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188 Inspiring Quotes by Pablo Picasso

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Pablo Picasso.

Wikipedia Summary for Pablo Picasso

Pablo Ruiz Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and theatre designer who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a dramatic portrayal of the bombing of Guernica by German and Italian air forces during the Spanish Civil War.

Picasso demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a naturalistic manner through his childhood and adolescence. During the first decade of the 20th century, his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. After 1906, the Fauvist work of the slightly older artist Henri Matisse motivated Picasso to explore more radical styles, beginning a fruitful rivalry between the two artists, who subsequently were often paired by critics as the leaders of modern art.

Picasso's work is often categorized into periods. While the names of many of his later periods are debated, the most commonly accepted periods in his work are the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904–1906), the African-influenced Period (1907–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919), also referred to as the Crystal period. Much of Picasso's work of the late 1910s and early 1920s is in a neoclassical style, and his work in the mid-1920s often has characteristics of Surrealism. His later work often combines elements of his earlier styles.

Exceptionally prolific throughout the course of his long life, Picasso achieved universal renown and immense fortune for his revolutionary artistic accomplishments, and became one of the best-known figures in 20th-century art.


yellow bee beside purple petaled flower during daytime

What one does is what counts. Not what one had the intention of doing.

--Pablo Picasso


photography of starry sky

The purpose of Art is to create enthusiasm.

--Pablo Picasso

forest trees photograph

Why do you try to understand art? Do you try to understand the song of a bird?

--Pablo Picasso


person holding brown leaf

Is there anything more dangerous than sympathetic understanding?

--Pablo Picasso

brown, black, and white butterfly on purple petaled flower photo

In every photographer there was a painter, a true artist, awaiting expression.

--Pablo Picasso

green plant

Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.

--Pablo Picasso

two blue beach chairs near body of water

Today we haven't the heart to expel the painters and poets from society because we refuse to admit to ourselves that there is any danger in keeping them in our midst.

--Pablo Picasso

person holding brown leaf

For those who know how to read, I have painted my autobiography.

--Pablo Picasso

grayscale photo of elephant on grass field

Unless your work gives you trouble, it is no good.

--Pablo Picasso

aerial's photo of metropolitan during night time\

Rhythm is a perception of time... when drawing, the tiredness of the hand is a rhythm.

--Pablo Picasso

adobe wall

Painting is not made to decorate apartments. It's an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy. (about Guernica).

--Pablo Picasso


brown houses in front of hill under starry night

To make oneself hated is more difficult than to make oneself loved.

--Pablo Picasso

gray road beside a trees

It took me a lifetime.

--Pablo Picasso


purple lavender flower

It's insane how many Roman coins are being found! It's as if all Romans had holes in their pockets. They sowed coins wherever they went. Even in the fields. Maybe to grow money.

--Pablo Picasso


shallow focus photography of purple flower

When German soldiers used to come to my studio and look at my pictures of Guernica, they'd ask 'Did you do this?' And I'd say, 'No, you did.'

--Pablo Picasso



aerial photo of green trees

We must pick out what is good for us where we can find it.

--Pablo Picasso

saguaro

Without great solitude no serious work is possible.

--Pablo Picasso

red

Imitators? All right! Disciples if you like. But disciples be damned. It's not interesting.

--Pablo Picasso

five children sitting on bench front of trees

Art is a finger up the bourgeoisie ass.

--Pablo Picasso

woman sitting on black chair in front of glass-panel window with white curtains

Braque always said that the only thing that counts, in painting, is the intention, and it's true. What counts is what one wants to do, and not what one does. That's what's important.

--Pablo Picasso

orange flowers

A painter is a man who paints what he sells; an artist, on the other hand, is a man who sells what he paints.

--Pablo Picasso

time lapse photography of lightning during storm

Drawing is a kind of hypnotism: one looks in such a way at the model, that he comes and takes a seat on the paper.

--Pablo Picasso


red rose illustration

There's no such thing as a bad Picasso, but some are less good than others.

