Protean Monster?

On this day in 1881, Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisma Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso was born. No wonder, most of the time, we just called him either “Pablo” or “one of the fathers of modern cubism.” However, if he were alive and we were hanging out with the same kids, and I were to meet him at, say, a cocktail party or a wine tasting or a library fundraiser, I’d most likely call him “Mr. Picasso” or maybe even “sir.”

According to Wikipedia, “It has been estimated that Picasso produced about 13,500 paintings or designs, 100,000 prints or engravings, 34,000 book illustrations and 300 sculptures or ceramics.”

While that’s a serious amount of stuff -- truckloads, in fact -- most people did not think of Picasso as a sort of modern Wall-Mart of art. (That was more Dali’s deal, I guess.) More like, as Time put it, “Famous as no artist ever had been, he was a pioneer, a master and a protean monster, with a hand in every art movement of the century.”

Picasso died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France. Apparently, his last words were “drink to me.” We’ll do so today.

Happy birthday, Pablo.


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