He is undeniably one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
But fifty years after his death at the age of 91, the BBC delves into the dark side of Pablo Picasso and investigates how he became a target for campaigners over his poor treatment of women.
Although Picasso was undoubtedly a great artist, he was also a serial womanizer with a penchant for young women whom he depicted, seduced and often impregnated. Two of his exes and one of his grandsons committed suicide.
In a new series called Picasso: The Beauty And The Beast, the Beeb has delved into the dark side of the artist.
The series features interviews with the artist’s family, combined with recordings of his lovers, and explores Picasso’s troubling history with women.
Half a century after Pablo Picasso (pictured) died, the BBC has decided it’s time to talk about the legendary painter – and not just his artwork
From Guernica to The Weeping Woman (pictured), Picasso’s avant-garde style will likely be remembered for centuries
Picasso was a serial womanizer with a love for young women whom he would portray, seduce and often impregnate
Director John O’Rourke told The Express that some anecdotes about Picasso had led to the great artist’s cancellation.
He said: ‘Many of the allegations revolve around the fact that when he was 45 years old he had a relationship with a 17-year-old.
‘That is clearly a problem in this day and age, but he is not Caravaggio. He didn’t kill anyone.’
Caravaggio was notoriously violent and was sentenced to death after killing a man during a brawl, although he fled before the sentence could be carried out.
Pablo Picasso, who died in 1973 at the age of 91, bedded hundreds of loved ones during his lifetime
Picasso with a young woman in a bikini on a beach in France in the 1960s
Frances Morris, director emerita of Tate Modern, said on the show: ‘There has been increasing concern about considering the implications of his excessive behavior within relationships.
‘Canceling Picasso would be tantamount to canceling the history of modern art. But it is important to look at how his behavior affected those around him.”
Meanwhile, Suzy Klein, head of TV for Art and Classical Music, said: ‘Picasso was a mysterious genius – a man who did not speak of his inner life, but instead poured it out onto the canvas – who changed his artistic style as often as he wild. changed wife and girlfriend.
Picasso’s famous painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, featuring five naked prostitutes from a brothel in Barcelona
Picasso’s Birds In A Cage depicts a wrestling match between his two lovers Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar
Le Reve, his 1932 painting of lover and muse Marie Therese Walter. She took her own life four years after Picasso died
‘When he died he was lionized, but only now, fifty years after his death, do we have the critical distance to unravel the deep connections between Picasso’s life and his art, and take an unflinching look at the horror and brilliance of Picasso’s life. what he left behind.’
Picasso is remembered for his Cubist masterpieces, but stories about his extraordinary personal life, which included having two marriages and a series of mistresses, have never been far away.
After his death, the world mourned, but it wasn’t long before stories of his coercive behavior and womanizing began to trickle into conversations about the artist.
The BBC said the three-part series ‘uncovers the life and work of a man who was both monstrous and genius and looks at his legacy: the suicides and betrayals alongside the stunning works of art he left behind’.
The famous artist pictured in his home in France, surrounded by his artwork
Pablo Picasso with French actress Vera Clouzot (left) and his daughter Maya Picasso in Cannes
Picasso with his second wife Jacqueline, pictured in Spain in 1971, two years before his death
Alexandra Schwartz of the New Yorker said, “Picasso will grow restless. He will seek out other lovers. He will try to push the women in his life away.
“The older he gets, the more explicit he makes that he wants to mark the lives of his loved ones so that in some ways they will be… damaged goods after he leaves them.”
One of the more shocking stories concerns a 13-year-old girl named Raymonde, whom he and his first love Fernande Olivier wanted to adopt in 1907.
Olivier took her back to an orphanage when she discovered that Picasso was painting her naked.
Art critic Louisa Buck told the BBC: ‘He’s making sketches of this teenage girl. Her legs are spread. Her genitals are shown.
‘It is a very problematic episode in Picasso’s life. It raises a warning flag about his future views towards young women.”
However, Picasso’s great artistic achievements have long overcome the desire to cancel him.
From Guernica to The Weeping Woman: Picasso’s avant-garde style will probably be remembered for centuries.
Alice Perman, the BBC show’s series director, said: ‘If we cancel Picasso, oh my god, who else do we have to cancel?’
His daughter Paloma perhaps put it more cryptically: ‘You can’t say he’s a monster or a genius. He’s just a man.’
The final episode of the three-part series Picasso: The Beauty And The Beast airs on Thursday at 9pm on BBC2 and streams on BBC iPlayer.