--Pablo Picasso

pink and white computer keyboard beside yellow framed sunglasses

We don't grow older, we grow riper.

--Pablo Picasso



two women walking on bridge during daytime

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

--Pablo Picasso

girl and boy figurines

What is conserved in the ground? Stone, bronze, ivory, bone, sometimes pottery. Never wood objects, no fabric or skins. That completely skews our notions about primitive man.

--Pablo Picasso

beige concrete wall

If you have five elements available use only four. If you have four elements use three.

--Pablo Picasso

red textile in close up photography

When one starts from a portrait and seeks by successive eliminations to find pure form... one inevitably ends up with an egg.

--Pablo Picasso


white stars in the sky during night time

That inspiration comes, does not depend on me. The only thing I can do is make sure it catches me working.

--Pablo Picasso

green water in close up photography

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist while still achieving milestones and outcomes as required by certain funders and policy-makers.

--Pablo Picasso

brown mountains under blue sky

The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?

--Pablo Picasso

aerial photography of forest

Titian, Rembrandt and Goya were the great painters. I am only a public clown.

--Pablo Picasso

Arizona landscape

The painter goes through states of fullness and evaluation. That is the whole secret of art.

--Pablo Picasso

photography of yellow petaled flowers field

Whatever is most abstract may perhaps be the summit of reality.

--Pablo Picasso

full-moon above snow-capped mountain painting

We have a definite but unknown quantity of experience at our disposal. As soon as the hourglass is turned, the sand will begin to run out and once it starts, it cannot stop until it's all gone.

--Pablo Picasso

None

As an artist, all I need is my paints and brushes -- and someone to drag me away when the canvas is done.

--Pablo Picasso

gray concrete painted wall

You see these thick curtains shut out the daylight: artificial light suits me a great deal better; it's absolutely steady, and much more exciting.

--Pablo Picasso


green leafed seedlings on black plastic pots

A picture lives by its legend -- not by anything else.

--Pablo Picasso


blue sky and white clouds

To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul, to give it its final blow the coup de grace for the painter as well as for the picture.

--Pablo Picasso

silhouette of trees during sunset

There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.

--Pablo Picasso

crescent moon above mountain

There are chemists who spend their whole lives trying to find out what's in a lump of sugar. I want to know one thing. What is color?

--Pablo Picasso

yellow flowers blooming at field

Can you imagine me calling myself "Ruiz"? "Pablo Ruiz"? "Diego-José Ruiz"? Or "Juan-Népomucène Ruiz"? I was given I don't know how many names.

--Pablo Picasso

silhouette of people riding bicycle

Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don't start measuring her limbs.

--Pablo Picasso

snow covered brown mountain

What I capture in spite of myself interests me more than my own ideas.

--Pablo Picasso

woman holding brown umbrella

The people who make art their business are mostly imposters.

--Pablo Picasso



white rose flower

Through education comes understanding. Through understanding comes true appreciation. All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

--Pablo Picasso


red tulips

Beauty? To me it is a word without sense because I do not know where its meaning comes from nor where it leads to.

--Pablo Picasso

photo of underwater

I'd like to live like a poor man -- only with lots of money.

--Pablo Picasso

seashore during golden hour

When I enter the studio, I leave my body at the door the way the Moslems leave their shoes when they enter the mosque, and I only allow my spirit to go in there and paint.

--Pablo Picasso

white desk lamp beside green plant

Each time I undertake to paint a picture I have a sensation of leaping into space. I never know whether I shall fall on my feet. It is only later that I begin to estimate more exactly the the effect of my work.

--Pablo Picasso

silhouette of man in water

I understand how you could see something in the root of a tree, a crack in the wall, in an eroded stone or pebble. But marble? It comes off in blocks and doesn't evoke any image. It does not inspire.

--Pablo Picasso

white and blue building under clear sky

I like all paintings. I always look at the paintings, good or bad, in barbershops, furniture stores, provincial hotels. I'm like a drinker who needs wine. As long as it is wine, it doesn't matter which wine.

