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Spain marks 40th anniversary of Picasso's death

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Madrid, Apr 8 (EFE).- Spain is marking the 40th anniversary of artist Pablo Picasso's death on Monday with the publication of books about his influence on 20th-century art, exhibitions and other events that show he still has an influence on the world of culture.

The Spanish master, who died in Notre-Dame-de-Vie, France, on April 8, 1973, has had more books written about him than Rembrandt and Raphael, and his works still command record sums at auction.

Picasso turned the art world upside down with his 1907 work "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" (The Young Ladies of Avignon), blazing the trail for a new style of art.

The Spanish artist's death garnered headlines around the world since it meant that the world had lost one of the great geniuses of painting.

Foreign critics considered Picasso, who was born in Malaga on Oct. 25, 1881, the greatest artist of the 20th century.

Picasso died on a Sunday at a time when newspapers did not publish on Mondays in Spain, with the exception of "La Hoja del Lunes," which reported the artist's death on its front page and in a story by Agencia Efe, noting that the painter "was preparing a new exhibit of his work" in Avignon.

The artist said in his last years that he was living as a near-recluse in France, receiving few visitors at his villa and rarely venturing out, failing to even appear at his 90th birthday party.

"I am a hermit by force," Picasso said, adding that he lived "practically in a cell. Few restrictions are more cruel than celebrity."

Picasso's family and friends informed the world of his death from a heart attack and his wake was held at his villa, with his wife, Jacqueline, and friends maintaining the vigil.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130408/spain-marks-40th-anniversary-picassos-death