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Pablo Picasso - Breakfast of a Blind Man, 1903




Pablo Picasso - Breakfast of a Blind Man

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Oil on canvas


Picasso's Blue Period (*)

At the turn of the century Picasso moved from Spain to France, living and working mainly in Paris, and also on the south coast towards the end of his life. The incredible catalogue of work produced by Picasso is generally placed into overlapping phases of development, known as periods, each with a distinct content and variety of techniques.

The popular Blue Period lasted from roughly 1901 to 1904 a time when the struggling young artist was following in the footsteps of Toulouse-Lautrec and the 19th Century symbolists. The works from this period obviously reflect well-established styles characterised by the singular tones and hues of Picasso's predominantly blue palette, creating melancholy images containing poignant subject matter filled with despair.

Picasso's personal life was very difficult at the beginning of the 20th Century, as well as being a late teen, away from home for the first time, and living in very poor conditions, his close friend Casagemas committed suicide. This tragic loss added another layer to the psychological depths of the paintings from the Blue Period.

Excellent examples from the period depict gaunt Madonnas, saints, and an assortment of beggars of El Greco, including Woman and Child by the Sea (1902), Blue nu (1902), The Tragedy (1903) and The Old Guitar Player (1903). These and the other pieces typical of this early work by Picasso are rich with symbolic colour, exaggerated form, and abstracted spaces.

During this period the great artist began to sign his works "Picasso" instead of "Pablo Ruiz y Picasso."



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