Pablo Picasso in Mougins in 1971. / AFP

8 April 1973: Pablo Picasso dies at his home in France

The painter's doctor said that he had been ill for some time and he hadn't left his house for several years before his death

JENNIE RHODES

Pablo Ruiz Picasso died on 8 April 1973 at his home in Mougins, near Cannes on the French Riviera, from pulmonary edema and heart failure. He was 91 years old.

The painter and his then 47-year-old second wife Jaqueline Roque, were entertaining friends for dinner when he died.

A local physician, Dr Jean-Claude Rance, was called to the home and certified Picasso's death. He said that the painter had been ill for some time. It is thought that he hadn't left the house in the years leading up to his death.

However, the artist had been helping to assemble some 200 of his own paintings for an exhibition at the Avignon Arts Festival, which was to open in the city on 23 May 1973 at the Palais des Papes.

Tributes came from the big names in the arts world of the time, including the sculptor Henry Moore who said that Picasso was probably one of the most "naturally gifted" artists since Raphael. France's then culture minister, Maurice Druou, said Picasso "filled his century with his colours".

Picasso was buried at the Château de Vauvenargues near Aix-en-Provence, a property he and Jacqueline had bought in 1958 .

Jacqueline killed herself by a single gunshot in 1986 when she was 59 years old. She was said to have been devastated when Picasso died and as a result had become depressed and lonely.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born on 25 October 1881 in a house on Malaga's Plaza de la Merced. His family moved to A Coruña in 1891 and then to Barcelona in 1895 after his sister Conchita died from diphtheria.

The painter first visited Paris in 1900 and would go on to live in France permanently. However, there he was viewed by the French police as an "anarchist" and one police report from 1901 commented that he "spoke bad French" and "painted prostitutes and beggars."

Having spent most of his life in France, many people believed that Picasso was indeed French. In fact the French historian Benjamin Stora famously once said, "It's not possible! The most famous French painter is not French!"