Pay homage to the 20th-century’s most acclaimed artist at this treasure-filled museum. Highlighting Pablo Picasso’s (1881–1973) formative years, the museum boasts the world’s largest collection of the artist’s early works. At the tender age of 10, Picasso was already revealing remarkable artistic tendencies. In 1895, aged 14, he and his family moved from the town of La Coruña to Barcelona, where Picasso blossomed as an artist. From precocious schoolbook sketches and powerful family portraits to selected works from his Blue and Rose periods, the Museu Picasso offers visitors the rare chance to discover the artist as he was discovering himself.
This insightful portrait reveals brush strokes – and a subject matter – that are far beyond a child who has just turned 13. No puppies or racing cars for the young Picasso; instead, he searched for the oldest men in the village and painted their portraits. The artist signed this portrait P Ruiz, because at this time he was still using his father’s last name.
At 14, Picasso painted a series of self-portraits, including Self-portrait with Wig, a whimsical depiction of how he might have looked during the time of his artistic hero, Velázquez.
One of Picasso’s first publicly exhibited paintings was Science and Charity. Picasso’s father posed as the doctor.
Picasso’s premier Barcelona exhibition was in 1900, held at the Barri Gòtic café, Els Quatre Gats. The artist’s first commission was the pen-and-ink drawing of himself and a group of artist friends in top hats, which graced the menu of this bohemian hang-out.
Picasso’s Margot is an evocative painting depicting a call-girl as she waits for her next customer, while La Nana captures the defiant expression and stance of a heavily rouged female dwarf dancer.
The Madman is a fine example of Picasso’s Blue period. This artistic phase, which lasted from 1901 to 1904, was characterized by melancholic themes and sombre colours.
A lifting of spirits led to Picasso’s Neo-Classical period, typified by paintings like Arlequín, celebrating the light-hearted liberty of circus performers.
The anguished horse in this painting later appears in Guernica, which reveals the horrors of war. This work gives viewers the chance to observe the process that went into the creation of Picasso’s most famous painting.
Works such as Man Sitting confirmed Picasso’s status as the greatest Analytic Cubist painter of the 20th century.
Picasso’s reverence for Velázquez culminated in this remarkable series of paintings, based on the Velázquez painting
Las Meninas .
The museum is made up of five inter-connected medieval palaces. The permanent collection is arranged chronologically on the first and second floors of the first three palaces. Temporary exhibitions – usually showcasing one modern artist – are housed on the first and second floors of the last two palaces.