Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum (11)

The relationship of Picasso with Barcelona begins in 1895, when his family, along with him, moved to the city. He studied at the Fine Arts School in the Llotja. 

He very soon became part of avant-garde artistic and cultural circles and began to frequent the Quatre Gats café, these circles’ nerve-centre at the time. He spent periods in Paris and Madrid until, in April 1904, he moved definitively to Paris. His family and friends will keep him linked to Barcelona, where he spent periods of time throughout his life.

Picasso’s Barcelona is old Barcelona: where he lived, studied and worked – where he had his studios, where he enjoyed himself... It is the Barcelona he drew and painted.

The Picasso Museum arose from the artist’s firm wish to leave the imprint of his art in our city. And on March 9, 1963, the Picasso Museum opened its doors to the public. It is based in the Aguilar palace, at number 15 Carrer Montcada.

Picasso was a great creator of innumerable art-works throughout his life, becoming one of the most prolific artists in history. At the museum you can see the more than three thousand six hundred pieces in the permanent collection, structured in three sections: painting and drawing, engravings and ceramics.

A walk through his genius. From his earliest drawings when he was only 9, to the famous Blue Period after his first Paris experience and the Cubist stage, and to ceramic pieces, one of the techniques he discovered late in life.

The increase in the Museum’s stock meant that neighbouring buildings were taken over, until it reached today’s five palaces.

The first building, the Palau Aguilar, maintains the name of the merchant who bought it in the year 1400 and conserves vestiges of the earlier thirteenth-century residence. The painted ceilings and mural decoration date from then. The palace had various owners over the years, many of whom altered it, so that today it is a curious mixture of diverse styles.

The second building, the Palau del Baró de Castellet, dates from the thirteenth century. It also belonged to several noble families over the centuries. Who also reformed the original space. Its most important room is the Neoclassical room constructed in the eighteenth century. It is a palace of great sumptuousness and splendour because of its mix of classical and Baroque elements.

The third building, the Palau de la Meca, was named after Josep Meca i Caçador, Marquis of Ciutadilla, its eighteenth-century owner. Its history is similar to that of the above-mentioned palaces. The oldest document conserved dates from 1349. It was inhabited by various noble families over the years and was also the headquarters of the Community Work department of a bank.

The fourth palace, the Casa Mauri at Number 21, is an eighteenth-century building raised on Roman foundations around a pretty court-yard. The front wall conserves one of the few wooden “celosías”, or lattice windows, characteristic of the eighteenth century, that can be found in Barcelona. Its name comes from the Mauri confectionery shop that purchased the building in 1943.

The final building of the Museum, at number 23, is the Palau Finestres, built over an ancient Roman necropolis and also with a very big courtyard. A beautiful outside staircase gives access to the main, or noble, floor, where you can see two large windows divided into three by little columns and, in another room, a magnificent hand-worked ceiling from the end of the thirteenth and start of the fourteenth centuries. Like the other palaces that make up the Picasso Museum, it conserves original structures from the thirteenth century and has also been reformed several times in its history.

5 palaces, with over 11,000 square metres devoted to the work of this artist of genius. The Picasso Museum is one of the most visited of the city’s museums and is also one of the most active.

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