Claude Ruiz Picasso, Pablo Picasso’s youngest son, has died at the age of 76.
The Art Newspaper’s recent article, “Claude Ruiz Picasso, the artist’s son and manager of the Picasso estate, has died,” reports that as the long-term manager of his father’s estate, Claude was the holder of the Picasso copyright. He was also instrumental in organizing Picasso Celebration 1973-2023, a compendium of 50 exhibitions of Picasso’s work, shown in cultural institutions across Europe and the US over the course of 2023 to mark 50 years since Pablo Picasso’s death.
Claude transferred management of the estate in July of this year to Paloma Ruiz Picasso, his younger sister. He was originally appointed by a court as the administrator of the Picasso estate in 1989. The Picasso estate remains one of the most valuable collections in the art world, numbering around 45,000 pieces. At the time of Pablo Picasso’s death in 1973, the estate was estimated to be worth $817m.
In the commercial art world, art is frequently subject to forgery, fake usage, and criminal trading. In the copyright and trademark sectors, the Picasso estate has often set legal precedents regarding its willingness to pursue legal action against counterfeit, illegal reproduction, and forgery cases to protect the artist’s legacy.
Claude was the son of Pablo and the French painter Françoise Gilot, who also died in June of this year at the age of 101. Gilot is often known as the only woman who left him. Pablo tried to legally stop her, 40 years his junior, from publishing a memoir of her life that detailed her experience of being in a relationship with him, including testimonies of abuse, including an occasion when he held a lit cigarette against her cheek. The book was eventually published in 1964.
Pablo severed contact with both Claude and Paloma after the book’s publication and never contacted them again.
Before he was appointed the manager of the Picasso estate, Claude was an artist in his own right. Living in New York, he worked briefly as an assistant to the photographer Richard Avedon before seeing his own photographs published in fashion magazines, including Vogue and Time Life.
Reference: The Art Newspaper (Aug. 25, 2023) “Claude Ruiz Picasso, the artist’s son and manager of the Picasso estate, has died”