Pablo Picasso

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The path to youth takes a whole life.
Art is not made to decorate rooms. It is an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.
I do not search, I find.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881-10-251973-04-08) was a Spanish artist.


  • For a long time I limited myself to one colour — as a form of discipline.
    • On his "blue" and "rose" periods, from Picasso on Art
  • It means nothing to me. I have no opinion about it, and I don't care.
    • On the first moon landing, The New York Times, (1969-07-21)
  • Art is not made to decorate rooms. It is an offensive weapon in the defense against the enemy.
    • La peinture n’est pas faite pour décorer des appartements. C’est un instrument de guerre offensive et défensive contre l’ennemi.
    • La pintura no se ha inventado para adornar las habitaciones. La pintura es un arma ofensiva, en la defensa contra el enemigo.
    • Les lettres françaises, (1943-03-24)
  • People who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.
    • Picasso on Art (1988) edited by Dore Ashton
  • Painting isn't an aesthetic operation; it's a form of magic designed as mediator between this strange hostile world and us.
    • As quoted in The Golden Ratio by Mario Livio, p. 159
  • I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
    • Richard Alan Krieger (2002). Civilization's Quotations: Life's Ideal, Pg. 132, Algora Publishing. ISBN 1892941767.


  • Los ordenadores son inútiles. Sólo pueden darte respuestas.
    • Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
  • Cuando me dicen que soy demasiado viejo para hacer una cosa, procuro hacerla enseguida.
    • When they tell me I'm too old to do something, I attempt it immediately.
  • El arte es una mentira que nos acerca a la verdad.
    • Art is a lie that leads us closer to the truth.
  • El camino de la juventud lleva toda una vida.
    • The path of youth takes a whole life.
  • Genio es personalidad con dos duros de talento.
    • Genius is personality with two pennies of talent.
  • Hace falta mucho, mucho tiempo para ser joven.
    • A long, long time is needed to be young.
  • La calidad de un pintor depende de la cantidad de pasado que lleve consigo.
    • The quality of a painter depends on the amount of the past he carries with him.
I don't work according to Nature, but in front and together with it. An artist must observe Nature, but never confuse it with the art.
  • La inspiración existe, pero tiene que encontrarte trabajando.
    • Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.
  • La pintura es más fuerte que yo, siempre consigue que haga lo que ella quiere.
    • The painting is stronger than me, it always gets me to do what it wants.
  • Me gusta vivir pobre... pero con mucho dinero.
    • I like to live poor... but with a lot of money.
  • Mi madre un día me dijo: "Si te haces soldado, serás General; si te haces monje, terminarás como el Papa." En cambio, me hice pintor y ahora soy Picasso.
    • One day, my mother said to me, "If you become a soldier, you will be a general; if you become a monk you'll end up as the pope." Instead, I became a painter and now I am Picasso.
  • Si se sabe exactamente lo que se va a hacer, ¿para qué hacerlo?.
    • If it is known exactly what is going to be done, why do it?
  • Si hubiera una sola verdad, no se podrían hacer cien lienzos sobre un mismo tema.
    • If there were only one truth, it wouldn't be possible to do 100 variations on the same theme.
  • Un pintor es un hombre que pinta lo que vende. Un artista, en cambio, es un hombre que vende lo que pinta.
    • A painter is a man who paints what he sells. An artist, however, is a man who sells what he paints.
  • Yo no busco, yo encuentro.
    • I do not search, I find.
  • Yo no digo todo, mas pinto todo.
    • I do not say everything, but I paint everything.
  • Yo no evoluciono, yo soy.
    • I do not evolve, I am.
  • Yo no pinto las cosas como las veo, yo pinto como las pienso.
    • I do not paint things as I see them, I paint how I think of them.
  • Yo no trabajo según la Naturaleza, sino delante de ella, con ella. Un pintor debe observar la Naturaleza, pero jamás confundirla con la pintura.
    • I don't work according to Nature, but in front and together with it. An artist must observe Nature, but never confuse it with the painting.
  • If they took away my paints I’d use pastels. If they took away my pastels I’d use crayons. If they took away my crayons I’d use pencils. If they stripped me naked and threw me in prison I’d spit on my finger and paint on the walls.
  • All I ever made was made for the present and in the hope it will always remain in the present.
  • Drink to me. Drink to my health. You know I can't drink any more.
    • Reported last words
  • Every child is an artist. It's a challenge to remain an artist when you grow up.
  • God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things.
  • Good art bristles with razor blades.
  • Good artists copy. Great artists steal.
  • I have discovered photography. Now I can kill myself. I have nothing else to learn.
  • It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.
  • North Pole, South Pole.
  • Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
  • The smell of opium is the least stupid smell in the world.
  • Theories are lies that help us to see the truth.
  • There are two kinds of women — goddesses and doormats.
  • When we discovered Cubism, we did not have the aim of discovering Cubism. We only wanted to express that which was within us.
  • The three most astonishing things in the past half-century were The Blues, Cubism and...Polish Vodka.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If there is something to steal, I steal it!.
  • When we discovered Cubism, we did not have the aim of discovering Cubism. We only wanted to express what was in us.
  • People want to find a "meaning" in everything and everyone. That's the disease of our age, an age that is anything but practical but believes itself to be more practical than any other age.
  • Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility.
  • Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
  • Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.
  • Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.
  • Nature does many things the way I do, but she hides them!
  • I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.
  • 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.
  • Give me a museum and I'll fill it.

About Pablo Picasso

  • A friend built a modern house and he suggested that Picasso too should have one built. But, said Picasso, of course not, I want an old house. Imagine, he said, if Michael Angelo would have been pleased if someone had given him a fine piece of Renaissance furniture, not at all.
    • Gertrude Stein, Picasso (1938) [Dover, 1984, ISBN 0-486-24715-5], p. 31
    • Note: Stein used the spelling "Michael Angelo" rather than "Michelangelo." The quotation preserves this spelling.
  • Picasso es pintor, yo también; Picasso es español, yo también; Picasso es comunista, yo tampoco.
    • Picasso is a painter, so am I; Picasso is Spanish, so am I; Picasso is a communist, neither am I.
    • Salvador Dalí (attributed)

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