Painting by Picasso.
Picasso’s blue period represents the emergence of the painter as a genius. Until this time, he had been experimenting with different ways of expressing his sensibility, more or less realistic, but always unconfortable with a conventional view of painting and art. He was a nonconformist by nature and was looking for new paths.
Between 1901 and 1904 Picasso paints a series of works where color blue predominates, that’s the most obvious visual sign of a period called “Picasso’s blue period”. Expressionism and symbolism meets here to translate a state of mind and the moods of the artist at that time. He had moved from Barcelona to Paris to pursue his career, although returned many times to the Catalan city during this period. He was not famous yet and did not have sufficient money. He was just an artist struggling to earning his living from his art.
But perhaps the most determinant event that had an effect on his art at this period was the death (comitting suicide) of his friend Carles Casagemas (1881-1901), artist, who had moved to Paris as well. This death was devastating for Picasso and he immersed himself in profound melancholy and reflection.
Picasso painted “The tragedy” in 1903. This painting reflects very well the tragic effects of poverty upon a family; many things are symbolic, and certainly the color blue greatly contributes to increase the sense of misery of the whole scene.
I've always liked Picasso’s blue period. Even as a child I was impressed by these paintings full of a powerful force. I also like very much Picasso’s rose period, when Picasso’s sensibility seems to rejoice and we can see then in the world of the artist harlequins, saltimbanques... But that’s another story...