Picasso and Dyslexia

Scientists at Middlesex University in London claim that Picasso’s success may be attributed to his dyslexia

The 20th century master adapted to his shortcomings including the inability to see words written properly. Researchers think they may have explained the motivation behind some of Picasso’s most recognisable works, including his ground breaking Cubist pieces. Picasso painted his subjects as he saw them sometimes out of order, backwards or upside down. His paintings demonstrated the power of imagination, raw emotion, and creativity on the human psyche. They believe that Dyslexia may be the key, which separates drawing scribbles from producing works of art. It all traces back to visuo-spatial abilities, the way in which humans process 3D information. The ability is essential to artistic talent.

Born in 1881 in Malaga, Spain. Picasso was a proficient artist from an early age. He attended local schools, finding difficulties in many mainstream academic areas. Picasso was described by his teachers as, “having difficulty differentiating the orientation of the letters”. He was labelled “Reading Blind,” a condition that the German physician, Adolf Kussmaul diagnosed in1878. It was used to describe a man or woman of normal intelligence who was unable to learn to read. Nine years later the name Dyslexia, was coined by another German doctor, Rudolf Berlin. Despite his initial adolescent difficulties, Picasso was able to get by and pass the school curriculum. Dyslexia would trouble Picasso for the rest of his life, although he learned to live with most of the symptoms of his disability. Dyslexia is thought to affect as many as one in 12 children.




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