Pablo Picasso's Early Life - Before 1901
In 1892 the family moved to La Coruna, and a year after that Picasso was accepted into the school of Fine and Applied Arts there. As early as 1894, aged 13, he produced his first oil paintings, including portraits of his family, and in 1895, he began to exhibit and sell his work on a small scale. The same year Picasso's seven-year old sister, Conchita, died of diphtheria—a is a traumatic event in his life. After her death, the family moved to Barcelona, with Ruiz transferring to its School of Fine Arts. Picasso thrived in the city, regarding it in times of sadness or nostalgia as his true home. His father persuaded the officials at the academy to allow his son to take an entrance exam for the advanced class. This process often took students a month, but Picasso completed it in a week, and the impressed jury admitted Picasso, who was 13.
Barelona would be an importanct centre for Picasso for the next few years. There he would make first artistic friendships and allegiance, with Manuel Pallares, Carlos Casagemas and Jami Sabartes. By the turn of the centuray Picasso had begun to associate with the artists and writers of Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona.
Picasso's father and uncle decided to send the young artist to Madrid’s Royal Academy of San Fernando, the country's foremost art school. In 1897, Picasso, age 16, set off for the first time on his own, but he disliked formal instruction and quit attending classes soon after enrollment. Madrid, however, held many other attractions: the Prado housed paintings by the venerable Diego Velázquez, Francisco Goya, and Francisco Zurbarán. Picasso especially admired the works of El Greco and Caravaggio; their elements, the elongated limbs, arresting colors, and mystical visages, are echoed in Picasso's uvre.
Paris was the desired destination of these young artists, and in October 1900 Picasso made his first trip there in the comapny of Casagemas, with whom he rented a studio. Picasso visited the Louvre, and set up a contact with a Catlan dealer, Pere Manach, to act as his model. In early 1901 Picasso discovered that Casagemas has commited suicide in Paris. In May that year, he went back to Prais, moving into the studio of the sculptor Namolo, and in the auturm he created several haunting works in memory of his dead friend.