38 Picasso Quotes About The Meaning of Life and Art
Pablo Picasso Quotes about the meaning of art and life

Publication: Mar 18, 2022

Inside: A collection of Pablo Picasso quotes on the meaning of life, great artist and art, and creativity.

Pablo Picasso was the greatest artist of the early 20th century, and his genius changed the art world forever.

Picasso produced an unparalleled amount of art in his lifetime– over 130,000 works that included paintings, drawings, ceramics, and more.

When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.

‘- Pablo Picasso

He also dabbled in poetry. As you’ll see in the quotes below, Picasso had a way with words and his brilliance extends to writing as well.

Pablo Picasso quotes

Contents:

1. Picasso Steal Quote
2. Picasso Quotes About Art
3. Picasso Quotes About the Meaning of Life
4. Picasso Quotes About Creativity
5. Picasso Quotes About Work

Jacqueline with Flowers, 1954 – Image Source

Before we get too far in, we should probably clear something up.

What is the Famous Picasso Steal Quote?

Many places cite Pablo Picasso as the source for this now-famous quote:

“Good artists copy; great artists steal.”

It’s unclear, however, if Picasso really was the originator of this iconic phrase. Steve Jacobs famously quoted Picasso as saying “Good artists copy; great artists steal,” and ever since then Picasso has been cited.

It’s possible this quote cam about because Picasso has other quips about copying

1. “To copy others is necessary, but to copy oneself is pathetic.”

– Pablo Picasso

2. “Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility.”

Pablo Picasso

The Old Guitarist, 1903 – Image Source

20 Picasso Quotes about Art

Related: 25 Frida Kahlo Quotes

1. “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls..”

– Pablo Picasso

2. “We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand.” 

Pablo Picasso

3. ““Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?”

Pablo Picasso

4. “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

. Pablo Picasso

5. “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

Pablo Picasso

6. “If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse… but surely you will see the wildness!” 

Pablo Picasso

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

Pablo Picasso

8. “Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter?”

Pablo Picasso

9. “Painting is an essential function of human life. Wherever human beings live, painting has existed and exists. Painting is a language, as with words.”

Pablo Picasso

10. “I paint objects as I think them not as I see them.”

Pablo Picasso

11. “”Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.”

Pablo Picasso

12. “The more technique you have the less you have to worry about it. The more technique there is the less there is.”

– Pablo Picasso

13. “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” 

– Pablo Picasso

14. “When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine.”

Pablo Picasso

15. “”Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the song of a bird? Why does one love the night, flowers, everything around one, without trying to understand them?”

Pablo Picasso

16. “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 made to decorate apartments. It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.”

Pablo Picasso

17. “Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once they grow up.”

Pablo Picasso

18. “Unless your work gives you trouble, it is no good.”

Pablo Picasso

19. “The hidden harmony is better than the obvious.”

Pablo Picasso

20. “Unless your work gives you trouble, it is no good.”

Pablo Picasso

Girl Before a Mirror, 1954 – Image Source

5 Picasso Quotes ABout THe Meaning of Life And Love

1. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Pablo Picasso

2. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Pablo Picasso

3. “People want to find a meaning in everything and everyone. That’s the disease of our age.”

Pablo Picasso

4. “Love is the greatest refreshment in life.

Pablo Picasso

5. “When you come right down to it all you have is yourself. The sun is a thousand rays in your belly. All the rest is nothing.”

Pablo Picasso

Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park , 1947- Image Source

5 Picasso Quotes ABout Creativity

1. “The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense.” 

Pablo Picasso

2. “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”

Pablo Picasso

3. “I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.” 

Pablo Picasso

4. “Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.”

Pablo Picasso

5. “Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.”

– Pablo Picasso

5 Picasso Quotes ABout Work

1. “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”

Pablo Picasso

2. “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Pablo Picasso

3. “Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.”” 

Pablo Picasso

4. “Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.”

Pablo Picasso

5. “The people who make art their business are mostly imposters.”

Pablo Picasso

I hope these Diego Rivera quotes and resources were helpful to you! If you have more ideas for resources or lessons, let me know in the comments below!

Image Sources:


Header: “Mural Pablo Picasso” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by pantelispan

Image 1: “Image 2:  “s-pablo-picasso-large640” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by CyberHades

Image 2: “Image 14: “Jacqueline with Flowers” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by lluisribesmateu1969

Image 3: “Image 4: “Picasso, The Old Guitarist” (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by profzucker

Image 4: “Image 10: “Girl Before a Mirror” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Thomas Hawk

Image 5: “#Picasso bleu et rose – Musée d’Orsay” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by y.caradec

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Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising three bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best-of-the-best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

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