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Juan Ramón Jiménez, Nobel Prize Winner

The Noble prize winning Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez was born on December 23, 1881, in Moguer, Spain. This city is in Andalusia, the sun-kissed south of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, and has been influenced by the waves of numerous civilizations and cultures. Jiménez was well traveled, and spent time in the US, Europe, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. His life reflected the turbulent times in his home country, as Spain lost its overseas empire in the Spanish American War in 1898 and –temporarily – its soul in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s.  Through the turmoil, Jiménez continued to write, and he enjoyed international respect and admiration for his work. He earned a Noble Prize in 1956, “for his lyrical poetry, which in Spanish language constitutes an example of high spirit and artistical purity”.

Picasso, The Artist

On October 25, 1881, one of the most well-known artists of the 20th century began his exuberant life in Malaga, Spain.  Pablo Picasso’s first word as a child was reportedly “lápiz”–Spanish for “pencil”.  He began drawing as a toddler, and continued to draw until his death.  Picasso’s paintings became icons of his times and beyond, as his creative genius flowed through periods of Blue, Pink, Primitivism and Cubist and revolutionized painting and sculpture.  Picasso truly relished living.  He married his second wife at age 80, and partied on his wedding night until 2 AM.  In the last years before his death at age 90, he continued to create hundreds of beautiful works of art.