--Pablo Picasso

blue rose

Painting isn't made for the decoration of apartments; it is a weapon to be used offensively and defensively against the enemy.

--Pablo Picasso


woman in black tank top and gray leggings doing yoga

Photographers, along with dentists, are the two professions never satisfied with what they do. Every dentist would like to be a doctor and inside every photographer is a painter trying to get out.

--Pablo Picasso

grayscale photography of person on beach

They'll sell you thousands of greens. Veronese green and emerald green and cadmium green and any sort of green you like; but that particular green, never.

--Pablo Picasso



snow mountains under nightsky

Everything we can dream can be real.

--Pablo Picasso

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

Painting isn't an aesthetic operation; it's a form of magic designed as mediator between this strange hostile world and us.

--Pablo Picasso

shallow focus photography of bee on flower

They ought to put out the eyes of painters as they do goldfinches in order that they can sing better.

--Pablo Picasso

selective focus photography of Russian Blue cat

Music and art are the guiding lights of the world.

--Pablo Picasso

red strawberry fruit on red surface

I have never made radically different experiments. Whenever I wanted to say something, I said it the way I believed I should.

--Pablo Picasso

rock formation under starry skies

The fingerprints of the god who amused himself fashioning them -- I can see them on any bone whatsoever.

--Pablo Picasso


black textile in close up photography

Cubism is not a reality you can take in your hand. It's more like a perfume, in front of you, behind you, to the sides, the scent is everywhere but you don't quite know where it comes from.

--Pablo Picasso

brown and white humming bird

When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine.

--Pablo Picasso

yellow petaled flower screenshot

No, painting is not interior decoration. It is an instrument of war for attack and defense against the enemy.

--Pablo Picasso

sun

When you are young and without success, you have only a few friends. Then, later on, when you are rich and famous, you still have a few... if you are lucky.

--Pablo Picasso

golden retriever inside car

The older you get the stronger the wind gets -- and it's always in your face.

--Pablo Picasso

white shore under sunny sky

I go for a walk in the forest of Fontainebleau. I get 'green' indigestion. I must get rid of this sensation into a picture. Green rules it. A painter paints to unload himself of feelings and visions.

--Pablo Picasso

blue

Age only matters when one is aging. Now that I have arrived at a great age, I might as well be twenty.

--Pablo Picasso

sliced lemon on pink surface

There are more copies than originals among people.

--Pablo Picasso

green leafed plant on clear glass vase filled with water

It's always necessary to seek for perfection. Obviously, for us, this word no longer has the same meaning. To me, it means: from one canvas to the next, always go further, further.

--Pablo Picasso

bonfire near mountain

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

--Pablo Picasso

body of water during daytime

I paint the way someone bites his fingernails; for me, painting is a bad habit because I don't know nor can I do anything else.

--Pablo Picasso

shallow focus photography of orange flower

You mustn't always believe what I say. Questions tempt you to tell lies, particularly when there is no answer.

--Pablo Picasso

green grass field with smoke

The people no longer seek consolation in art. But the refined people, the rich, the idlers seek the new, the extraordinary, the extravagant, the scandalous.

--Pablo Picasso

Longer Version:

The people no longer seek consolation in art. But the refined people, the rich, the idlers seek the new, the extraordinary, the extravagant, the scandalous. I have contented these people with all the many bizarre things that come into my head. And the less they understand, the more they admire it. By amusing myself with all these games, all this nonsense, all these picture puzzles, I became famous... I am only a public entertainer who has understood his time.



man in black pants sitting on chair

One must act in painting as in life, directly.

--Pablo Picasso

round analog watch with black leather strap on top of white wooden surface

The right to free expression is something one seizes, not something one is given.... if it does exist, it exists to be used against the established order.... There is absolute opposition between the artist and the state.

--Pablo Picasso

woman wearing black top standing near yellow wall

If you take my sayings and explode them in the air, they remain only sayings. But if you fit them together in their correct places, you will have the whole story.

--Pablo Picasso

bare tress and mountain

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.

--Pablo Picasso

yellow sunflower in bloom during daytime

I want to know one thing, what is color?

