Located in one of the cosiest and trendy districts of Barcelona, El Born, you will find one of the most interesting museums in the city. The Picasso Museum! Here, you will see a wide range of paintings (around 4.249 pieces!) from Picasso’s early years.
Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and designer. He is considered as the creator of cubism, together with Georges Braque, and one of the most influential and revolutionary painters of the 20th century. Picasso was born in Málaga (Andalucía) in 1881. He showed a strong talent for drawing at a very young age.
Picasso moved with his family to Barcelona in 1895 and joined the most prestigious School of Fine Arts. Even though he was too young, he was accepted.
Going to art school and following strict rules were not fun activities for a young talented and free artist. He spent most of his time walking around, painting what he saw. Pablo Picasso was more interested in people everyday life, gipsies, prostitutes or beggars than in the magnificence of Velázquez or Michelangelo.
In the museum, you will find plenty of paintings from his period in Barcelona. Later he moved to Madrid and after to Paris, but he always felt very connected with this city.
The idea of creating a museum with Picasso´s painting came from Jaime Sabartés, a close friend of the artist. He donated all his collection to the museum. Picasso museum opened to the public in 1963, and it was the only one created during the artist’s lifetime.
After Jaime Sabartés died in 1869, Picasso also donated plenty of new pieces, like Las Meninas inspired by Velázquez. The museum became more famous and important. In 1970 the artist made a second donation consisting of more than 920 works of different styles and techniques. Most of the paintings exhibited correspond to the period between 1890 and 1917.
The museum grew in importance and donations continued. In 1982, Jacqueline Roque gave more than forty unique ceramic pieces to the museum. The Picasso’s collection has been completed with special pieces from family, individuals and various art galleries.
If you want to know more about the history and the architecture of the city and Picasso´s art, keep reading.
- Exploring the Heartbeat of Barcelona: The Collections of Museu Picasso
- What to see at the Picasso Museum?
- Guided Tours
- Visit on Your Own
- How and Where to Buy Tickets?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Exploring the Heartbeat of Barcelona: The Collections of Museu Picasso
Museu Picasso, situated on the historic Carrer de Montcada, is not just another museum; it’s a journey through the life of one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso. The street, which hails from the 12th century, was once Barcelona’s most sought-after address, imbuing the museum with a charm that’s centuries old.
The Foundations of Museu Picasso
The Museu Picasso doesn’t just offer a glimpse into the artist’s works, but it also narrates the profound relationship Picasso shared with the city of Barcelona. This bond, formed during his youth and adolescence, persisted until his demise in 1897. Interestingly, the core of the museum’s offerings was established through the generosity of Jaume Sabartés, a Catalan writer, Picasso’s close friend, and personal secretary. In 1963, Sabartés donated 574 art pieces from his personal collection, paving the way for the museum’s inception. Initially, these treasures were showcased in Palau Aguilar on Montcada Street.
Dive into Picasso’s Evolution
What sets the Museu Picasso apart is its focus on Picasso’s early years, providing invaluable insights into the evolution of his artistry. The majority of the artworks displayed hail from the period between 1890 and 1917. This extensive collection, inclusive of over 4,250 pieces, is touted to be the most comprehensive compilation of Picasso’s formative years. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to trace his artistic trajectory through cities like Corunna, Malaga, Barcelona, and Madrid.
The Varied Collections: More than Just Paintings
While paintings from Picasso’s Blue Period heavily dominate the museum, the collection is far from being one-dimensional. A significant portion of the exhibit consists of pieces that Picasso personally owned, reflecting the artist’s own vision of his journey – this is often referred to as “Picasso’s Picasso”. Furthermore, the museum boasts a collection of ceramics, etchings, lithographs, and linocuts, donated by his widow, Jacqueline Picasso. The generosity of Jacqueline, alongside other donations and acquisitions, has ensured the museum’s position as the holder of an impressive and extensive collection.
The Historic Palaces that House the Masterpieces
The Museu Picasso isn’t just about the art; it’s also about the history enveloping it. The permanent collection finds its home across multiple historic buildings, including Palau Aguilar, Palau del Baró de Castellet, and Palau Meca. Each palace has its own story to tell. For instance, Palau Meca, added to the museum’s repertoire in 1985, has its own intriguing past. Similarly, the Gerona family owned one of these structures during the 15th century, adding another layer of history to the museum’s tapestry.
