To talk about one of the most famous painters of all time Pablo Picasso, we would probably need to write a book, to include all the accomplishments of his long and fruitful life. In a short summary, though, we can say that the Picasso paintings are probably what defines modern art. The father of Cubism and many famous paintings also did draw a fair amount of self-portraits throughout the 91 years of his life.

If you look at this collection of Picasso’s self-portraits and compare the first piece to the last, you’ll find that the two are strikingly different. But if you then compare Picasso’s work from the time he was a young man until the time of his death, some common thread emerges, and you can tell the paintings were done by the same man.

How, then, do we reconcile the following quotation from Pablo Picasso himself: “The different styles I have been using in my art must not be seen as an evolution, or as steps towards an unknown ideal of painting…Different themes inevitably require different methods of expression. This does not imply either evolution or progress; it is a matter of following the idea one wants to express and the way in which one wants to express it.”

Pandas, put your philosophy-of-art hats on. How do you reconcile the two? Can the artist’s understanding of his own work be dismissed?

15 years old (1896)

18 years old (1900)

20 years old (1901)

24 years old (1906)

25 years old (1907)

35 years old (1917)

56 years old (1938)

83 years old (1965)

85 years old (1966)

89 years old (1971)

90 years old (June 28, 1972)

90 years old (June 30, 1972)

90 years old (July 2, 1972)

90 years old (July 3, 1972)