Picasso: The Fine Art of Theft

Succession Picasso, 2008; The Metropolitan Museum of Art

FIGHT CLUB: Picasso's Le Matador (left), one of more than 300 works on display in "Picasso and the Masters," was inspired by Manet's Matador Saluant (right)

Pablo Picasso rampaged like a minotaur through modern art's china shop. He almost single-handedly invented Cubism, and he imposed his protean creativity on painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, photography, engraving, textiles, ceramics, set design and even poetry. He was definitely one of a kind.

And a thief. Picasso lifted themes, compositions, techniques and color schemes from other artists with a brazenness bordering on felony. His victims — or inspirations — included Cézanne, Courbet, Cranach, Delacroix, El Greco, Goya, Ingres, Matisse, Poussin, Puvis de Chavannes, Rembrandt and Utrillo. He did not merely imbibe their influences, but copied their works obsessively....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!