Barcelona: “There is where it all began… That is where I understood how far I can go”
For Picasso, Barcelona was not just the place where he finished his formal art studies but it also represented the first response to his questioning spirit. Its situation at the turn of the XX century as a city wholly committed to everything avant-garde made it hugely attractive and inviting to a very young Picasso, who discovered in Barcelona a window that attracted his attention towards anything and everything modern.
In 1906 Picasso returned to Barcelona and to Gósol. This was the year when his artistic development marched unceasingly towards a definite rupture, a break with the past that would transform his artistic expression beyond recognition. 1906 was the threshold of change, the look at Primitivism and the introduction of
geometric forms. It was, quite simply, the initial genesis of the most significant work of art of the XX century, Les demoiselles d’Avignon, which he would complete in 1907.
Barcelona wishes to reflect upon this fact, upon the links that Picasso had with our city. Our role as a prologue, as was the town of Gósol, of an understanding of Picasso’s contribution to the history of art in the 20th century.
Once more, Picasso will return to Barcelona, so we can get to know him better and from the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, we can dig deeper into the magical and fruitful relationship between the city and the artist himself.
The Museu Picasso, located in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, houses one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th-century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. With 4,251 works exhibited by the painter, the museum has one of the most complete permanent collections of works. The museum is housed in five adjoining medieval palaces in Barcelona’s La Ribera and is located on Montcada Street in the (Bank District) of Barcelona. It opened to the public on 9 March 1963, becoming the first museum dedicated to Picasso’s work and the only one created during the artist’s life. It has since been declared a museum of national interest by the Government of Catalonia.
Highlights of the collection include two of his first major works, The First Communion (1896), and Science and Charity (1897). In particular, the Museu Picasso reveals Picasso’s relationship with the city of Barcelona, a relationship that was shaped in his youth and adolescence and continued until his death.
The original idea for the museum came from Picasso’s lifelong friend and secretary, Jaume Sabartés, whom Picasso had given many paintings, drawings, and prints since meeting in 1899. Originally, Sabartés intended to found the museum in Málaga, Picasso’s birthplace. It was Picasso himself who suggested that Barcelona would be more appropriate, given his long standing connections with the city.
Official website: www.museupicasso.bcn.cat/en/
Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born 25 October 1881 and was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright.
Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso.
Pablo Picasso died on 8 April 1973 in Mougins, France.
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