Pablo Ruiz Picasso is born on October 25 in Málaga, in the far south of Spain. He is the eldest child of José Ruiz Blasco and Maria Picasso y Lopez. The couple go on to have two daughters, Lola (b. 1884) and Conchita (b. 1887).
Picasso begins painting with the encouragement of his father, a drawing teacher in Málaga.
Picasso takes decorative drawing classes at the School of Fine Arts in La Coruña, in the north of Spain, where his father now works, and creates his first paintings in oil.
Conchita, Picasso’s younger sister, dies of diphtheria. The Ruiz-Picasso family moves to Barcelona. Picasso is admitted to La Lonja School of Fine Arts, where his father teaches.
Picasso is admitted to the San Fernando Academy in Madrid.
In Barcelona, Picasso begins to frequent the avant-garde circle at the Quatre Gats tavern, where he meets Carlos Casagemas. A year later, they travel to Paris together and settle in the north of the city, in Montmartre. Casagemas dies by suicide two years later.
In Barcelona, Picasso develops a blue monochromatic style during what would later come to be known as his Blue Period.
Picasso returns to Paris and moves into the Bateau-Lavoir. He meets Fernande Olivier, a professional model who becomes his companion for seven years.
The so-called Rose Period starts. Picasso becomes friends with the poet Guillaume Apollinaire.
After spending the summer in Gósol, a small village in the Spanish Pyrenees, Picasso begins preparatory works for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
Picasso visits the Musée d’ethnographie du Trocadéro, where he discovers African sculpture. He finishes Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. He meets the painter Georges Braque.
Picasso and Braque engage in a pictorial dialogue that culminates in the founding of cubism.
Picasso paints Man with a Guitar, an outstanding example of analytical cubism. He starts a relationship with Eva Gouel. She dies suddenly from an illness four years later.
Picasso begins to experiment more and more with techniques such as papiers collé (collage) and assemblage. His father dies in Barcelona.
The First World War breaks out. Orders for the mobilization of France are issued on August 1. As a foreign resident, Picasso is exempt from serving in the army. Braque and Apollinaire are involved in the war effort.
The poet Jean Cocteau introduces Picasso to Serge Diaghilev, director of the Ballets Russes. Picasso agrees to work on the staging of the ballet Parade. A year later, he travels to Italy to create the sets and costumes. He begins a relationship with Olga Khokhlova, a dancer in the troupe.
Picasso marries Khokhlova. Their son, Paulo, is born in 1921. Apollinaire dies of Spanish flu two days before the signing of the armistice.
The so-called Magic Paintings period begins. Picasso’s work forges close ties to surrealism during this time.
Picasso meets Marie-Thérèse Walter, age seventeen. He begins a secret relationship with her. In 1935, she gives birth to their child, Maria de la Concepción, known as Maya.
Picasso buys the Château de Boisgeloup in Normandy and sets up a sculpture workshop there.
Picasso’s first retrospective is held at the Galeries Georges Petit in Paris. He supervises the hanging of the artwork himself.
Picasso separates from his wife Olga (but does not divorce her), begins writing poetry, and stops painting for a year. He meets the photographer Dora Maar.
Picasso moves to 7, rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris. The Spanish republican government asks him to create a monumental painting for the International Exposition of Arts and Technology in Modern Life. In the midst of the Spanish Civil War, he chooses to represent the recent bombing of Guernica, capital of the Basque country, by the Nazi air force. The work is soberly titled Guernica.
Picasso’s mother dies in Barcelona. France enters the Second World War.
Picasso makes an official request for French naturalization, which is rejected. France capitulates to Germany in June, and the Occupation begins.
Picasso writes his first play, Desire Caught by the Tail. Throughout the Occupation, his painting is marked by austere colors and compositions.
Picasso meets Françoise Gilot, a twenty-one-year-old painter who becomes his new companion and with whom he has two children: Claude (b. 1947) and Paloma (b. 1949).
During the liberation of France, a retrospective exhibition of Picasso’s wartime works provokes violent reactions. Picasso joins the French Communist Party.
Picasso gifts ten important paintings to the Musée national d’art moderne in Paris. He begins working intensively with ceramics at the Madoura pottery in Vallauris. He moves to the town two years later.
Picasso agrees to decorate a chapel in Vallauris around the theme of War and Peace.
The Algerian revolution against French colonization begins. Picasso paints his first variations on Delacroix’s Women of Algiers.
Olga Khokhlova, still married to Picasso, dies. Picasso purchases the Villa La Californie, a large building in the hills above Cannes, and moves into it with Jacqueline Roque, his final companion, whom he met in 1953. An important retrospective is held at the Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris.
Filmed a year earlier, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s The Mystery of Picasso is shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
Picasso is commissioned by UNESCO to create a mural for the opening of its Paris headquarters.
Picasso’s sister Lola dies in Barcelona. He buys the Château de Vauvenargues, at the foot of Montagne Sainte-Victoire.
Picasso marries Jacqueline Roque. The couple move into the artist’s final home, the Notre Dame de Vie farmhouse in Mougins.
The Museu Picasso opens in Barcelona.
The major exhibition Hommage à Picasso is presented at the Grand and Petit Palais in Paris.
Picasso refuses the Légion d’honneur (Legion of Honor), the highest French order of merit.
The exhibition Pablo Picasso, 1969–1970 opens at the Palais des Papes in Avignon.
Picasso paints self-portraits that evoke his relationship with death. On the occasion of his ninetieth birthday, a selection of his works is displayed in the Grande Galerie at the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Pablo Picasso dies on April 8 at the Notre Dame de Vie farmhouse in Mougins. He is buried on April 10 in the garden of his château in Vauvenargues. The exhibition Pablo Picasso, 1970–1972 at the Palais des Papes in Avignon provides the public with an opportunity to see his final works.