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Blue Period


Rose Period


African-Influenced Period


Analytic Cubism (1909-1912)

Synthetic Cubism



Picasso's Blue Period, as the name suggests, is composed of a series of paintings in shades of blue, with minimal use of other colors. His subjects were mostly solitary figures and impoverished outsiders of society. Picasso was influenced by a trip through Spain and the suicide of a close friend. The presence of blue tones became evident in the later part of 1901, as Picasso became increasingly depressed. Picasso had begun to attract attention in Paris for his early works, but his blue period hurt his commercial and critical success. As a result, he also struggled more financially during this time.

Blue Period (1901-1904)


The Rose Period had a huge impact on the development of modern art, and it coincided with Picasso's move to live with bohemian writers in Montmartre. A dramatic change from his Blue Period, this period is marked by the use of warm colors and subjects like harlequins, clowns, and carnival performers. Unsurprisingly, the new jovial paintings helped improve Picasso's success among the public.

Rose Period (1904-1906)


African-Influenced Period (1907-1909)


Picasso's African-Influenced Period was marked by the strong influence of African sculpture and masks. During the early 1900s, African art began to arrive at Paris museums, due largely to the expansion of French imperialism in Sub-Saharan Africa. Picasso's interest in this art as an influence for his own was partially thanks to Matisse, who showed him a mask from the Dan people of Africa. We continue to see Picasso's exploration of a style derived from African art until the beginning of his Analytic Cubism phase.

Analytic Cubism (1909-1912)


Analytical Cubism is one of the two major branches of the artistic movement of Cubism developed jointly by artists Picasso and Braque. Unlike Synthetic cubism, Analytic cubism "analyzed" natural forms and reduced them into basic geometric parts on the two-dimensional picture plane. It focused on geometrical shapes, giving little emphasis to color. During this movement, the works produced by Picasso and Braque shared stylistic similarities, though Picasso's work during this period is generally thought to be more abstract.

Synthetic Cubism (1912-1919)


With the birth of Synthetic Cubism, we see the return of color and easily identifiable objects. This second branch was also led by Picasso and Braque, who coined the term "collage" during that time. Picasso and other artists in the movement increasingly turned to mixed mediums to create highly textured and dimensional works. They used traditional materials as well as atypical ones like newspaper fragments, playing cards, and cigarette packs. Picasso's 1912-1914 series of guitars made in this new style is often cited as a transition point from Analytical to Synthetic Cubism.