“La soupe” Picasso, 1902-1903.
The Blue period of Picasso is one of intense silent emotions; exquisite lines with bodies stretched like the ones of El Greco, one of Picasso’s inspirations; and one that saw the young painter gently find a way to depict his own solitude and despair through the portrayal of the most marginalized, such as women in prison.
This monochrome melancholic period started with the suicide of his friend, the Spanish poet Carles Casagemas in 1901, and lasted three years. By 1904, he shifted to what is known as the Pink period, lasting less than two years, where emotions gently made their way through the portrayal of street performers (saltimbanques), yet never in performance but rather focusing on their family lives.
While in the Blue period, Picasso portrayed most people with their eyes closed or turned away and in complete silence, in the Pink and then Ocre periods, they come alive and sounds start to infiltrate the paintings. By 1907, the great transformation occures with angles and the use of primitive patterns, culminating in “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” (MoMA), considered the first modern painting in the history of Western art.
Inspiration: “Picasso: bleu et rose,” Musée d’Orsay, Paris (jusqu’au 9 Janvier 2019).
I saw the painting at the above mentioned exhibit. It is generally on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Ottawa, Canada.