Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso Library Guide

Born in Malaga, Spain in 1881, Pablo Picasso is universally regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. His stature ranged from painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer to poet and playwright, living most of his life in France. While most well-known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture and co-inventing collage, Picasso also developed a wide variety of artistic styles. After his formative years of painting in a naturalistic manner, he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. Picasso was extraordinarily prolific throughout the course of  his long life of 91 years and along with rival, Henri Matisse, is viewed as a leader of modern art as we know it.

Picasso’s volume of work is categorized into various periods, including the Blue Period (1901-1904), the Rose Period (1904-1906), the African-influenced Period (1907-1909, Analytic Cubism (1909-1912), and Synthetic Cubism or Crystal Period (1919-1921). For much of the late 1910’s and early 1920’s, he painted in a neoclassical style, while incorporating elements of Surrealism in his work of the mid-1920’s. His later work was considered a fusion of the characteristics of his earlier styles, crowning his career as a seminal figure of 20th century art. No summary of Picasso’s resume would be complete without mention of arguably his most famous work, Guernica (1937) – a depiction of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. This large canvas presents symbolically the inhumanity, brutality and hopelessness of war.

The relationship between Picasso and Dalí, two giants of 20th century creative vision, is unique with powerful influences on future generations of artists. Dalí first visited Picasso in 1926, spending extensive hours reviewing works in his studio and this gracious reception was very stimulating for the younger artist. Picasso provided Dalí with a model to emulate, resulting in new works reflecting maturity and confidence, such as in Table in Front of the Sea. Homage to Erik Satie (1926) and Apparatus and Hand (1927). Further, Picasso and Dalí responded similarly to the horrors of the Spanish Civil War with their paintings, Guernica and Premonition of Civil War.  Both artists through their vibrant and special technical skill were able to create pioneering art.


Sources in The Dalí Museum Library:

Penrose, Roland. Picasso: His Life and Work. Victor Gollancz, 1958.

For Picasso, art and life are inseparable, each depending on the other, and this book brings out the unity between Picasso’s work and his life, showing how events, whether personal, artistic or political in nature, have influenced his creative impulse and reflected in his various styles. As a close friend of Picasso, the author captures and details the development of his genius, starting with tracing his talent to the towns where he spent his childhood: Malaga, Madrid, and Barcelona. As the compilation of an artist’s life, Penrose offers a rare perspective, embellished with includes nearly two hundred photographs that illustrates points in the text.

  • Call Number:  N 6853 .P5 P4 1958


Penrose, Roland. Picasso: His Life and Work – Third Edition. University of California Press, 1981.

This updated version of the celebrated biography contains two chapters focusing on the years 1959-1961 and 1961-1970. A new chapter, “The Last Years, 1970-1973,” depicts the hurried activity of Picasso’s last years. This biography remains a significant contribution to the interpretation of twentieth century art, complete with insightful anecdotes and personal revelations.

  • Call Number:  N 6853 .P5 P4 1981


Richardson, John. A Life of Picasso, Volume II: 1907-1917. Random House, 1996.

In this second volume of the definitive Pablo Picasso biography, Richardson uses the same combination of lively writing, critical insight, voluminous research and personal experience from his first volume bestseller to re-create the artist’s life during the crucial decade of 1907-17…the period when Picasso and Georges Braque invented Cubism. The author’s friendship with not only Picasso, but his family, mistresses, friends, dealers and other associates, provided unique access to untapped sources and unpublished material. By offering a fresh perspective on Picasso’s sensationalized private life, Richardson has provided a completely new view of this paradoxical figure.

  • Call Number:  N 6853 .P5 R56 1991


Daix, Pierre. Picasso – Life and Art. HarperCollins, 1994.

This comprehensive, detailed biography integrates Picasso’s life, art, and career in a thoroughly convincing treatment. The author’s friendship with Picasso began in 1945 and is invaluable to adding an intense layer of insight to the artist’s relationships with colleagues and lovers. This work is an invaluable resource to the artist’s extensive and influential career.

  • Call Number:  N6853 .P5 D2613 1994


Cowling, Elizabeth. Picasso – Style and Meaning. Phaidon, 2002.

This book focuses specifically at the phenomenon of style change in Picasso’s work, recognizing that style is meaning in Picasso’s art. Cowling has a flair for clear exposition, simultaneously uncovering a profound understanding of his character and motives. More than 600 finely reproduced illustrations of Picasso’s works and his sources are integrated with the text, providing an indispensable introduction to the master’s art.

  • Call Number:  N6853 .P5 C612 2002


Jeffert, William and Lahuerta, Juan Jose. Picasso/Dali.Dali/Picasso. Dali Museum Museu Picasso, 2014.

This volume, based on the exhibition of the same title, takes an in-depth examination of the links between Dali and Picasso. Through paintings and contemporary documents, a revealing portrait is presented of the long-standing relationship between the two artists from the 1920’s through the 1930’s and their connection to the Surrealist movement, to their opposing attitudes toward the Spanish Civil War. The exhibition includes works by both artists, some not widely known, lent by more than twenty-five art galleries and private collections.

  • Call Number:  N7113 .D3 A4 S36 2014


Musée de l’Armée, Picasso et la guerre. Gallimard, 2019.

