Revolutionary artist Pablo Picasso forever changed modern art as we know it. Discover his innovative contributions to art in the cities of Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga.
Picasso Museum, Barcelona, Spain
Born in Malaga, Pablo Ruiz Picasso forever changed the face of modern art and culture. Arguably the most influential artist of the twentieth century, Picasso was the co-creator of cubism, leaving an enduring legacy in his wake.
Alongside Georges Braque, Picasso developed the art of abstracted geometric forms and the art of collage – pasting together many images to make a single image.
Let’s take a look at three cities that house his most prestigious works: Barcelona, Madrid, and Malaga.
Malaga is the city in southern Spain where Picasso spent his early childhood. The apartment block that he was born in has since been converted into a foundation in his honour and exhibits educational projects in his memory.
The building is home to paintings and drawings from his early life and memento’s from his childhood. The young Picasso drew a lot of inspiration from the atmosphere of the vibrant city of Malaga, as he featured bulls, flamenco, doves, and bulls in some of his paintings.
Founded on Calle San Agustín, Picasso always wanted his work to be displayed in his home town. In 2003, the museum was opened in the Palacio Buenavista, exhibiting up to 230 of his works donated by the artist’s daughter-in-law and grandson, Christine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso. This collection houses pieces that mark the different artistic phases of his life, with examples of his drawings, oil paintings, engravings, sculptures and ceramics.
This building is home to paintings and drawings from his early life and memento’s from his childhood. It was here at 15, Plaza de la Merced where the artistic genius was born in 1881. Today, it’s dedicated to the exhibition of his life and works.
It keeps a valuable repertoire of art, with pieces by Picasso as well as other contemporary artists. The venue also houses a regular programme of temporary art shows, including pieces by Picasso as well as those of other artists of his time.
Picasso Birthplace Foundation, Malaga
In 1885 Picasso’s family moved to Barcelona where he spent most of his youth. During this time, the Eixample neighbourhood was being built and the city was undergoing dramatic changes. Local industry was booming, and the Catalan capital was transforming into the cosmopolitan city that we know today.
Barcelona is home to the illustrious Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso), with the artists most extensive work adorning its walls. The museum opened in 1963 when Picasso’s secretary, Jaime Sabartés donated 574 of his pieces. The impressive collection includes his early paintings at the beginning of his “Blue Period” in 1905.
Today, the total number of paintings is well over 3,000. This unique museum is made up of five contiguous medieval stone mansions. After Picasso’s death, his widow Jacqueline Roque donated 41 of his ceramic pieces as well as the painting “Woman with Bonnet”. Highlights of the museum are The artist’s first major works, ‘“he First Communion” and “Science & Charity” as well as a portrait of his mother and father.
Museu Picasso, Barcelona, Spain
Picasso first stepped foot inside the Prado Museum in Madrid in 1895, where he was deeply moved by the works of Velazquez and El Greco. He went on to become the museum director in 1936. If you find yourself in Madrid, we highly recommend you visit this museum, as it is highly regarded as one of the best in the world.
The real Picasso highlight of Madrid is the Reina Sofía National Art Museum. Dedicated to modern and contemporary Spanish art, this museum holds about 100 works by Picasso. Undoubtedly, his most iconic piece to be found here is “Guernica”. A mural of almost eight metres long, this piece will truly leave you speechless.
The masterpiece portrays the horrors that were committed during the Spanish Civil War. It pays homage to the bombing of the Basque village in 1937, highlighting the conflict and division that Spain endured under the dictatorship of the Franco Regime. Commissioned by the Spanish government, Picasso asked for it not to be shown publicly until Spain was granted democracy.
“Guernica”, Reina Sofía National Art Museum, Madrid, Spain