The blue period of Picasso served as a reflection of the sadness he was feeling in his life. This period in Picasso's life marked a time of despair and sadness as he was experiencing destitution. In late 1901, he lost his close friend and confidant Carlos Casagemas. His ally had committed suicide after he attempted to take the life of his scorned lover. Similarly, he was experiencing financial difficulties as he struggled as an unrecognized and poverty stricken artist living in Paris at the time. This period is said to have been influenced by the Spaniards since he had visited the country recently.

This period in his life is described to convey feelings of misery and misfortune. He mostly used monochromatic themes of blue which was normally affiliated with the emotions of melancholy and despair. It is also noted that his subjects during this period were subjects of misfortune such as beggars, drunks, prostitutes, the crippled and the sick, among others. However, whenever he painted them, he portrayed a sense of grace and unique beauty as opposed to their fate of misery. He managed to elongate his subject's form endowing them with a sense of utopian grace. His immense ability as an artist to channel his own misery and hardship into a revolutionary form of artistic expression transformed his career as an artist and the paintings of this period remain as the most valuable and desirable prints in today's market.

The rose period came after the blue period. This period was between 1904-1906. At this time, he was in a relationship with Fernande Olivier whom he met in 1904 and is suggested as one of the possible reasons why he changed his style of painting. This period contains more pleasant themes such as clowns, harlequins, carnival performers, among others, as compared to those in the blue period. These themes are depicted in cheerful and vibrant colors such as red, pink and earthy tones. During this period, he had settled in Montmartre, France hence this period was mostly influenced by the French. This period represented an important time in Picasso's life and has had a great impact on modern art.