Pottery of Pablo Picasso

Posted by Kamil Al Rustom on

The Ceramics of Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso, a Spanish artist of the 20th century is renowned for his paintings and his influence on the popularity of Cubism. But late in his life as he turned 60 he ventured into a new creative experiment, making and painting ceramic pottery. The resulting Madoura Picasso Ceramics are as highly revered in the art world as his paintings and fetch a hefty price. Picasso started working with clay after a trip to the Cote d’Azur where he worked with Suzanne and George Ramie over a 25 year span in which he created over 600 ceramic pieces.

Styles of Pablo Picasso’s Madoura pottery

Picasso created two major types of ceramics: three dimensional ceramics and flat ceramics. His three dimensional ceramics were inspired by birds, animals, Greek sculptures and human figures and in true, Picasso fashion he did not use the traditional method of a pottery spinner when creating these ceramics with the result that they have a more sculptured than a pottery look to them. He used paints to turn the handles of his vases and pots into the faces or appendages of the creatures or people he painted. His flat ceramics seem to have served the same purpose to him as his canvases and he used them to create pictures. Unlike his pictures however, the note of discord is absent and the colors and themes he selected are much more cheerful. Blues, yellows and reds predominate in his color selection. These flat pottery pieces are the results of his initial experimentation with pottery making and painting after which he moved on to the more three dimensional pieces.

Subjects of Pablo Picasso’s sculptures

Picasso, in his sculptures, has exhibited the same themes which he did in other media that he chose to use. These include painting his wife and his mistresses, painting the traditional Spanish bullfight scene, drawing inspiration from nature to paint birds and animals as well as classic Greek themes such as centaurs, fauns, nymphs and other creatures from his imagination. He seems to have had a period where he was particularly fascinated by the Corridas of the Spanish bullfight and there are multiple pottery pieces exhibiting Matadors, Picadors and bulls as well as entire scenes depicting a bullfight.

Picasso seems to have brought as much uniqueness and individuality to his pottery painting as he did to his painting and has created a lasting legacy.