--Pablo Picasso

green forest during daytime

I am only a public entertainer who understands his time.

--Pablo Picasso

woman in white shirt sitting on brown rock near lake during daytime

Sculpture is the art of the intelligence.

--Pablo Picasso

solid background

We must not discriminate between things. Where things are concerned there are no class distinctions. We must pick out what is good for us where we can find it.

--Pablo Picasso

pink rose in close up photography

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing?

--Pablo Picasso

Longer Version:

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.


black Sony point-and-shoot camera on yellow surface

I am a communist and my painting is a communist painting. But if I were a shoemaker, Royalist or Communist or anything else, I would not necessarily hammer my shoes in any special way to show my politics.

--Pablo Picasso

person with flashlight near lighted green tree on mountain under starry night

Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.

--Pablo Picasso

orange and white stone fragment

As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself. What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done? A painter has only one language.

--Pablo Picasso

Arizona landscape

A good picture, any picture, has to be bristling with razor blades.

--Pablo Picasso

orange lily in bloom close up photo

I consider a work of art as a product of calculations, calculations that are frequently unknown to the author himself.

--Pablo Picasso


green leaf in close up photography

Good artists copy; great artists steal.

--Pablo Picasso

sunset

When I work I relax; doing nothing or entertaining visitors makes me tired.

--Pablo Picasso

person walking on snowfield

The important thing is to create. Nothing else matters; creation is all.

--Pablo Picasso

boat docked near house

To model an object is to possess it.

--Pablo Picasso


silhouette of three people up on mountain cliff

Anything new, anything worth doing, can't be recognized.

--Pablo Picasso

man with LED headlight looking upward

It's a poor artist who borrows -- a good artist steals.

--Pablo Picasso

sunset

When we discovered cubism, we did not have the aim of discovering cubism. We only wanted to express what was in us.

--Pablo Picasso

adult black and white dog leaning on wooden fence

Sculpture is the best comment that a painter can make on painting.

--Pablo Picasso

black and white duck on brown wooden dock during daytime

I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.

--Pablo Picasso

black and white abstract illustration

There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.

--Pablo Picasso

green and white abstract painting

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.

--Pablo Picasso

man playing soccer during daytime

Disciples be damned. It's not interesting. It's only the masters that matter. Those who create.

--Pablo Picasso


brown houses in front of hill under starry night

It seems strange to me that someone thought of making marble statues.

--Pablo Picasso

red surface

I don't say everything, but I paint everything.

--Pablo Picasso


close up photography of moon

I draw like other people bite their nails.

--Pablo Picasso

yellow sunflower in close up photography

When it comes right down to it, all you have is your self. Your Self is a sun with a thousand rays.

--Pablo Picasso

forest trees photograph

If all the ways I have been along were marked on a map and joined up with a line, it might represent a minotaur.

--Pablo Picasso

closeup photo of violin on brown surface

The path to youth takes a lifetime.

--Pablo Picasso

person using laptop computer

An artist must be very careful not to look for models. As soon as one artist takes another as model, he is lost. There is no other point of departure than reality.

--Pablo Picasso

yellow painted wall

One starts to get young at the age of sixty.

--Pablo Picasso

Longer Version:

One starts to get young at the age of sixty and then it is too late.


Arizona landscape

Sex and art are the same thing.

--Pablo Picasso

mountains with trees under white star at night

It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.

--Pablo Picasso

silhouette of flying bird

The goal I proposed myself in making cubism? To paint and nothing more... with a method linked only to my thought... Neither the good nor the true; neither the useful nor the useless.

--Pablo Picasso



sunset

Paintings are but research and experiment. I never do a painting as a work of art. All of them are researches. I search constantly and there is a logical sequence in all this research.

--Pablo Picasso

yellow and red tulip in bloom close up photo

Variation does not mean evolution. If an artist varies his mode of expression this only means that he has changed his manner of thinking, and in changing, it might be for the better or it might be for the worse.

--Pablo Picasso

low angle photo of starry night

Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.

