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Pablo Picasso is one of the most influential painters and sculptors of the 20th century, known for his artistic versatility and extraordinary talent.

Picasso, who lived to 91, was famous for switching his artistic techniques and styles throughout his life. His critical acclaim in the modern art scene gained him a mass following the likes of which the world had not previously seen.

Why is Picasso so famous?

Born a child prodigy, for nearly 80 years, Picasso’s artistic vision contributed to the creation of cubism around 1907. His works also portrayed some of the most important events of the 20th century, such as his 1917 painting Guernica, a portrait of the German and Italian bombings of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. Moreover, his early 20th-century cubism utilized broken-up abstract shapes that allowed him to depict subjects from multiple points of view.

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Early in his career Picasso mastered traditional European neoclassical art styles but shifted in the 1920s towards surrealism and abstract art. Critics have praised his work as prolific, yet they were controversial and pioneering for his time. One of Picasso’s more famous surrealist paintings includes his “The Weeping Woman” series, which uses his infamous angular style to combine different colors to form the face of a crying woman. The piece is designed to critique the damage and devastation caused by war.

Picasso used different artistic techniques throughout his seven decade career. 

Picasso used different artistic techniques throughout his seven decade career.
(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Picasso is estimated to have completed over 13,000 paintings, and100,000 engravings, and prints before he passed away in 1973.

How much is a Picasso painting worth?

The cheapest Picasso painting at an auction has sold for approximately $120,000, while the most expensive have sold at $140 million.

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Why are Picasso’s paintings so expensive?

Picasso cemented his status in the art world by producing highly acclaimed work for over seven decades. Moreover, his popularity has only grown since his death, and he remains the top-grossing artist at auctions worldwide.

Pablo Picasso's Guernica painting portrays the bombing of the town during the Spanish Civil War.  

Pablo Picasso’s Guernica painting portrays the bombing of the town during the Spanish Civil War.
(AP Newsroom)

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Picasso’s legendary status as an artist has contributed to the high auction price of his work, but his masterpieces are becoming more scarce, leading to the rising costs for many of his paintings. The most reverenced modernist images in art history are from the various stages in Picasso’s career. Therefore, any painting by Picasso, regardless of the stage or year it was completed, is sure to sell for at least six figures at private auctions.

 

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