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(Pablo #1-4)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  377 ratings  ·  66 reviews
This award-winning graphic biography of Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) captures the prolific and eventful life of one of the world’s best-loved artists. Pablo explores Picasso’s early life among the bohemians of Montmartre, his turbulent relationship with artist/model Fernande Olivier, and how his art developed through friendshipswith poets Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire, ...more
Paperback, 342 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by SelfMadeHero (first published April 7th 2015)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Barry Pierce
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Pablo is a graphic novel biography of the early life of Pablo Picasso. The narrative take place from the point of view of Fernande Olivier, Picasso's lover and muse and the subject of over 60 of his early works. Being a student of Art History, this really piqued my interest when I spotted it as I was walking out of my city's library. "A graphic novel biography!?", I thought. "Might as well give it a go."

The novel begins with Picasso's arrival in Paris and leads us through his transformation from
Dave Schaafsma
Picasso was one of the greatest and most fascinating artists ever. A few years ago I went to an exhibition at the Chicago Art Institute on Picasso and Women which took a close look at one of the issues critics from all directions focused on for years. How did cubism and his complicated relationships with women coincide? Why is it he sometimes seemed to depict love as something like murder when he had such passionate relationships with so many women? Did he hate women? Was he a genius? Was he cra ...more
Elizabeth A
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016, art, graphix, non-fiction
I have yet to read a Picasso biography and thought this graphic biography might be a good place to start. I was mistaken. There were lots of people coming and going, and since I did not know many of them, it made for a rather confusing read. I gather this is also a collected edition, which might explain some of the choppiness of the reading experience.

I was expecting a biography of his entire life and work, but this one is rather narrow in scope, and is restricted to the first several years as
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I decided to read this graphic novel about Picasso since (1) I knew almost nothing about Picasso and (2) it was set, at least in part, in Paris.

This was not my sort of story. It isn't really what I would call a biography, as it only covers a few years of Picasso's life, and it really isn't as much about his life as it is about his relationships with a few people of those few years. I was disappointed with that aspect of the book. I quickly learned that I didn't like Picasso as a human being at
Stewart Tame
Oct 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This was an interesting book. I was expecting more of a general biography of Picasso, but this is more narrowly focused, telling only the tale of his early years in Paris, before his style was fully formed. It also delves into the life of Fernande, his lover and muse during those years, and is as much her story as it is his. The book examines the various influences on his style, and helps put his work into the greater context of art history in general. I'm not sure how meaningful this book will ...more
Jan 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
I really didn't like this graphic novel. The artwork was great, but the story wasn't. I found it really hard to follow. There were a lot of characters who came in and out of the story that I couldn't keep track of. It also skipped around a lot, I think maybe having chapters would have helped.

I suppose I learned a little bit about Picasso and his life reading it, but I mostly just felt confused when I finished it. Maybe something was lost in translation? I did like the Vincent van Gogh book that
Mark Victor Young
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Graphic not-novel biography of the artist himself with brilliant artwork. A collection of vignettes featuring various figures in Picasso's life, told from two points of view: Pablo and Fernande, his lady love in Paris. Just loved all the eccentric artist and expat crowd stories from Montmartre and side trips to Spain. Didn't feel "ended," so I'm hoping for the artist to cover the next important scenes in this amazing life in future volumes. ...more
Dasha M
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was far more interesting for the story told about Picasso's model, lover, muse - Fernande Olivier. So often relegated to a name, or not named at all, her story reflects more about the context in which art was created in the period. ...more
Of course, I expected that since I know nothing about Picasso's life, this book will help me find out details about his biography, so if you want the same thing, then this is not the book for it. However, this story tells us about a certain period of Picasso's life and helps us understand what kind of person he was, how he treated women and what was his daily life like. Many other famous artists are mentioned as well.

There's a separate story line about one of his models and lovers -- Fernanda O
George Ilsley
There is a confusion at heart of this large book. The title really should be “Fernande” — the text opens and closes with her, and through her we explore the complicated menagerie of artists, poets, and poseurs. After 342 pages, Pablo Picasso remains enigmatic and undisclosed.

The book is beautifully done, and does impart a sense of the chaos of the Montmartre art scene. Yet I did not enjoy experiencing this heavy book — even Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas could not engage my interest.

