"Blue" Period

This is, perhaps, the first period in the work of Picasso, in relation to which we can speak about the individuality of the creator, despite the still sounding notes of influence. The first creative uplift was provoked by a long-lasting depression: February 1901 in Madrid Picasso learned that his close friend Carlos Casagemas had died. May 5 1901 the artist visited Paris for the second time; everything reminded him about Casagemas, with whom he had discovered the French capital not so long ago. Pablo stayed in the room where Carlos had spent his last days, started an affair with Germaine, because of whom Carlos had committed suicide, and palled around with the same people. One can only imagine how hard it was for Picasso to cope with the anguish of bereavement, guilt and the imminence of death... It constituted the ground for the Blue period. Picasso later recalled: “I started painting in blue when I learned of Casagemas's death”.

However, at his first Paris exhibition for Vollard in June 1901, there was no blue in his paintings: 64 bright and sensual works with a noticeable influence of the Impressionists. The Blue period was gradually coming into its own: the objects were sharply-contoured, the artist no longer strived to make three-dimensional images and, eventually, abandoned the tradition of perspective drawing. His palette became less diverse, the accents of blue more visible. The "Portrait de Jaime Sabartes", which was created in 1901, marked the beginning of the Blue Period. When Sabartes saw the finished work he was “astonished to realize what inspired his friend to create this painting”, - “it is the specter of my solitude seen from the outside”.

Pablo Picasso. Absinthe Drinker, 1901
Absinthe Drinker, 1901
Pablo Picasso. Leaning Harlequin, 1901
Leaning Harlequin, 1901
Pablo Picasso. Woman with Chignon, 1901
Woman with Chignon, 1901
Pablo Picasso. Death of Casagemas, 1901
Death of Casagemas, 1901
Pablo Picasso. Self-Portrait in Blue Period, 1901
Self-Portrait in Blue Period, 1901
Pablo Picasso. Portrait of the Art Dealer Pedro Manach, 1901
Portrait of the Art Dealer Pedro Manach, 1901
Pablo Picasso. The Absinthe Drinker, 1901
The Absinthe Drinker, 1901
Pablo Picasso. Woman with a Blue Hat, 1901
Woman with a Blue Hat, 1901
Pablo Picasso. Woman with a Cigarette, 1901
Woman with a Cigarette, 1901
Pablo Picasso. Le Gourmet, 1901
Le Gourmet, 1901
Pablo Picasso. Absinthe, 1901
Absinthe, 1901
Pablo Picasso. Portrait Of Jaime Sabartes (Bock), 1901
Portrait Of Jaime Sabartes (Bock), 1901
Pablo Picasso. The Visit (Two Sisters), 1902
The Visit (Two Sisters), 1902
Pablo Picasso. Head of a Woman, 1902 - 1903
Head of a Woman, 1902 - 1903
Pablo Picasso. Drunk woman is tired (drunk Woman fatigue), 1902
Drunk woman is tired (drunk Woman fatigue), 1902
Pablo Picasso. The Old Guitarist, 1903
The Old Guitarist, 1903
Pablo Picasso. Breakfast of a Blind Man, 1903
Breakfast of a Blind Man, 1903
Pablo Picasso. Life, 1903
Life, 1903
Pablo Picasso. The Tragedy, 1903
The Tragedy, 1903
Pablo Picasso. Portrait of Soler, 1903
Portrait of Soler, 1903
Pablo Picasso. Old Jew and a Boy, 1903
Old Jew and a Boy, 1903
Pablo Picasso. Ascetic, 1903
Ascetic, 1903
Pablo Picasso. Woman with a Crow, 1904
Woman with a Crow, 1904
Pablo Picasso. The Catalan Sculptor Manolo (Manuel Hugue), 1904
The Catalan Sculptor Manolo (Manuel Hugue), 1904
Pablo Picasso. Woman Ironing, 1904
Woman Ironing, 1904
Pablo Picasso. Selestina, 1904
Selestina, 1904


All works of "blue" period by years