Picasso’s Blue Period

by | Jun 13, 2018

Pablo Picasso is undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of the 20th century in painting and sculpture. He is credited with creating several different styles and themes in art, most notably Cubism.

While Picasso’s work and influence alone could span hundreds of postings, one period in particular has attracted us during the hot summer months — Picasso’s Blue Period. The period began as Picasso was painting in the Symbolist and Surrealist traditions. Picasso was saddened and horrified by the suicide of one of his friends, Carlos Casagemas, who shot himself to death in a Paris cafe in 1901. Picasso soon fell into a depression himself because of the death of his friend, and his own inability to make influential paintings in the art world.

The Blue Period Recreated

Many people see the Blue Period as a depressing point in the life of the artist, but others appreciate the introspection and realistic portrayal of people who were melancholy. The blues, greens, and grays in Picasso’s Blue Period paintings emphasize the starkness of the images. The end of the Blue Period marked the end of Picasso’s period of depression, and the re-emergence of other colors into his work. The end of this period also marked the end of Picasso’s obscurity, as his art became increasingly accepted by the art world.

There are many pieces characteristic of Picasso’s blue period here.  The artists depicted in the Blue Period paintings used Picasso as an influence for their works. The artists’ works are varied — while some of the artists used Picasso’s Blue Period as a direct influence, and focused on people in introspective poses. It was during this period as well that Picasso begins to experiment with nudes, and some of the artists displayed here have exhibited nudes as part of their work.

Alternatives to Traditional Blue Period

In addition to the artists that displayed works of people in various poses of introspection and sadness that is reminiscent of the Blue Period, other artists advanced beyond the usual figures of the Blue Period. Artists painted Picasso himself as an homage to one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Some artists took the color blue and expanded it to reflect peace or tranquility in the shades of blue they used. Blue was also used to illustrate cityscapes and buildings, and photographers used blue to reveal life, degradation of society and the peacefulness of an area.

 

Whichever artist you decide to use in your home, they represent pieces of art that allow for thought and introspection about life that some art requires, rather than just an examination of surface beauty. Picasso’s pieces during this period definitely speak of grief and loss, but they also speak of figures enmeshed in their society, and reflect a time period marked by swift changes, not unlike our own 21st century. Whether the art finds a home in your bedroom, living room, or your kitchen, these works are sure to bring conversation about art and thought with them, as no one could look at these paintings and photographs without commenting — which is always better than talking about the summer weather.

 

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