Artistic style can vary greatly from one decade to the next. The evolution of such art styles is particularly apparent in the famous paintings of Pablo Picasso, which began to really take shape at the turn of the 20th century.
When Picasso first began experimenting with different styles, the Blue Period emerged. This period was named for the dominant shades of blue and blue-green found throughout his artwork beginning in 1901. The Blue Period followed the news of a dear friend's suicide death. Picasso's subsequent depression fueled three years of Blue Period paintings, during which time he completed works such as The Old Guitarist, a prime example of Picasso's preoccupation with human misery at this time.
Following this period, Picasso's preferred color scheme changed dramatically. During this time known as the Rose Period, he painted almost exclusively using pink tones, choosing more pleasant scenarios for his subjects. Although the Realism style in which he painted remained similar from Blue to Rose Period, his choice for colors alone offers a striking juxtaposition, as can be seen when viewing The Old Guitarist and The Spanish Guitarist side by side.
However, it wasn’t long before Picasso began experimenting with new art styles. Historians agree that the beginning of his two-year long devotion to African-influenced art can be traced back to one painting: Les demoiselles d'Avignon. Note the two characters on the right, particularly.
Finally, Cubism emerged. Picasso pioneered this style of painting alongside a few other influential artists of the time. Vastly different from his realistic pre-Blue Period paintings, this style is oftentimes what’s most commonly associated with the artists. In fact, Picasso’s career spans a wide range of artistic movements.