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PICASSO BIOGRAPHY

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Pablo Picasso - Portrait of Soler, 1903

PICASSO BIOGRAPHY

 

 

Pablo Picasso - Portrait of Soler, 1903

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Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

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.

The Blue Period of Picasso is the period between 1901 and 1904, when he painted essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. These somber works, inspired by Spain but painted in Paris, are now some of his most popular works, although he had difficulty selling them at the time.

This period's starting point is uncertain; it may have begun in Spain in the spring of 1901, or in Paris in the second half of the year.[1]In choosing austere color and sometimes doleful subject matter?prostitutes, beggars and drunks are frequent subjects?Picasso was influenced by a journey through Spain and by the suicide of his friend Carlos Casagemas, who took his life at the L?Hippodrome Caf?in Paris, France by shooting himself in the right temple on February 18, 1901. This happened at a time when Picasso had begun achieving some success; according to art historian H??e Seckel, "it is difficult to say why the twenty-year-old Picasso abandoned the dazzling palette and exuberant subject matter that had already come to characterize his work. According to the artist, the suicide[...]marked the sudden onset of the blue period: 'I started painting in blue when I learned of Casagemas's death.'"[2]

Starting in the latter part of 1901 he painted several posthumous portraits of Casagemas, culminating in the gloomy allegorical painting La Vie, painted in 1903 and now in the Cleveland Museum of Art.[3]The same mood pervades the well-known etching The Frugal Repast (1904), which depicts a blind man and a sighted woman, both emaciated, seated at a nearly bare table. Blindness is a recurrent theme in Picasso's works of this period, also represented in The Blindman's Meal (1903, the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and in the portrait of Celestina (1903). Other frequent subjects are artists, acrobats and harlequins. The harlequin, a comedic character usually depicted in checkered patterned clothing, became a personal symbol for Picasso.

Possibly his most well known work from this period is The Old Guitarist.Other major works include Portrait of Soler(1903) and Las dos hermanas (1904). Picasso's Blue Period was followed by his Rose Period.

Quote:

http://www.rentspain.com/culture/picasso/picasso-blue-period.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Period

 

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