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Famous Artists and Self Portraits

This term we will be exploring the work of famous artists from all over the world. Our theme is self portraits which we will link to the styles of different famous artists.


Pablo Picasso

Here are some facts about Pablo Picasso, the famous Spanish artist.

  • Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain on 25th October 1881.
  • His full name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Crispiniano de la Santísima Trinidad.

  • His father was a painter – he mainly painted accuarte images of birds.
  • Picasso’s mother claimed that Pablo’s first word was ‘pencil’.
  • His father started to train Pablo in drawing techniques and oil painting from the age of seven.


  • At the age of thirteen, Picasso studied at the School of fine Arts in Barcelona. At the age of 16, Picasso entered the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. He wasn’t a very committed student and he frequently missed classes.
  • In 1900, Pablo Picasso spent time in Paris for the first time. He shared a room with Max Jacob, a poet and journalist, and Picasso learnt how to speak and read French.
  • In Paris he met and became good friends with the artist Henri Matisse.
  •  Throughout the early part of the 20th century, Picasso spent time living in both Paris and Barcelona.
  • In 1918 Picasso got married to Olga Khokhlova, a Russian ballerina. they remained legally married until 1955, but they separated in about 1927.
  • During World War 2, Picasso lived in occupied Paris. He continued to produce art but he didn’t exhibit any of his work during the war years.
  • He married Jacqueline Roque in 1961.
  • Picasso died on 8th April 1973 in Mougins, France. He was 91 years old.
  • Picasso was a prolific creator of art. He was a painter, sculptor, print-maker and poet. His early work is often divided into five periods: the Blue Period, the Rose Period, the African-influenced Period, Analytic Cubism, and Synthetic Cubism.
  • During his career he completed more than 1800 paintings, more than 1200 sculptures, more than 2500 ceramic works, more than 10000 drawings and many tapestries.
  •  Along with George Braque, Picasso is credited with founding the Cubism art movement, in which objects are depicted from multiple viewpoints, instead of just one.
  • Several of Picasso’s works have been sold for more than $100 million dollars.

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York in 1923. He became famous for his bright and bold paintings of comic strip cartoons as well as his paintings of everyday objects. He was one of a group of artists making art in the 1960s who were called pop artists because they made art about 'popular' things such as TV, celebrities, fast food, pop music and cartoons.

Although best known as a painter, he made different types of art including sculpture, murals, prints and ceramics.

Lichtenstein chose colours carefully, to imitate the four colours of printers’ inks. He also used Ben Day dots, a system invented to increase the range of colours available to newspaper printing. Look closely at his work – can you see how the colours are clear from a distance, but look like tiny dots and dashes close-up?

Lichtenstein is famous for his use of cartoon strips from American comic books, which were very popular the 1950s. He admired the skill of the comic book artist, who could create complex stories of love and war in cartoon form.

He was sometimes accused of copying comics exactly, but he said that he made changes to the pictures – right down to the tiniest placement of individual dots. He was also criticized for using very basic painting techniques.

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