21 June 2010

Museu Picasso

In June last year, a Canadian stranger arrived in Barcelona on the Malaga train.  We had never met Chris before, but she and I have a mutual friend.  Through the powers of Facebook and our friend's Facebook Wall, we arranged that once Chris had completed her Art class down south, she would come to stay with us in Barcelona on her way to France.

With an artist in the house, it was as good an excuse as we needed to visit the Museu Picasso in the El Born district of Barcelona.

Museu Picasso website

The museum is housed in 5 consecutive large and old Barcelona town houses or palaces in Carrer de Montcada, which were built in Gothic style between the 13-15th centuries.

The Picasso collection on display is a progression of Picasso's works from early in his career.  When the museum opened in 1963 during the Franco regime, it was not called the Picasso Museum because of Picasso's opposition to General Franco's rule. At that time, Picasso was domiciled in France, and did not attend the opening of the museum which was then called the Sabartés Collection. Jaume Sabartés was Picasso's good friend and personal secretary, and it was he who proposed the museum and worked together with the Barcelona City Council to establish it.

The artist was instrumental in donating a lot of his works, including the large collection that his family kept in Barcelona.  Among others to donate Picasso artworks were Dali and Picasso's widow Jacqueline Roque, as well as collections bought by the Barcelona City Council and private collectors.

No photographs can be taken in the galleries, but I did manage to sneak one when the security guard was looking the other way!

Inside one of the galleries, I came across Aussie Ian, sitting on the floor with his daughter who was drawing pictures, after being inspired by the works on the walls.  Ian told me that she had done the same after visiting the Miro museum the day before, and her drawing styles changed depending on the artists she was viewing.  If she keeps going, she will be a future famous name in the art world!

The buildings are very interesting, but it is quite a challenge to get a good angle to photograph them in, especially when there are usually people everywhere.

There are also a couple of galleries reserved for touring exhibitions which helps to break up the over-saturation of Picasso works!

When we got to the gallery at about 11am, we queued for about 30 minutes before gaining access.  A couple of women pickpockets were working the queue, so we were kept entertained by them, as well as being able to warn everyone what was going on.  Ordering tickets online provides a fast-track to the front of the queue.

The Museu Picasso is well-worth a visit, but go early to avoid too many people, and remember that this museum holds mostly Picasso's early works.


Diligent Candy said...


nzm said...

Thank you!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Well, you are back. I wondered why you stopped posting. Picasso is brilliant so aren't you lucky to visit this place and to absorb the milieu of living in Spain.
As to your more recent post, actually I don't care too much about 'football' as Aussie rules and rugby beat soccer any day!

nzm said...

Yes, we're back!

We live in a city surrounded by artistic works - Picasso, Dali and Miro all lived in Barcelona. Then there's the most awesome architect - Gaudi - although to call him just an architect is belittling his works.

Wendy - if you live in this part of the world, it's football/soccer over rugby. Aussie Rules isn't known. And, as FC Barcelona is one of the best club teams in the world, we support them!

Pandabonium said...

Great. I love the architecture. Thanks for the peak inside.

nzm said...

PB: You'd love Barca for the architecture. I do!