Exterior of the Picasso Museum in Paris
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Did you know...? Interesting facts about Pablo Picasso

Graffiti portrait of Pablo Picasso
Graffiti portrait of Pablo Picasso

Paris has captured artists' imaginations for centuries, and the celebratory Picasso Museum continues to inspire creatives to this day. Before you visit their stunning collection, here are some interesting Pablo Picasso facts to help you enrich your cultural experience.

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While Pablo Picasso is best known by his last name, his full name is 25 words long

At his baptism, Picasso was christened – deep breath – Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispín Crispiniano María de los Remedios de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso. His incredibly long name is a mixture of relatives' and saints' names. Ruiz was his father's surname, and Picasso his mother's.

Picasso's first word was ‘pencil’

With a father who also worked as a painter, it was expected that art would be in Picasso's blood and his first word – said to be the Spanish word lapiz, meaning pencil in English, merely proved that. His father, who specialized in naturalistic paintings of birds, began teaching him to create artistic works from the age of seven. He decided that he would give up painting when Picasso turned 14 – claiming that his son had become a better painter than him.

Picasso was a bad student

After Picasso's father felt he had nothing left to teach his son, Picasso moved on to a fine art school when he turned 13. Even as a prodigy, his academics suffered as he spent most of his time painting.

Police thought Picasso had stolen the Mona Lisa...

The international art world had one of its biggest scandals in 1911 –  the Mona Lisa was stolen from The Louvre. When the police began asking the public for tips, one of the former thieves singled out French literary figure Guillaume Apollinaire, whom he had apparently sold stolen work to.

Apollinaire then claimed that his good friend Picasso was responsible for stealing the Mona Lisa and Picasso was detained as a suspect. Da Vinci's masterpiece was later found a couple of years later – stolen by a former Louvre security guard during a deal gone awry.

...Ironically, Picasso has had more works of art stolen than any other artist

According to the Art Loss Register, over a thousand Picasso works have been listed as lost, stolen or disputed. They even continue to be stolen to this day, with a spate of robberies happening between 2010-2012.

Picasso was infamous for his love affairs

It’s no secret that Picasso has had a string of romantic entanglements with several women throughout his life, with four children fathered by three different women.

He was married to former ballerina Olga Khokhlova for 10 years. They separated after a few years, and as divorce was a costly process they remained married until she passed away in 1955. In 1961 he remarried Jacqueline Roque. Several of his works were inspired by his lovers, including Fernande Olivier, who's said to have inspired his 'Rose Period', Dora Maar, and Marie Thérese Walter.

Picasso produced an astonishing 150,000 works

With collections and museums dedicated to the artist across the world, Picasso's body of work spans an incredible 76 years and over 150,000 different works. Divided into different artistic phases of his life, including Cubism and the Blue Period, he was incredibly experimental and was constantly evolving as an artist.

Picasso wrote poetry and plays

While Picasso is best known for his paintings, in the latter years of his life he also began to dabble in other creative arts. He wrote over 300 poems and a couple of surrealist plays. While they weren't nearly as successful as his other artistic works, one of his plays had a public reading with leading thinkers Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Picasso's last words inspired a Paul McCartney song

At the age of 91, Picasso said at a dinner party in Mougins (a village in the south of France), "Drink to me, drink to my health; you know I can't drink anymore." He died of a heart attack.

Inspired by the artist, Paul McCartney wrote a song named "Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me,)" where the artist's final utterance is the foundation of its chorus.

Woman taking selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower

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