The End of Picasso: From His Death to Legacy

La Fin de Picasso : De Sa Mort à l'Héritage

The End of Picasso: From His Death to Legacy

Pablo Picasso , Spanish artist renowned for 20th century, died on April 8, 1973 at the age of 91. He was one of painters most famous and influential people of all time, and his legacy artistic continues to fascinate the whole world. by a pulmonary embolism. Picasso's death was a pivotal moment in art history and marked the beginning of a series of complex events, family controversies and posthumous twists and turns that shaped the artist's enduring legacy.

1. The life of Picasso

Born October 25, 1881 in Malaga , Spain, Picasso showed an exceptional talent for the visual arts from an early age. His father, José Ruiz , himself painter , recognized his talent and encouraged him to follow a career artistic . Picasso quickly expressed interest in cubism , a art Movement innovative who sought to represent objects using geometric shapes .

At the start of his career , Picasso made numerous works emblematic, in particular. THE Ladies d'Avignon 1907, considered one of the paintings the most important of modern art . His canvases cubists have also captivated critics and audiences, establishing Picasso and his friend Georges Braque as the pioneers of the movement. Over the years, Picasso developed his own distinctive style and explored different periods artistic , such as blue period and the pink period .

His paintings and sculptures , often inspired by women, still lifes and portraits , marked the history of art and continue to fascinate enthusiasts to this day. In 1937, Picasso created one of his most famous and politically engaged works , Guernica . This painting evokes the horrors of the Spanish Civil War and the bombing of the small Basque town of Guernica during World War II . Guernica became an icon of the surrealist art movement and symbolized the fight against oppression and violence.

Throughout his life, Picasso also experimented with other artistic forms, including ceramics , printmaking , and sculpture . He was a prolific sculptor , creating famous pieces such as. The Joy of Living and. Minotaur .

The Picasso Museum in Paris, as well as the National Picasso Museum in Barcelona, ​​house an extensive collection of his works , allowing visitors from around the world to discover the richness of his artistic talent.

Despite his worldwide fame, Picasso never lost his political and social commitment. He supported the Communist Party and used his art to express his opinions and advocate for the causes he cared about.

Pablo Picasso was also known for his tumultuous personal life. He had several mistresses , including the famous artist and writer Françoise Gilot , with whom he had two children. Among his other notable relationships are Dora Maar , Marie-Thérèse Walter, and Jacqueline Roque , who became his second wife.

2. The death of Pablo Picasso

Unfortunately, at the end of his life, Picasso began to suffer from health problems. On April 8, 1973, he died at his home in the south of France, surrounded by his family and loved ones. His death marked the end of an era artistic and the world has lost one of its most great masters . Today, the works of Picasso continue to be admired and studied by researchers, art lovers and collectors of the whole world.

What exactly did Picasso die of?

Pablo Picasso died of a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism is the obstruction of a pulmonary artery or one of its branches, usually by a blood clot . It causes damage to the affected lung and the injured part can no longer supply oxygen to the body to the point of death.

Where is Picasso buried?

Picasso now rests in the park of the Château de Vauvenargues , in Bouches-du-Rhône, after the town hall of Mougins refused.

3. Funeral Controversies

Mougins' refusal to welcome Picasso into his commune and the subsequent decision to have him buried in Vauvenargues sparked family controversies. the town hall of Mougins refused burial in its commune, considering him a “billionaire communist”. Her last wish was respected with the monumental bronze sculpture “ La Femme au vase ” sealed on her tomb , a work which symbolizes her artistic genius. The monumental sculpture on his tomb itself tells a particular artistic story.

Picasso's post-death period was marked by family tensions during his burial, with family members barred from the castle, including his daughter, Maya and Paloma .
Jacqueline Roque , his wife, later joined him in his grave in 1986.

4. Posthumous Art Exhibitions

Exhibitions organized after Picasso's death, notably the major exhibition of 201 paintings at the Palais des Papes in Avignon . The exhibition was initially planned from May to September 1973, and extended until the beginning of 1976, following the wishes of Jacqueline Picasso. However, some of the paintings on display were stolen , leading to the permanent closure of the exhibition.

