Top 20 Pablo Picasso Insightful Quotes on Art and Life

Pablo Picasso, Head of a Woman, Portrait of Marie Thérése Walter, 1934. Oil on canvas. © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Head of a Woman, a 1934 oil canvas  portrait of Marie Thérése Walter by Pablo Picasso, shows the genius of the famous artist who shaped  20th century art. Image: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

ART QUOTES Pablo Picasso Perceptive Views on Art and Life Continue to Resonate in Contemporary Times


Pablo Picasso, The Rescue, 1932. Oil on canvas. © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. MFA

Pablo Picasso 1954, Yousuf Karsh (Canadian (born in Turkish Armenia), 1908–2002). 92.7 x 71.8 cm. Image: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

BOSTON– Presently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston are five installations  examining  modern art history and the contributions made by different  artists who helped foster modern art in the 20th century.  Titled Making Modern, one of the artists whose works are on display is Pablo Picasso.  A brilliant artist and master craftsman, Picasso’s art has had the most profound impact on 20th century art.  Celebrated as the greatest and most influential artist of the 20th century, Picasso was the co-creator of Cubism. The focus on Picasso rekindles his contribution to 20th century art.


Born in Málaga, Spain, in 1881, Pablo Picasso’s love for art began at a very young age.  His father, Don José Ruiz Blasco noticed his son’s extraordinary talent. A painter, curator and art teacher, Ruiz Blasco began teaching him how to draw and paint.  Picasso grew up to become an exceptional artist.  He attended Escuela de Bellas Artes de Barcelona and Royal Academy of San Fernando.

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For Picasso, “Action is the foundational key to all success,” and he was always looking for the keys to creative success.  He was constantly creating and looking for new ways to express his ideas. “Give me a museum and I’ll fill it,”  he once said  while commenting on his creative energy.

Art historians have divided his career into different categories based on the important elements in the artworks created during the different periods.  The periods are Blue Period, Rose Period and Surrealism.  Some of Picasso’s famous artworks include: Guernica 1937, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon 1907, The Weeping Woman 1937,  The Old Guitarist 1903–1904, Three Musicians 1921, Girl Before a Mirror 1932, Le Rêve 1932, and La Vie 1903.

Beyond art, Picasso was also very eloquent and had interesting views about art, life and women.

Here are the top twenty quotes by Pablo Picasso on Art, Life and Women.

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

2. What do you think an artist is?…he is a political being, constantly aware of the heart breaking , passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world , shaping himself completely in their image. Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.

3. Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one’s bath like a lump of sugar.

4. I have a horror of people who speak about the beautiful. What is the beautiful? One must speak of problems in painting!

5. Good artists copy, great artists steal.

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

7. 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.

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

9. He can who thinks he can, and he can’t who thinks he can’t. This is an inexorable, indisputable law.

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

11. 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.

12. Our goal 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.

13.  The people who make art their business are mostly impostors.

14. 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.

15. 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.

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

17. If there were only one truth, you couldn’t paint a hundred canvases on the same theme.

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

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

20. Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.

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