Pawblo Picasso: Pet Portrait Artist Extraordinaire

Pawblo Picasso, the lesser-known Picasso brother, was born in Malaga Spain in 1883, just two years after his brother Pablo.  Like his brother, he exhibited a talent in the arts at a very early age. His father was a painter as well, known for his specialization in the depiction of birds and other game animals. Combining the influence of his father and his love for household pets, Pawblo began his path as a professional pet portrait artist.

By the age of 7, Pawblo already had his first exhibition, “Woof,” which was an artistic catalogue of the many stray dogs inhabiting the streets of Malaga.

He became known around Malaga for his inherent ability to capture the personality in animal’s faces, and he started receiving his first pet commissions around the age of 9. Encouraged to create a name for himself within the art world, Pawblo moved to Paris by the age of 13. He had heard about the Parisians and their love for their pets, and had hoped to capitalize on that opportunity.

 Young Pawblo posing with his pet portraits on a sunny Parisian day in 1909

Young Pawblo posing with his pet portraits on a sunny Parisian day in 1909

While in Paris, his style greatly evolved. He continued to capture the personality of the pets, but his portraits became overall less traditional as he began to use bright colors in the background, and started to flatten the image of the pet  His work would later be recognized as the true pre-cursor to the modern pop art movement.

Towards the end of his life, his portrait backgrounds became limited to blue colors, and art historians refer to this time as Pawblo’s “blue period.” Pawblo died in 1977 at the age of 94 in a small town outside of Paris, with his wife and 5 dogs, 8 cats, 2 birds, and one turtle by his side. His mark in the art world did not go unnoticed. His obituary described him as,

“a man with great influence and talent, and his love for pets will forever be captured in his artistic legacy.”

(DISCLAIMER: In case you didn't figure this out already, Pawblo Picasso is a fictional character and his story is almost entirely fabricated. Interestingly enough, the real Pablo Picasso's father was indeed known for his paintings of birds and other game animals, and Pablo was an avid lover of animals.)

 Pablo Picasso posing with "Lump" (photo source: dreamdogsart.typepad.com)

Pablo Picasso posing with "Lump" (photo source: dreamdogsart.typepad.com)

 Pablo Picasso posing with his cat (photosource: Lasgalen Arts)

Pablo Picasso posing with his cat (photosource: Lasgalen Arts)

 
Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.
— Pablo Picasso