5. Picasso's Last Words and Legal Battles

Without a will, Picasso's final words still resonate. Picasso is said to have said: " When I die, it will be a shipwreck . When a large ship sinks, many people around are sucked into the whirlwind, it will be worse than we imagine." The legal battles that followed shed light on complex issues related to inheritance .
His legal heirs, his son Paulo and Jacqueline Roque , faced a legal battle. The three other children born out of wedlock finally obtained recognition of their right to inheritance in 1974.

Paulo's premature death sparked a row over the colossal inheritance valued at 1.4 billion francs in 1977 . The heirs opted for donation, transferring works to the State to pay inheritance taxes. This approach gave birth to the Picasso Museum , housing the most important public collection of the painter in the world.

Today, the management of the rights linked to the work, name and image of Picasso is in the hands of the company Picasso Administration , founded and directed by Claude Picasso since 1989. Its assets are estimated at ten billion dinars. euros, thus marking the sustainability of the artistic and financial legacy of the undisputed master of modern art.

6. The Creation of the Picasso Administration

Since 1995, the Picasso Administration company has played a central role in the preservation and promotion of the artist's legacy. Founded and directed by Claude Picasso , it was appointed by the Paris High Court in 1989 to settle the joint ownership of his father's estate. This entity is also called upon to authenticate the works of Picasso , as for example in the case of the 271 Picassos by Pierre Le Guennec.

The company Picasso Administration, managed with expertise by Claude Picasso, ensures the preservation of the public image of the painter as well as the protection of the rights linked to his work . This delicate task involves the management of artistic rights and the faithful representation of Picasso in the art world.

7. The Picasso Museum and the Dation

Picasso's afterlife was also marked by the judicious management of his immense financial assets . The dation , by ceding works to the State to settle inheritance taxes, made it possible to create the Picasso Museum , an institution that continues to enrich the understanding of the artist's creative genius.

The Meaning of Dation

A donation is a legal and fiscal mechanism that allows a person to settle their inheritance tax by transferring cultural property , generally works of art, to a public institution such as a museum, a library, or a cultural organization. This practice aims to preserve artistic and cultural heritage by allowing the goods concerned to remain accessible to the public rather than being dispersed as part of a private inheritance.

In the context of the creation of the Picasso Museum , the donation was used to transfer works by the famous artist to the French state. In return for this transfer, Picasso's heirs were able to pay inheritance taxes, while contributing to the preservation and enhancement of the country's artistic heritage. Thus, the donation offers an alternative solution to heirs to honor tax obligations while promoting the preservation of the artist's cultural legacy.

The Role of the Picasso Museum

The Picasso Museum is much more than just an art showcase. It represents an immersive dive into the complex and evolving world of Picasso. The collection includes 5,000 works , including 232 paintings , 158 sculptures , 88 ceramics , 1,500 drawings and collaged papers, as well as 1,600 engravings . This artistic treasure constitutes the largest public collection in the world dedicated to Picasso.

The Preservation of Artistic Heritage

The Picasso Museum has played a central role in preserving and celebrating Picasso 's artistic legacy. By exhibiting his works in a dedicated space, the museum offers the public a unique opportunity to delve into the creative mind of the master. This goes beyond simple conservation, creating an immersive educational and cultural experience.

A Legacy that Educates and Inspires

Each painting, each sculpture exhibited at the Picasso Museum tells a story, offers an overview of the evolution of his technique, his themes and his artistic expression. Visitors have the opportunity to follow Picasso's journey, from his first experiments to his most famous masterpieces.

Impact on the Understanding of Picasso's Genius

The Picasso Museum plays a vital role in enriching the understanding of the artist's creative genius. It provides a space where art lovers, researchers and enthusiasts can delve deeply into Picasso's artistic process , grasp the evolution of his style and appreciate the lasting influence of his work on modern art.

Picasso's financial legacy, estimated at ten billion euros , attests to the extent of his artistic influence and the lasting value of his work. This wealth, accumulated over the years, underlines Picasso's exceptional status in the history of modern art.

8. Picasso Image Management

The Picasso Administration plays a vital role in preserving and defending the public image of the illustrious artist Picasso . This task, although crucial, is not without its share of challenges.

The Responsibility of the Picasso Administration

The Picasso Administration assumes the delicate responsibility of ensuring that Picasso's image remains faithful to his artistic heritage and the values ​​he embodied during his lifetime. This goes beyond simple copyright management, involving constant vigilance to avoid any inappropriate or distorted use of the master's image.

