One of the jewels of Barcelona’s cultural offer is the museum that collects the works of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Born in October of 1881, in the region of Malaga, Picasso grew up to be one of the world’s most famous painter and sculptor, co-founder of the Cubist movement.
Picasso Museum occupies five large town houses, originally created between the thirteenth and fifteenth century, having undergone major refurbishments along the years, the most important of them during the eighteenth century.
Picasso Museum first opened its doors in 1963, having expanded from using one single townhouse to the five it occupies today. The museum’s collection is composed of 4.251 works, including pieces from the artist’s formative years. The art pieces are displayed in the twenty-two rooms that form the museum.
The museum’s collection started with the donation of the Harlequin in 1919. Thirteen years later, Barcelona’s City Council and the Generalitat bought the Plandiura Collection, containing 22 works by Picasso.
It was Jaume Sabartés, Picasso’s friend and secretary that proposed the creation of a museum that would be solely dedicated to the artist’s work. The proposal was accepted by the City Council, and the Museu Picasso was founded in Barcelona on July 27th of 1963.
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The museum had to be opened originally under the name Sabartés Collection, since Picasso was openly opposed to Franco’s regime.
Many were the artists and collectors that made the current museum collection possible. In 1963 Salvador Dalí donated Les Metamorphoses d’Ovide (1931). In 1966, collector Sebastià Junyer Vidal donated 7 Picasso drawings created between 1899 and 1904. In 1968, Picasso himself donated the Blue Portrait of Sabartés (1901) and the 58 canvases making up the Meninas series (1957). Years later, in 1970, the artist makes another donation of 921 works from his childhood and youth era, which calls for the museum’s first expansion.
Other significant donations came from Jacqueline Roque, the artist’s wife, Louis Leiris Gallery, the Picasso-Reventós Foundation, Lord Amulree, and Pablo Vilató Ruiz.
Picasso Museum also receives exhibits by temporarily exchanging pieces from the museum’s collection with pieces from other museums.
Picasso Museum is located at Carrer Montcada, 15-23, and is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 7pm. The best way to get to the museum using public transportation is by taking the subway – L1: Arc de Triomf station, L3: Liceu station, L4: Jaume I station, or one of the following buses: 14, 17, 19, 39, 45, 51, 59, or 120.