The first thing you need to know about the DVDs in the Artists of the 20th Century series is that they consist solely of artwork images - here, for example, you'll find no photograph of Picasso or the women in his life, no snapshots of the places he lived and worked, etc. - just images of his paintings and sculptures. The DVD jacket classifies this DVD as "a definitive biography accompanied by spectacular images of the artist's greatest work," but, strictly speaking, that just isn't so. Certainly, some biographical information finds its way into the narrator's script, but the details are sparse and quite limited. When it comes to the women in Picasso's life, by way of example, we are only told what happened to two of them, and denied anything resembling a sordid detail. I certainly don't feel as if I have a real handle on Picasso after having watched this 50-minute presentation.
Another thing you should know is this: I know next to nothing about art, especially modern art. I acknowledge the fact that Picasso is regarded as an artistic genius and has influenced modern art to an extravagant degree, but I personally just don't like his work. My tastes are strictly Renaissance, and Picasso pretty much put the final nail in the coffin of classical painting. Most of Picasso's work makes no sense whatsoever to me. It became somewhat amusing for me to listen to the narrator's descriptions once the presentation advanced past Picasso's blue period. I quickly got lost in all the -isms at play in Picasso's artistic life: Cubism, surrealism, and all manner of abstraction-isms. Painting after painting bore no resemblance to its title. The narrator would tell me that so-and-so clearly represents such-and-such, yet I couldn't even spot anything wildly resembling the so-and-so that was supposedly so visible. As Picasso aged, his artwork just became more and more impenetrable to my eyes. I wish I could learn to appreciate modern art - but this DVD makes it pretty clear that I never will.
I have seen one other DVD in this series (Salvador Dali), and I have to say I found this one much more impressive. For whatever reason, this Picasso entry seemed to have more information about the man behind the artwork. This is all well and good, but I still have to say that you would benefit as much if not more by seeking out Picasso's artwork on the Internet. I'm sure there are countless online galleries that give you much more detailed information about any given painting or sculpture than you will find on this DVD.