be far from Picasso's easel as over time, more of his paintings would be stolen than any other major artist. Some 550 of his paintings are officially registered as stolen. (About One weeks Work)
"All Art is Theft"
"The World doesn't make sense, so why should I?"
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"
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