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William L. Callahan School Library: Grade 5 - Cubist/Picasso


Cubist/Picasso-Style Portrait



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“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  Picasso

Pablo Ruiz Picasso (25 October 1881 in Málaga, Spain – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter and sculptor. Pablo Picasso created over 20,000 images.

He is considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. He is best known as the co-founder of cubism. A work of art is cubist when the artist opts to break up objects and re-assemble them in abstract and geometric form. Picasso could draw and paint when he was very young. His first word was lápiz, the Spanish word for "pencil".

Cubism was one of the most significant art movements of the 20th century. It began in France about 1907, and flourished from 1910 through the 1920s.  Cubism is a style of art which aims to show all of the possible viewpoints of a person or an object all at once. It is called Cubism because the items represented in the artworks look like they are made out of cubes and other geometrical shapes.


Below is a link from the Tate gallery, if you are able it shows a Cubist work by Picasso.

Using the instructions below as a guide create your own cubist portrait, it can be a self-portrait or just a regular portrait of someone else.  As in Picasso’s work incorporate different geometric shapes and colors, perhaps include one of the things you enjoy doing. The dotted lines represent folding the paper to act as guidelines to help you make your portrait  large enough.

Below is a link to the story “When Pigasso Met Mootise” from SAG storylineonline, a story you may enjoy as you begin your own Cubist portrait, notice the illustrations.

Another link that may help better explain cubism is Clio and the Art Pirates Captain Cubism

cubism for kids