The essay "Style and periods in Pablo Picasso's Art" investigates Pablo Picasso, the artist from Spain and explores the styles and periods of his incredible art. "If an artist varies his mode of expression this only means that he has changed his manner of thinking, and in changing, it might be for the better or the worse." "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth""The several manners (styles) I have used in my art must not be considered as an evolution, or as steps toward an unknown ideal of painting". He goes on to say that different subjects requires different forms of expression but that art is only the present and is not a manifestation of past or evolutionary events. His concept of his periods were as though they were independent of each other. Though most of his paintings are so full of emotions, there is one specific painting in each period which has been designated as a "summary" painting which shows the lost he had experienced in his life. He lost his mother as a young boy; he suffered when he left Spain during the Spanish revolution; he suffered severe poverty in Paris. His emotions are implicit though the paintings they represent show the parallel of the troubled times. Three major periods will be discussed with one summary painting for each period. His blue period is the use of blue and green hues to show sadness and suffering. He started his blue period as a consequence of the suicide of his good friend. He suddenly threw himself into the abstract influence of Van Gogh Starry Nights.
where paintings were no longer meant to tell a story. His blue period often showed women in prison with the children, poverty stricken prostitutes. melancholy. La Vie 1903, is a summary painting, it represents loss, grievance and hostility.(Schneider 92) The mother has a hostile face as though she is blaming her child that she is going to die. The young man is Casagemas who is elongated and has the lover he thought he lost at the cafe. There are two interpretations. In both, Picasso leaves his sad and melancholic blue period. He loved copying other artists but keeping to his own style. The Absinthe Drinker shows how he had been influenced by Gauguin. He used bright colors but shows the blue of the water bottle. (Warncke, blue-period) The blue and green colors were a work of experimenting with lighting. El Greco gave him the death like skin color that would epitomize the death like quality of 20th century suffering of the lower social classes in France. Picasso liked to be melodramatic "the starving intellectual artist" and the bohemian life are often contributed to having come from him. (Warncke, blue-period) Rose period 1904-1906. He uses red hues and sometimes blue. He didn't like that it be called his transitional year. It is his period of circus and street performers. (Picasso 1923) The Family of Acrobats 1905 shows a group of performers and one woman performer separate from the group. It close examination of this painting, once again the theme of pity and abandonment can be seen in relationship to the way the fat red clown is looking away; the men and young girl are elongated as was Castegamas to show that they are posed. They are looking down to the woman, a sign of rejection and shame.(Schneider 92) He continued doing portraits and drawing circus performers. He was raised in the school of 19th century romanticism. His use of colors in the rose period started to show that the painting was more important that the subject. Eventually his subject became completely anonymous. The basis of this period was to completely transform the classicism use of the line. He stops being a portrait painter as his