--Pablo Picasso

white desk lamp beside green plant

Everybody has the same energy potential. The average person wastes his in a dozen little ways. I bring mine to bear on one thing only: my paintings, and everything else is sacrificed to it...myself included.

--Pablo Picasso

mountain dew during sunrise

You have to start somewhere. You can always erase reality later on.

--Pablo Picasso


grayscale photography of elephant

Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it?

--Pablo Picasso

bonfire in forest

Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.

--Pablo Picasso

round Timex analog clock at 2:33

Only when painting isn't painting can there be an affront to modesty.

--Pablo Picasso

selective photography of green leaf plant

There is only one way to see things, until someone shows us how to look at them with different eyes.

--Pablo Picasso

person behind fog glass

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web.

--Pablo Picasso



rock mountain during starry night

Accidents, try to change them -- it's impossible. The accidental reveals man.

--Pablo Picasso


clear drinking glass with beer

It isn't up to the painter to define the symbols. Otherwise it would be better if he wrote them out in so many words! The public who look at the picture must interpret the symbols as they understand them.

--Pablo Picasso



selective focus photo of iceberg on large body of water at winter

When I paint a woman in an armchair, the armchair is there to show illness and death-or as a protection.

--Pablo Picasso

group of camels walking on desert lake at daytime

My mother said to me, "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as the Pope." Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.

--Pablo Picasso

group of people waving their hands

The world doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?

--Pablo Picasso

yellow and white color illustration

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

--Pablo Picasso

bare tree on mountain during sunset

This idea of art for art's sake is a hoax.

--Pablo Picasso


green ceramic mug on wooden desk

There's nothing so similar to one poodle dog as another poodle dog, and that goes for women, too.

--Pablo Picasso

purple petaled flower on gray surface

Academic training in beauty is a sham. We have been so deceived, but so well deceived that we can scarcely get back even a shadow of the truth.

--Pablo Picasso

Arizona landscape snow

Work is a necessity for man. Man invented the alarm clock.

--Pablo Picasso

blue and white abstract painting

The only pictorial matter that is of interest to me is the matter and sentiments brought about by the work itself.

--Pablo Picasso

sunset with agave stem

You're either a goddess ... or a doormat.

--Pablo Picasso


blue sky and white clouds

Have you noticed that bones are always modeled and not carved, that you always have the impression they come from a mold, that they were first modeled in clay? Any bone you look at, you always find fingerprints on it.

--Pablo Picasso

brown chopped logs

When I am told I am too old to do something, I try to do it right away.

--Pablo Picasso


person on road at sunset

Art is not chaste. Those ill prepared should be allowed no contact with art. Art is dangerous. If it is chaste, it is not art.

--Pablo Picasso

silhouette of man on top of hill overlooking lighted city at dawn

There ought to be an absolute dictatorship... a dictatorship of painters... a dictatorship of one painter... to suppress all those who have betrayed us.

--Pablo Picasso

landscape photography of green tree

Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.

--Pablo Picasso

yellow and red tulip in bloom close up photo

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.

--Pablo Picasso

Hey! I miss you

If I don't have red, I use blue.

--Pablo Picasso

white tulips in white background

I don't believe in accidents. There are only encounters in history.

--Pablo Picasso

purple flower in macro lens

An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought.

--Pablo Picasso


black textile on white textile

You mustn't expect me to repeat myself. My past doesn't interest me. I would rather copy others than copy myself. In that way I should at least be giving them something new. I love discovering things.

--Pablo Picasso

brown and white short coated dog lying on white surface

I do not seek. I find.

--Pablo Picasso

mixed paints in a plate

If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.

--Pablo Picasso

brown mountain at nighttime

To copy others is necessary, but to copy oneself is pathetic.

--Pablo Picasso

selective focus photo of iceberg on large body of water at winter

Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.

--Pablo Picasso


aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

The connoisseur of painting gives only bad advice to the painter. For that reason I have given up trying to judge myself.

--Pablo Picasso

water color palette on white surface

When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk, you'll be the pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.

--Pablo Picasso

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