3 gener
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This graphic biography of Picasso does what I imagine it was trying to do and it was exactly what I wanted. It does a really good job of placing the artist and his work in context. This volume focuses on a short period of his life, when he was beginning his career in Montparnasse/Montmartre among other visual artists and writers at the Bateau-Lavoir. That Bohemian ambiance is captured well. We are shown his story through the eyes of his lover Fernande. Realistically, her story is soon eclipsed b ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I was wandering our large county library in the YA section of graphic novels and jotted down some titles to read. I chose Pablo because he is one artist I know less about his life and more about his later work. This book is an incredibly work of art on its own with detailed panels that suck you into the early life of Picasso.
What I did take away from this book was the seamy life Picasso lived. His passionate side contrasted with his narrow jealousy, his dalliances and drug use. I suppose one
Nov 23, 2015 rated it liked it
The early years of Pablo Picasso told through the eyes of three influential figures in his life at the time.
It helps to know that this is 4 separate volumes merged into one. That might account for jumpy feeling of narrative. I walked away from this book with strong sense of Picasso's mercurial and obsessive persona (sex! drugs! death!) and the lively and chaotic modern art scene in Paris. I had lots of trouble keeping straight the multitude of artists/influencers since as there were oh so many t
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a fun way to read about an artist. This graphic biography of Pablo Picasso tells the story of Picasso's early career and his model and lover Fernande. Picasso is living in Montmartre in Paris and his friends include other famous artists. Julie Birmant has written another biography about Van Gogh which I would also like to read. ...more
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The art work on this was just exquisite. The way colors were used and the lighting portrayed was a highlight of this graphic novel.
Arni Fannar
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Coming back from a holiday in Spain, I brought back two books on Picasso; one was The Illustrated Biography (Dosde Publishing) and the other was this one, Pablo: a 350 page comic book on the life of the artist, with magnificent drawings and beautiful watercolors. In Pablo, the story of Picasso is told from the perspective of Picasso’s first big love, Fernande Olivier – so the narration is mostly limited to the five years that they were together (plus a rushed account of the years leading up to t ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was difficult to rate this book, because I really enjoyed and respect the illustrations, but didn't like the way the story was told. It's neat to have a narrator who was an important figure in Picasso's life, but the novel ends up being more about their relationship than about his life or work, so it seems a stretch to call it a biography. The authors also tell the story in vignettes, which many times led to characters being introduced very briefly, as if significant, and then never appearing ...more
Elise Brake
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
'Pablo' is a biography of the artist Pablo Picasso told in graphic novel form. It details his life in France between 1900-1910, focusing on his love affair with model Fernande Olivier.

This is a tale of obsessive love, violent passion and possessive jealousy. It depicts the loose debauchery of Bohemian life among the artists of Montmartre. We see the development of Picasso's style and his fluctuating inspiration, influenced by friendships with inhabitants of the art world (Max Jacobs, Guillaume
Oct 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
I picked up Pablo hoping for a biography, some illustrated nonfiction for a change of pace. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that its scope would be so narrow; Pablo follows its namesake through his first years in Paris and ends abruptly after his completion of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Moreover, it is a good example of poor storytelling. The characters are often hard to tell apart, the narrative is choppy and all over the place, and a story that has everything going for it - drugs, sex, bohemia ...more
Apr 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Really more like 3.5 stars. The art was nice and earned it an extra half star. But… eh.

The story was sort of wandering, and in the end, not all that interesting. I don’t think I really understand Picasso any better than I did before, or what made him tick, or how he developed his style. I mostly learned that plenty of folks in early-19th-century Paris were jerks. And there was a lot of sex.

The idea behind the book was sort of interesting: it was told from the point of view of one of his lovers
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
GLORIOUS PENWORK AND COLOUR. Comics are a visual medium first and foremost and this book has exceptionally fine draughtmaship. detail and colour (Sanda Desmazieres deserved a cover credit for this). You fall in and swim around in it. The story can be a bit choppy and repetitive (how many drunken poets can we take) and you need to do a bit of to and fro and wikipedia to follow it but the dialogue is strong and the translation fresh and colloquial. Of course it also shows Picasso to be a sexist cr ...more
Mateen Mahboubi
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't have as much trouble following along as others did but I found myself disappointed in the story overall. The decision to focus on a relatively small sliver of Picasso's resulted in the author taking a lot of liberties in the story telling. In the end it feels too long for what it is. Also the book covers the Blue and African Periods which were both very fruitful time for Picasso but you wouldn't know if from reading this volume. The focus is on the relationships, particularly with Ferna ...more
May 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Mediocre art. It was often hard to tell the characters apart. The story telling is weak, as if told by a high school student. The focus of the book is limited, focusing on Picasso's early years. I did learn a few things that I did not previously knw about Picasso, and that is why I did not give the book a 1! ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was very disappointing. It read like a befuddled mess where nothing was explained. I didn't know who was who and what was going on. Some of the font in this was very hard to read which made things worse. I did like the illustrations though. Its the story and the writing was terrible. ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
A very boring graphic novel. I finished it only because I like Picasso, but even the art in the book is boring.
Jan 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017, 2020
Such a cool idea, but I just couldn’t get into it. I’d lived the Van Gogh book in this series, but this artwork and storytelling just turned me off.
A really beautiful book. I leaned so much from reading it too. So much research must have gone to n to it as well. Stunning drawings, wonderful story. I love everything about it.
Jeff Skott
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read, great art

Excellent graphic novel on Picasso. Standard time period that most books cover - in Montmartre with his friends before blvd Clichy.
Christine Montgomery
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations. Interesting to read about Picasso from the p.o.v. of Fernande
Mattias Mälk
Mar 13, 2021 rated it did not like it
I liked the sketchy and fun drawing style but the meandering story and the unsatisfying abrupt ending left me pondering whether slice-of-life storytelling is even suitable for biographies of extraordinary people.
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Other books in the series

Pablo (4 books)
  • Max Jacob (Pablo, #1)
  • Apollinaire (Pablo, #2)
  • Matisse (Pablo, #3)
  • Picasso (Pablo #4)

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