Though not a place we recommend for anyone not interested in art, we enjoyed our visit to the Museu Picasso. It’s a unique museum that was opened to the public in 1963 at the request of Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, and is historically significant for being the first opened per his wishes and during his lifetime. The museum boasts a comprehensive collection consisting of over 4000 pieces created by, or related to, Picasso.
The Museu Picasso stands on the site of a Roman necropolis
and is housed in a number of former Medieval palaces.
A tour takes you through some of the grandiose rooms and walks you through various stages of Picasso’s career, from his early years, through his Blue Period, Rose Period, and into his later years. The vast collection of artwork consists of pieces donated by the artist himself, his family, friends, and even contemporaries like Salvador Dali, who donated a copy of Les Metamorphoses d’Ovide which contains 30 of Picasso’s etchings. Of particular interest, and a unique aspect of the museum’s collection, are the 58 canvases of Picasso’s ‘Las Meninas‘ series, based on a 17th century painting by Diego Velázques. Other notable works on display include over 40 pieces of ceramics donated by his wife Jacqueline, and a few of the paintings the artist created at the age of 15, showing his true talent for realism. First Communion (1896), Portrait of Aunt Pepa, and Science and Charity (1897), are a few of these early works.
Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in 1881 in Malaga, Spain, the son of a museum curator, painter, and teacher. Given his fathers line of work, it’s no real surprise that young Pablo would follow in his footsteps. However, what may be a surprise to some is that he showed his talent at a young age, beginning his formal art studies when he was about 11 years old. Influenced by other notable artists of the time, Picasso traveled between France (mostly Paris and Provence) and Spain, and experimented with various ideas and techniques. He would come to be widely known for his Cubist works, a style he co-founded with French painter Georges Braque. Pablo Picasso died in 1973, at the age of 92 and is buried alongside Jacqueline on the grounds of their estate Château de Vauvenargues, near Aix-en-Provence in France.
Museu Picasso is located at Montcada 15-23 in the La Ribera neighborhood of Barcelona’s Old Town, an easy 6 minute walk from Barcelona Cathedral.
If you’re here looking for some place to eat nearby, take a look at our post on ‘Where to Eat in Barcelona in Barri Gòtic and La Ribera‘. There are a few good places in the area, but we highly recommend you stop in to try the tapas at El Xampanyet across the street at #22.
Ticket Info: Adult Admission = 11.00€ (Museum + temporary exhibition) Temporary exhibition only = 6,60€ Free on Sundays after 3 p.m. and on the first Sunday of each month. Be sure to check the Museu Picasso website for updates on admission prices, special exhibits, and closures.