Picasso's Blue Period Painting: La Vie

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Picasso’s Blue Period Painting La Vie. Picasso’s Blue Period is personified by one painting, La Vie or “Life”. I chose La Vie as the personification of his Blue Period, because I believe this painting best represents his intentions during that time. La Vie is the story behind why Picasso’s Blue Period came to fruition. The time frame for his Blue Period was between 1901 and 1904. The inspiration for La Vie came from the suicide of his best friend, Carles Casagemas. Picasso first met Casagemas in 1899, in Barcelona, at a café called Els Quatre Gats, where artists would meet. It was at the age of nineteen when Picasso first traveled to Paris, France, accompanied by his friend Casagemas. Picasso was in France because one of his early work paintings was chosen to hang in the Spanish Pavilion of the Universal Exposition (Arnason 159). While in France, Casagemas became very troubled and depressed over a love affair that had failed. He became more despondent when he and Picasso returned to Spain. Picasso, tired of being Casagemas’s caregiver, asked him to leave. Casagemas returned to France, and on the evening of February 17th, 1901, he committed suicide in public at a restaurant in front of his friends (Arnason 160). Picasso, hearing about the very public and violent suicide of his close friend, was thrown into a deep depression of his own. The following quote describes Picasso’s thoughts and actions after his friend’s death; “Picasso tackled his emotional turmoil and angst in the way he knew best – with tubes of paint. Blue paint. A melancholy, monochromatic palette. Moods of despair, sorrow, and isolation. Subjects marked by pathos and misfortune. From the brush of a gifted 20 year-old, at the dawn of the 20th century, on the heels of a harrowing trauma, the iconic Blue Period was born.”(Artmodel). La Vie is not just a reaction to the tragic death of

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