Exhibition Dedicated to Picasso’s Blue and Rose Period Works to be Staged Next Year in Fondation Beyeler

Pablo Picasso’s works have an everlasting appeal. His works are highly sought after by both seasoned and young collectors at auctions and private sales. Every year, we see so many Picasso shows being held around the world with record numbers of visitors. One of the recent Picasso exhibitions is currently held at Tate Modern, charting the life, loves and career of the artist through his works in 1932. The frenzy continues as there is going to be an ambitious exhibition dedicated to Picasso’s early works from the Blue and Rose periods.  

Pablo Picasso's Autoportrait, 1901. 

Fondation Beyler in Basel has announced a blockbuster exhibition titled ‘The Early Picasso: Blue and Rose Period’, which will take place from 3 February to 26 May 2019. The show will feature over 80 paintings and sculptures of the young Pablo Picasso, on loan by renowned museums around the world.

Fondation Beyler

Fondation Beyler

Picasso’s Blue and Rose periods, between 1901 and 1906, are considered central to his entire oeuvre, paving the way for the epochal emergence of Cubism. The chronologically structured exhibition will take visitors on a unique journey to experience the transition in Picasso’s style in these six years.

Pablo Picasso's Arlequin accoudé, 1901

In 1901, at the age of just twenty, the rising genius Picasso (1881-1973) embarked on a quest for new themes and forms of expression. He travelled between Barcelona and Paris, and addressed the human figure in a series of different approaches. The years of the Blue period (1901-1904) had been unrelentingly hard on him. The young artist lived the abject poverty, the lingering hunger, and the desperate sense of crushing alienation. His works are dominated by the colour blue in this phase. Subject matter in this period are usually people on the margins of society suffering from material deprivation, such as prostitutes, beggars and drunks.

Pablo Picasso's Famille d'acrobates au singe, 1905

He finally established himself in Paris during the spring of 1904. Having settled in Paris, he turned to the themes of the Rose period, conferring the dignity of art on the hopes and yearnings of circus performers: jugglers, acrobats and harlequins. During this period, Picasso adopted cheerful vivid hues of red, orange, pink and earth tones, in contrast to the blue tonality in the prior period. 

Pablo Picasso's Nu sur fond rouge, c.1906

Poignant works of the Blue and Rose periods have a universal appeal and validity. Existential themes – life, love, sexuality, fate and death – are fully embodied in the delicate beauty of young female and male figures, as well as in depictions of children and of old people scarred by life, whose emotions comprise happiness and joy, but also loneliness and melancholy.

Pablo Picasso’s Fillette à la corbeille fleurie (young girl with a flower basket), 1905

One of the exhibition highlights is Picasso’s 1905 Fillette à la corbeille fleurie (young girl with a flower basket), which was sold for US$115m last month at Christie’s New York from the collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller.

Other featured paintings from the exhibition

Pablo Picasso's Femme à la chemise, c.1905

Pablo Picasso's Femme de l'île de majorque, 1905

Pablo Picasso's Acrobate et jeune arlequin, 1905

Pablo Picasso's Femme à l'éventail, 1905

Pablo Picasso's Femme (Epoque des «demoiselles d’avignon»), 1907

The Early Picasso. Blue and Rose Period

Exhibition period: 3 February-26 May 2019
Venue: Fondation Beyeler, Basel
Adults|CHF/ €28
Students under 30|CHF/ €12
Visitors with Disabilities (escorts are granted free admission)|CHF/ €23

Fondation Beyeler
Address: Baselstrasse 101, CH-4125 Riehen/ Basel
Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday|10am-6pm
Enquiries: +41 61 645 97 00