Picasso's Very First Word Will Not Shock You One Bit

Pablo Picasso is regarded as one of the most important and influential artists, renowned for his development of the Cubism movement, his contributions to the craft of collage, and more. Some of his most iconic works include "Guernica," "The Old Guitarist," "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," "Girl Before a Mirror," among many others. Picasso was also an incredibly prolific artist; according to Vanity Fair, he created more than 45,000 works, consisting of 1,885 paintings, 7,089 drawings, 1,228 sculptures, 3,222 ceramic works, 30,000 prints, and 150 sketchbooks.

Born in Málaga, Spain, on October 25, 1881, Picasso got a much longer name when he received his baptism: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso (it was a common practice at the time to give a child the names of family members from both sides, as well as that of saints). Even when he was young, it was clear to his family that he would achieve greatness. Picasso once said, "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 end up as the pope. Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso."

Picasso's first word

According to Biography, because his father Don José Ruiz Blasco was a painter and art instructor, it seemed that Pablo Picasso was destined to become an artist. Little did anyone know that he would start displaying symptoms of creative genius from such a young age. Picasso's first word is said to have been "piz," perhaps his attempt to say "lápiz," which is Spanish for pencil.

If that story is true, it's certainly prophetic. Biography states that Picasso eclipsed his father's artistic skills when he was still in his teens, with his passion for art distracting him even while studying at not one, but two distinguished arts institutions: the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona and the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. Picasso once wrote to a friend about his time in school that "they just go on and on about the same old stuff: Velázquez for painting, Michelangelo for sculpture." No, the streets were Picasso's true school. It wasn't long before he found himself at the café, El Quatre Gats, a hangout for free thinkers and creative rebels who would inspire Picasso to break from traditional art forms and cultivate a bold new style.

Other unusual facts about Picasso

For being such a unique artist, it only makes sense that Picasso's life would be marked by a wide variety of unique qualities. For example, Picasso is widely known for his work in the visual and plastic arts, but did you know that he dabbled in other art forms? He actually wrote more than 300 poems and some surrealist plays, and while his literary works may not be recognized very often today, he does have the distinction of having one of his plays read in public by such luminaries as Albert Camus, Simone de-Beauvoir, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Another interesting factoid about Picasso's life is that he was actually accused of stealing the Mona Lisa at one point. Artists Network recounts how the famed painting was stolen from the Louvre Museum in 1911, which just happened to be when Picasso was living in Paris. Not only was Picasso friends with one of the prime suspects in the case, Guillaume Apollinaire, but it was known that he had previously purchased art stolen from the Louvre. Luckily, Picasso was cleared of all suspicion when the Mona Lisa was revived two years later.