The Blue Period

The scientific analysis of the pigments shows that this painting is characteristic of the blue period of Picasso. Indeed, this portrait is almost monochrome where blue prevails, where « everything turns into blue » which is clouded in a halo of blue and is in reality a harmony of only two blues which Picasso modulated according to their use:

  • Cobalt blue.
  • Prussian blue.

These two blues were not only used by Picasso at that time, but the use of Prussian blue was rather rare and particular to Picasso.

According to what Picasso told Pierre Daix, he started to paint in blue after the suicide of his friend Casamegas in 1901. The colour blue allowed him to express at the same time the misery and the despair of the world (particularly in 1903). This can be found again in Woman in Blue with a Beret who is afflicted with strabismus. In April/May 1903, Picasso comes out of his melancholia and starts to lighten the melancholic blue of his paintings by using light rose modulations and also more or less dark rosy ochres, the latter particularly on the face. It is important to remember that Woman in blue with a Beret is dated 4/8/03 on the front.

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1. Analysis of the pigments
2. Radiographic examination
3. The Blue Period
4. Face - Cape - hood
5. Specific characteristics of Woman in Blue with a Beret