This comprehensive volume of the Picasso and War Exhibition, organized by the Musee de l’Armee and the Musee National Picasso-Paris, documents the variety of ways that warfare impacted Picasso’s creative work throughout his career, which was punctuated by major conflicts from the Cuban War of Independence to the Vietnam War. Picasso’s paintings have always featured war-like motifs and his masterpiece, Guernica, a commentary on the Spanish Civil War, marked his first public political statement. The exhibition presented Picasso’s works and personal archives alongside a selection of contextual items, including press articles, photographs and objects.

  • Call Number: N6853 .P A4 2019


Ashton, Dore. Picasso on Art: A Selection of Views. Thames and Hudson, 1977.

Pablo Picasso’s opinions on art were rarely committed to writing, yet his observations in conversation with intimate friends defied transcription. This volume offers a smartly edited collection of his statements, culled from articles, books and interviews by associates to whom he revealed his thoughts about art and artists. Picasso’s own book designs ae incorporated into the narrative.

  • Call Number:  N6853 .P5 A35 1977


Wright, Barnaby. Becoming Picasso – Paris 1901. Courtauld Gallery, 2013.

This volume examines in detail the early development of Picasso at a time when he was still just a young Spanish hopeful in Paris, focusing on his breakthrough year as a nineteen year-old artist – 1901. That year he launched his career in Paris with his first major exhibition, producing much of the work in a matter of weeks and demonstrating his ability to transform the styles and subjects of major painters of the age, such as Degas, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. Also, Picasso tackled more profound and melancholic themes with paintings considered among his early masterpieces, ushering the beginning of his famous Blue period.

  • Call Number: N6853 .P5 A4 2013


Carmona, Eugenia. Picasso Miro Dali – Angry Young Men: The Birth of Modernity. Skira, 2011.

With more than sixty illustrated works and an extensive iconographic framework, this compilation documents the early production of Picasso, Miro and Dali, masters who played key roles in building the foundation of Modern art. The examples selected have been rarely exhibited or published, but demonstrate the artists’ initial influences.  Pablo Picasso was impacted by his political convictions, while Miro rejected figurative painting, and Dali established a mastery of pictorial techniques.

  • Call Number: N6853 .P5 A4 2011c


Horodisch, Abrahamn. Picasso as a Book Artist. World Publishing Company, 1962.

This book represents the first attempt at a detailed description and analysis of Picasso’s work as an illustrator. In addition to the narrative, the volume is liberally sprinkled with numerous illustrations, sketches, letters, advertisements, and drawings. The Bibliography is expansive and provides a comprehensive lists of the books containing illustrations by Picasso.

  • Call Number: NC248 .P5 H63 1962


Baldassari, Anne. The Surrealist Picasso. Flammarion, 2005.

This volume is the first reference book devoted to Picasso’s surrealist work, examining his creative activity during the surrealist movement. Picasso’s complex relationship with Surrealism between 1924 and 1939 led to some of the most dramatic developments of his career. A detailed, fully illustrated chronology at the end of the book places this crucial period in its complete intellectual and historical context.

  • Call Number: NC185 .H36 A4 2005


Guigon, Emmanuel. Picasso’s Kitchen. Museu Picasso, 2018.

The relationship between Pablo Picasso and cooking is the essence of this book and cuisine is also a recurring topic in his poetry. Further, many of his sculptures are based on kitchen utensils, such as his celebrated cubist absinthe glass. Restaurants that defined his life are addressed as well, such as the famous Le Catalan, where he used to eat with his friends, and the importance of restaurants as meeting points for the avant-garde, from Quatre Gats in Barcelona to Lapin Agile in Montmartre, Paris.

  • Call Number: N6853 .P5 C59613 2018


Rubin, William. Picasso and Braque – Pioneering Cubism. Museum of Modern Art, 1989.

The interaction between both artists’ works is analyzed in this volume and how it led to their unique visual language. Also, a comprehensive e chronology of documentary sources provides a detailed record of the relations between Picasso and Braque. The book includes more than four hundred plates, encompassing paintings, collages, papiers colles, and construction sculptures as well as numerous drawings and prints.

  • Call Number: N6853.P5 A4 1989b


Pablo Picasso Library Guide Written by Ira Piller

About The Dalí Museum
The Dalí Museum, located in the heart of picturesque downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, is home to an unparalleled collection of over 2,400 Salvador Dalí works, including nearly 300 oil paintings, watercolors and drawings, as well as more than 2,100 prints, photographs, posters, textiles, sculptures and objets d’art. The Museum’s nonprofit mission, to care for and share its collection locally and internationally, is grounded by a commitment to education and sustained by a culture of philanthropy.

The Dalí is recognized internationally by the Michelin Guide with a three-star rating; has been deemed “one of the top buildings to see in your lifetime” by AOL Travel News; and named one of the ten most interesting museums in the world by Architectural Digest. The building itself is a work of art, including a geodesic glass bubble, nicknamed The Enigma, featuring 1,062 triangular glass panels, a fitting tribute to Salvador Dalí’s legacy of innovation and transformation. Explore The Dalí anytime with the free Dalí Museum App, available on Google Play and in the App Store. The Dalí Museum is located at One Dalí Boulevard, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701.