Evolution of Picasso’s Iconic Self-Portraits From Age 15 to 90

pablo picasso self portrait art history

Pablo Picasso self-portraits; Left: 18 years old, Right: 25 years old

Known as one of the most prolific painters of Modern Art, Pablo Picasso was undoubtedly a man of many talents. The Spanish artist experimented with and excelled in many mediums, from painting and drawing to sculpting and collaging. In addition to different art forms and unique materials, however, Picasso also worked in a spectacular array of styles. This constantly changing aesthetic approach is evident in his series of self-portraits, which he painted from the age of 15 until 90.

While many people recognize him only for his avant-garde, topsy-turvy paintings, his earlier work—like his self-portraits from 1896 and 1900—exhibit his ability to paint and sketch beautiful true-to-life depictions. Though a gifted draughtsman, Picasso did not dabble in this style for very long. In 1901, he entered his Blue Period—a phase in which he painted somber, stylized scenes in cool blue tones, as evident in his striking self-portrait from the same year.

Following his blue period, Picasso’s work began to show Primitive influences. He also began to use a warmer color palette of pinks during his Rose Period, and, in 1907, his well-known Cubist stage began. As apparent in his self-portrait of the same year, this style incorporates geometry, fractured forms, and thick, black lines. Following this period, Picasso dabbled in a myriad of aesthetics, from Neo-Classicism to Surrealism (perceptible in his dreamy piece from 1938), though he often returned to both his signature primitive aesthetic and his quirky Cubist style until his death in 1973.

You can follow Picasso’s stunning shifts in style below.

15 Years Old (1896)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

18 Years Old (1900)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

20 Years Old (1901)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

24 Years Old (1906)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

25 Years Old (1907)

pablo picasso art history self portrait

35 Years Old (1917)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

56 Years Old (1938)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

83 Years Old (1965)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

85 Years Old (1966)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

89 Years Old (1971)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

90 Years Old (June 28, 1972)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

90 Years Old (June 30, 1972)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

90 Years Old (July 2, 1972)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

90 Years Old (July 3, 1972)
pablo picasso art history self portrait

h/t: [Twisted Sifter]

All images created by Pablo Picasso.

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