On this day in 1973, revered painter, sculptor and poet Pablo Picasso died. Born on October 25th, 1881, Picasso is famed for his influences on the Cubist movement and collage, to mention two.
In his 91 years, Picasso’s work reflected an array of styles and techniques. Knowing this, his work is often broken down into five distinct periods.
Picasso’s Blue Period
The first period in his long career, the ‘Blue Period’ is regarded as Picasso’s work between 1901 and 1904.
The majority of Picasso’s work produced during this period has a distinct sombre theme, noticeably using a monochromatic colour palette, usually consisting of blues and blue-greens. His work focused on themes such as poverty and despair. One of the reasons argued for Picasso’s adoption of such a style was the onset of depression following the death of a close friend in 1901.
Picasso’s Rose Period
In 1904, his ‘Rose Period’ began. His art adopted a profound influence from Romanticism which cannot be seen in his earlier work. What’s more, his colour palette became one of reds and oranges, a transition to a more cheerful theme, from one of pity and loneliness. One possible reason for this shift in style is that Picasso himself was in a happy relationship with Fernande Olivier.
Picasso’s African Period
In 1906, Picasso’s style changed again. His work during this period was influenced by its namesake; African art. This period is also referred to as ‘proto-cubism’; the work was unlike anything Picasso had painted before. The reason for his shift into this style in 1906 was probably due to an influx of African art in the early 20th century. The African art witnessed by Picasso is believed to have impressed him to the extent that he worked its styles and themes into his own work.
Analytical and Synthetic Cubism
The birth of the art style now synonymous with Picasso, cubism, began in 1906 with his transition into African art styles. In 1909, he adopted a style of Analytical Cubism which used shades of brown and neutral colours to deconstruct objects and portray them in fragments (cubes).
Between 1915 and 1917, Picasso began to implement the theme of minimalism and the technique of collage into his work. By the end of this period, known as Synthetic Cubism, the style Piccaso style that we recognise today had been fully formed.
The rest of Picasso’s career brought him immense fame and wealth, as he created countless masterpieces and gave the art-world the mesmerising style that is cubism.
On this day in 1973, Picasso died from a heart attack whilst entertaining friends.