January 14, 2015
Commoners: Pablo Picasso and Diego Velázquez
For my final project, I chose the theme of Commoners. A commoner is a common everyday person usually of the lower class, more specifically, one without a rank in society, typically people who were blind, homeless, and the otherwise underprivileged outcasts of society. Many artists have depicted commoners in their artwork, most notably, Pablo Picasso and Diego Velázquez.
Pablo Picasso is of Spanish nationality, being born in Malaga, Spain in 1881. Picasso was one of the most influential artists of the first half of the twentieth century. The total number of artworks he produced has been estimated at 50,000, consisting of 1,885 paintings; 1,228 sculptures;…show more content… In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, Velázquez painted portraits of the Spanish royal family, and other notable European figures. Velázquez was not as prolific in his career but, is estimated to have produced only 110 to 120 known canvases. Among these paintings, however, are many widely known and influential works. Velázquez passed away in 1660 at the age of 61 in Madrid, Spain.
Picasso’s work was so variably different that many people have said that his work could have been done by several different artists, when in reality, all of his work was done by himself. Picasso used his different techniques to fit the mood of the piece of working on, which is why his work appears to be so diverse. Picasso’s work can also differentiate him from other artists that were in the same time period by the way that he could pull his personal feeling into his work, as well as open the eyes of people to see the true outside world showing how Picasso was not afraid to push the boundaries of the human…show more content… I enjoy the abstract things in life, to be able to decipher the meaning of the artwork, rather than just blatantly being shown what is being depicted in the image. I also find myself able to sympathize more with Picasso’s work rather than Velázquez’s. Picasso was able to take the grief from his life and turn it into beautiful works of art and I think thats amazing to see because people rarely do that today.
In 1901, Picasso fell into a state of depression after he learned of the suicide of his close friend Carlos Casagemas. Thus, his paintings were done predominantly in different shades of blue, where most of his pictures of commoners were born. This to me seems to have been one of his most famous periods of art and came to be known as Picasso’s Blue Period. In 1937, following the Nazi Germany's bombing in Guernica, Picasso created his most famous work, Guernica which is considered to be an anti-war statement.
Velázquez did not have the same tragic reasons behind his artwork, but he wanted to be one of the first artists to paint the common things in life, rather than be a second artist in higher art as evident by his quote "I would rather be the first painter of common things than second in higher art." Velázquez was also a painter in the court of King Philip IV, thus, his paintings often depicted the royal court and other prominent figures such as Pope Innocent