What is the State of the Pablo Picasso Estate?

Pablo Picasso
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The estate of Pablo Picasso is being managed by his daughter.

Few artists reach the level of fame of Pablo Picasso.

He lived a long life and had a career most only dream of having.

Unlike other artists, his work was profitable in his life and after death.

According to a recent The Art Newspaper article titled “Claude Ruiz Picasso, the artist’s son and manager of the Picasso estate, has died, the estate of Pablo Picasso had an estimated value of $817 million at his death in 1973.

Pablo Picasso found success as an artist but had tumultuous relationships.
The estranged son of Pablo Picasso became the administrator of his estate.

In 1989, the court named Claude Ruiz Picasso the estate administrator.

Although the youngest son of Pablo Picasso, Claude was estranged from his father at the time his father died.

Claude was the son of Pablo and French Painter Françoise Gilot.

Gilot was 40 years younger than Pablo Picasso and was the only woman who left him.

Pablo Picasso cut off contact with his ex-lover and their son after she published her memoir in 1964.

Why was he so upset with the memoir?

His mistress recounted her life, including unsavory aspects of her relationship with Pablo Picasso.

Specifically, she shared stories of abuse, like when he burned her cheek by holding a lit cigarette to it.

Françoise Gilot died this year at the age of 101.

With this family history, Pablo would unlikely have chosen Claude to administer his estate.

Despite this, Claude held the Picasso copyright and successfully managed his father’s estate.

Claude Picasso actively promoted and protected the creative genius of his father.

Claude was instrumental in the organization of the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023.

What was the Picasso Celebration?

This included an anthology of 50 exhibitions of the work of Pablo Picasso.

The exhibitions took place across the US and Europe and recognized the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death.

Because art is commonly subject to forgery, criminal trading, and fake usage, the Picasso estate, under the management of Claude, set several legal precedents for pursuing legal action against illegal reproduction, forgery, and counterfeit cases to protect the artist’s legacy.

Claude transferred management of the Picasso estate to his younger sister, Paloma Ruiz Picasso, in July of this year, before his own death at age 76.

With this transfer, Paloma inherited an enormous responsibility.

The Pablo Picasso estate remains one of the most valuable and extensive collections in the art world, with around 45,000 pieces.


Before taking over management of the Picasso estate, Claude had followed his father and mother into a career in the arts.

Claude lived in New York City for a time and briefly assisted photographer Richard Avedon.

Eventually, his own photographs were published in various magazines like Time, Life, and Vogue.

Although Pablo Picasso may not have chosen Claude to manage his estate, he would likely be proud of how his son preserved his legacy.

Reference: The Art Newspaper (Aug. 25, 2023) “Claude Ruiz Picasso, the artist’s son and manager of the Picasso estate, has died

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