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Misery Doesn't Seem to Improve the Quality of Art

After Pablo Picasso's friend Carlos Casagemas committed suicide in a Paris cafe, for three years the artist painted only in shades of blue and blue-green. Amid deafness, isolation, and intense anxiety at the end of his life, Francisco Goya covered the walls of his home with harrowing images of death, dogs, and devastation. Before his suicide, Mark Rothko abandoned bright colors for blacks, burgundy, deep green, and other melancholy shades.
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On February 17, 1901, a young Spanish poet and close friend of Pablo Picasso?s named Carles Casagemas invited several people to a Paris restaurant. After dinner he pulled out a gun, fired at one of his guests -- a model with whom he...

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