b. 1881, Spain
d. 1973, France
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso showed artistic ability at an early age, and when he began to study art seriously in Barcelona and Madrid, he was already a skilled painter. In the early 1900s he visited and eventually settled in Paris, where he was part of a vibrant artistic community that included Gertrude Stein. Although greatly influenced by other artists in Europe and beyond, Picasso was inventive and prolific, and early in his career earned a worldwide reputation as an innovator. Along with Henri Matisse, he is considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. His enormous body of work spans so many years that art experts generally separate his career into distinct phases, such as the Blue Period, the Rose Period and his most famous contribution to modern art, Cubism. Picasso, unlike so many before him, was an international celebrity as well as an important contributor to the world of art.