When Jay-Z took over a fashionable New York City gallery to rap about art for six hours in the summer of 2013, he name-checked Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the Mona Lisa, but the title of his song was “Picasso Baby,” as in Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). That’s how influential Picasso is today—even the most popular pop stars on the planet wish they could be as big as him.

One of the countless reasons why Picasso remains so revered is because his work transcended so many different art movements. An aesthetic chameleon, Picasso was a classicist who was equally at home with Post-Impressionism and Symbolism. Picasso is considered the co-founder (with Georges Braque) of Cubism, and he often gave Surrealists such as Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte a run for their money.

Picasso was also astonishingly prolific, and he excelled in temperamental techniques as varied as lithography and ceramics, oil-on-canvas painting and assemblage sculpture. Today, with prices for his work punching holes in the nine-figure range, many are thrilled to frame an original art poster from one of the numerous exhibitions of his work in Europe and beyond.


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Metropolitan Museum of Art: Timeline of Art History

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