Oct 5, 2011

Artist of the Week: Pablo Picasso (Rose Period)

Picasso probably isn't the first name to come to mind when thinking of Romantic art. The man is known, of course, for his frantic, bold, cubist compositions, and is often associated with the realization of modernism in the twentieth century. The public eye (and frequently those of curators and art historians) tends to overlook Picasso's preliminary stages, except in mention of his development. As you probably remember from highschool art class, Picasso's work went through many, many stages, and some of these are very relevant to the interests of a neo-romantic.

Picasso's Rose Period, which lasted briefly from 1904 to 1906, captures the moody melancholy of his previous Blue Period while allowing new color choices and new stylistic conventions to pull the viewer into an ethereal, and sometimes subtly uncanny realm.

Harlequin Seated before a Red Back Background (1905)

Harlequins and traveling performers were common subjects during Picasso's Rose Period. I love anything to do with circus folk, especially the antique variety. Traveling carnivals were popular during the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, but they were often manned by those on the fringes of society. Picasso identified with these characters and their stories, and continued painting them throughout his career.

Mother and Son (1905)

A Boy with a Pipe (1905)

Unfortunately, Picasso abandoned this evocative style of painting quickly in favor of the more angular, modern style he has become known for. In 1907, Picasso debuted his opus Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, marking the end of the more subtle stages of his youth. The Blue and Rose Periods are very simmilar to late 19th century symbolism, though Picasso never aligned himself with that school of painting. Maybe you've noticed the similarity to Redon's later work!

Seated Female Nude (1905)

Style Lessons from Picasso:
+See your style through rose-colored lenses: I could hardly write a style guide influenced by Picasso's Rose Period without talking about the color rose! Add some warmth to your wardrobe with rose, coral, pinks, and reds. As Picasso proves, these colors can be moody and languid, not just girly. Try to evoke a similar mood for more somber looks with these typically ecstatic colors.

+A Clown's Flounce: Take some inspiration from the harlequins, clowns, and dancers that grace these canvases. Add a decorative collar or cuff to your coordinate. Detachable collars and cuffs were pretty popular until the 1960's, so its pretty easy to find them in vintage and antique stores. If you're feeling crafty why not make your own?

+A Center-Stage Headpiece: Many of Picasso's Rose Period portraits feature sitters with interesting headgear to set off the minimal details of their garb. I love the flower garland the young man in A Boy with a Pipe wears. Pair your statement hat or fascinator with simple, yet sophisticated clothing in rich colors for a powerful look. As they say, sometimes less is more.


Post a Comment