The Preservation of Artistic Integrity

One of the primary missions of the Picasso Administration is to maintain the artistic integrity of Picasso 's work in the public domain. This means ensuring that visual representations of one's works, whether in exhibitions, reproductions or publications, remain true to the artist's original vision.

Challenges Encountered

Protecting Picasso's public image faces various challenges. With the advent of the Internet and social media, the distribution of images can be rapid and uncontrolled. The Picasso Administration must therefore be proactive to prevent the misuse of Picasso's work and combat the proliferation of erroneous content.

Controversy and Defense

Picasso, as a complex personality, can sometimes be subject to divergent interpretations. The Picasso Administration must confront controversial interpretations of the artist's work and intervene when distortions risk tarnishing Picasso's reputation.

Collaboration with Cultural Institutions

Another dimension of Picasso's image management lies in collaboration with cultural institutions and artistic partners. This includes participation in exhibitions, lectures and other events that help promote a thorough understanding of Picasso's work.

Adaptation to New Media

The Picasso Administration must constantly adapt to the evolution of media and communication platforms. This means staying on top of digital trends, new distribution channels and finding innovative ways to share Picasso's story in an ever-changing digital world.

Picasso's Legacy and Public Opinion

The management of Picasso's image is also linked to the way in which the public perceives the artist's legacy. The Picasso Administration works to maintain a positive connection between the public and Picasso's work, encouraging continued appreciation of his impact on art history.

9. The Legacy of the Picasso Family

Picasso's artistic legacy is not limited to his works, but also extends to his family's complex management of his assets. This family dynamic raises fascinating questions about the preservation and transmission of such a colossal legacy.

Family Dynamics

The Picasso family was faced with the daunting task of managing the legacy of an artistic genius. This complex family dynamic revolves around the recognition of inheritance rights, the preservation of Picasso's image and the making of strategic decisions for the future.

Legal Heirs

Picasso's legal heirs, his son Paulo and Jacqueline Roque, played a central role in managing the inheritance. The recognition of the rights of the three other children born out of wedlock also added a complex legal dimension to the family dynamic.

The Challenge of Heirloom Recognition

The recognition of the rights of children born out of wedlock, after a trial in 1974, contributed to the complexity of family management. However, the decision also highlighted the importance of ensuring all children have access to Picasso's legacy.

Quarrels and Lucrative Legacy

Paulo's untimely death sparked disputes over the inheritance, valued at 1.4 billion francs in 1977. This valuation highlighted the lucrative nature of Picasso's inheritance, often referred to as the "legacy of the century".

Claude Picasso and the Picasso Administration

Claude Picasso, the artist's son, played a central role in founding and directing the Picasso Administration. This entity is crucial in the overall management of heritage, from the preservation of the public image to the authentication of works.

Joint ownership management

The management of the joint ownership, orchestrated by Claude Picasso, has been a continuous challenge. Picasso's eleven properties required careful management to ensure the longevity of the legacy.

The Sustainability of Family Inheritance

Despite the challenges and quarrels, his family's management of Picasso's legacy ensured the longevity of his work. The creation of the Picasso Administration and the donation were key strategies in this quest for preservation and transmission.

In conclusion, the legacy of the Picasso family is not limited to simple financial management, but encompasses the preservation of an exceptional artistic work and the transmission of this cultural heritage to future generations. The Picasso family, through its decisions and careful management, contributed to shaping a legacy that transcends the simple artistic domain to become a cultural and historical heritage.


In conclusion, Picasso's journey from death to legacy reveals a rich, diverse and everlasting legacy. His ability to transcend artistic boundaries and challenge conventions continues to captivate and stimulate creativity. Picasso is not simply a figure from the past, but a master whose legacy still resonates and will continue to resonate through generations to come. His enduring impact on modern art remains a source of inspiration for all who seek to understand the transformative power of creativity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Q: What are the exact circumstances of Picasso's death?

    • A: Picasso died on April 8, 1973 following a pulmonary embolism.
  2. Q: Why did Mougins refuse Picasso's burial?

    • A: The Mougins town hall refused due to political considerations, calling him a “billionaire communist”.
  3. Q: What is the current value of Picasso's heritage?

    • A: Picasso's assets are estimated at around ten billion euros.
  4. Q: What is the dation and what role did it play in Picasso's legacy?

    • A: The donation made it possible to settle inheritance taxes by transferring works to the French state and allowed the creation of the Picasso museum.
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