The Blue Period is the first of many different artistic periods within Picasso’s oeuvre, provoked by a long-lasting depression. This depression first began in February of 1901 in Madrid, where Picasso learned that his close friend, Carlos Casagemas, had committed suicide. Picasso was deeply disturbed and upset by this news, growing progressively distressed over the months to come. On May 5, 1901 Picasso visited Paris for the second time; only this time everything reminded him about Casagemas, as the two had visited the French capital not too long prior to his friend’s death.Read more
Aesthetically, during the Blue Period, objects were sharply-contoured, flat, and two dimensional rather than Picasso’s former three-dimensional images. The focus on perspective drawing that the artist once possessed was completely omitted. His palette became less diverse, the accents of blue more visible; the subjects commonly depressed and emotive, impoverished, or disfigured. Portrait de Jaime Sabartes, created in 1901, marks the beginning of the Blue Period.