Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was a Spanish painter, draughtsman and sculptor. He died in Mougins, France, while entertaining friends at dinner.
This self portrait titled "Yo, Picasso" (I, Picasso) was painted in Paris in Spring 1901 when he was a starving young artist. It is an oil on canvas measuring 73.5 x 60.5 cm and belongs today to a private collection.
In 1970 this painting was sold for $ 353,000. Five years later it fetched $ 567,000 and in 1981 it was sold for $ 5.3 million.
There are other self portraits by Picasso, one of the most famous showing the artist wearing -in the style of van Gogh- a dark cloak on a blue-greenish background made during the famous "période bleue" in 1907.
This self portrait also showed a cultural phenomenon that was emerging at the time, which was the picture of the social-politically motivated intellectual artist. Later Picasso will take great pain to appear as a Leftist painter : J.Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, was concerned about Picasso's membership of the Communist Party. The Pablo Picasso FBI files contain excerpts from Picasso's article "Why I became a communist."