Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period

@mawut0r |

Self Portrait (1901), Pablo Picasso

There are several unwritten principles guiding the progress of life. Sometimes we're led to believe that nature evolves randomly but we live on this earth because the Father created it and made it so. It's only our turn to take custody of it.

As I mentioned in "The Process Is More Important Than The Outcome", life is transient, and nature is focused on making progress. When you put a grain of seed on the ground, you come back in a few days and you will find an embryo. This is a subtle lesson you will find in all forms of mother nature. The process of progress never stops so you either tag along, or get left behind.

Progress requires that you follow an order because you can be busy yet still retrogress. You have first to learn how to crawl, then you walk, that's the order of progress. If you study the lifestyle of all the great men this world has seen, you will realize that they started off as regular men doing basic things. But they understood the order of progress and patiently used it to their advantage.

One such person is Pablo Picasso, a world-renowned artist whose works are basically considered priceless in contemporary times. Pablo's lifetime as an artist is a testament to the order of progress and its timely execution in 91 years of earthly life. His works are often categorized into periods, to loosely illustrate how he progressed to become the artistic behemoth he is regarded as now.

The first period in Pablo's career is referred to as the blue period and spans 1901 to 1904. In the blue period, the artist predominantly painted monochromatic pieces with shades of blue and blue-green to depict sorrow, grief, and misfortune. The blue period would be triggered by the death of Carles Casagemas, a friend who was also an artist and a poet. Casagemas traveled with Pablo in Spain and eventually shared a studio with him in Paris.

In the latter part of 1901 after the death of Casagema, Picasso sank into a deep depression, when he was only 20 years old. Blue tones began to appear in his paintings as he later recalled, "I started painting in blue when I learned of Casagemas's death". Surely, Pablo's next painting, The Death of Casagemas, will prove this as Casagemas is painted in blue lying in a coffin with a red background stemming from a lighted candle.

The Death of Casagemas (1901), Pablo Picasso

Subsequently, Picasso will drop the bright colors and stick to a monochrome of blue mixed with blue-green in Casgemas In His Coffin, but this time without a candle by the side, perhaps to portray the transition from life (light) to death (darkness).

Casagemas In His Coffin (1901), Pablo Picasso

The use of the blue monochrome will continue to be seen predominantly in Picasso's paintings through 1902, and 1903, until 1904. Blue will be used by the artist to depict the poverty and misery he lived and experienced traveling through Spain and France in pieces like The Old Guitarist and The Blindman's Meal.

The Old Guitarist (1903), Pablo Picasso

Many believe that the blue period played a crucial role in the development of Pablo Picasso as an artist and it is quite clear why that might be so. The blue period as you can see is not just about the use of blue monochrome but you can feel the emotional journey of an artist as he struggles to come to terms with life. The knowledge about the downsides of life is what the blue period perfectly portrays and is what will mentally prepare Pablo Picasso for the years ahead.

The artistic genius that Pablo Picasso is regarded as now did not happen by chance. The man lived through the times, and also let the times live through his works as he emerged himself in the order of progress. In Pablo Picasso's career, he created more than 20,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, and other creative items with most of them living up to critical acclaim. There had been no other artist, before Picasso who had such an influence on the art world.