Thursday, January 15, 2009

Picasso's Blue Period

On the second floor, at the south end of the 19th-20th Century European Paintings Gallery, on the Westernmost Wall, hang five paintings that embody Picasso's Blue period, and prove, unequivocally, that it was quite literally, Blue! I have often heard the term "Blue Period" in regards to Pablo Picasso's art, but before my experience at the Met, I never had a proper definition. From the Pablo Picasso Thematic Essay on the museum's site, I found this passage, which succinctly explains the style and its reasons:

Living intermittently in Paris and Spain until 1904, his work during these years suggests feelings of desolation and darkness inspired in part by the suicide of his friend Casagemas. Picasso's paintings from late 1901 to about the middle of 1904, referred to as his Blue Period, depict themes of poverty, loneliness, and despair. In The Blind Man's Meal (50.188) from 1903, he uses a dismal range of blues to sensitively render a lonely figure encumbered by his condition as he holds a crust of bread in one hand and awkwardly grasps for a pitcher with the other. The elongated, corkscrew bodies of El Greco (1541–1614) inspire the man's distorted features.

(I don't mean to be unoriginal here, but I cannot think of a better way to paraphrase this explanation)... More on the blind man, the following is from the description next to the painting:

"The Blind Man's Meal is one of the Bluest of the Blue Period paintings. By highlighting the blind man's ear and emphasizing his slender hand, Picasso poignantly expressed that touch and sound are the man's only means of perceiving the world around him."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.