Planning Your Visit to Museu Picasso
For those looking to immerse themselves in this art haven, it’s advisable to book tickets in advance online. The innovative color-coded timeslot system provides a glimpse into the expected crowd during your visit, ensuring a more enjoyable experience. Remember, the beauty of Museu Picasso isn’t just in the artworks but also in the journey it offers through time, history, and the life of an unparalleled artist.
What to see at the Picasso Museum?
Picasso´s collection is located in five gothic palaces. Not only the art pieces but also the buildings are special here. Every palace has a different history, and today all together embrace one of the biggest Picasso´s collections in the world. Do not miss it!
This building dates from the 13th century, but it had several alterations till 18th century. It was the property of Berenguer de Aguilar, who bought it from the Coromines-Desplà bourgeois family around the year 1400. During a renovation, they found an impressive fresco from 1229.
It represented the conquest of Majorca, and the work was made up of cauldrons and roses, which suggest that the palace belonged to the lineage Caldes and Desvalls. The central courtyard has an open staircase and a gallery of pointed gothic arches. A very typical solution in medieval architecture.
Palace Baró de Castellet
This palace receives its name because of his owner Mariano Alegre de Aparici i de Amat, who got the noble title of Baron de Castellet from the hands of King Carlos IV. This palace has a similar structure than the rest. There are a central courtyard and an open staircase.
On its facade, you will find an interesting relief with a religious theme from the 16th century. On the main floor, there is a neoclassical hall made of marble and polychrome elements from the mid-18th century.
It was built between the 13th and 14th centuries. Jaime Caballero, an advisor from the Barcelona City Council, was the first owner in 1349. His grandson, Ramón Desplà y Caballero, made this palace the most important one of the neighbourhood.
The palace had a lot of different owners, but its name comes from José Meca y Cazador. He was an important marquis from the Cassador (the Hunter) saga. This building was built around a central courtyard, as well as the rest of the palaces. On the main floor, there are some polychrome medieval coffered ceilings. Definitely, it is worth to check!
Casa Mauri is from the 18th century. According to the experts, the foundations of the house were built on much older structures. They seem to be from the Roman era! In Casa Mauri, on the facade, you will appreciate a very beautiful and unique wooden latticework. It is almost the only example in Barcelona! These walls are full of history!
The building had several owners, and it even came to have industrial uses. It was around 1943 when it was bought by the Mauri tearooms, the company that gave it its name. In 1999 it was acquired by the Picasso Museum.
This palace is dated from the 13th century, but it was built on top of a Roman necropolis. The owners are unknown until 1698 when it was acquired by the Dalmases family. In 1872 José Vidal y Torres, the owner of Casa Mauri, bought it and annexed it to his house.
This palace has very interesting details from the 13th century like a coffered ceiling and two windows with columns, very typical from those times. Nowadays, Palace Finistres is used as a temporary exhibition space.
This museum is a must-see in Barcelona. You will find a wide range of paintings from Picasso. A nice selection you can not miss!
You will discover paintings like Science and Charity, Harlequin (1917), Woman with Bonnet (1901), The Offering (1908), The Pigeons (1957), the complete series of Las Meninas (1957, 58 pieces inspired byVelázquez), and Seated Man (1969) among others.
Everything embraced by old medieval palaces. The atmosphere here is special and unique. If you want to know how to get there, keep reading!
Picasso museum is one of the most interesting art spaces in Barcelona. If you like art and also history this is a perfect match for you! Joining a guided tour is the best option to get to know all the details and hidden secrets of the collection and the building.
Forget about long waiting lines and having to prepare everything. Just arrive on time and enjoy your stay here. The visit will be made with a small group and with a knowledgeable guide. The guided tour lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Visit on Your Own
If you prefer to visit it on your own, there are a few things you must take into account. Picasso museum is very famous, so it is going to be very busy. If you want to visit on your own, the best option is to buy the tickets online before you get there. Receive them via email, SMS or in our app and show them on your smartphone (no need to print), easy!
If you go directly, you will have to wait long lines and probably a long time to enter. Don’t waste your holiday time on these things. Choose which time fits better for you and go ahead!
You can check times, prices, etc. in our facts below. All the info you need is here!
How and Where to Buy Tickets?
You can buy the tickets at the entrance of the Picasso museum, but it will be very busy, especially during the summertime. The best option is to buy the tickets online and be on time there. Avoiding long lines and the crowd will let you relax and enjoy the city and its charms.
You will need to show the ticket on your smartphone at the entrance. That is all! Check our facts and tickets options, find what fits better for you and be ready for this cosy and unique museum.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It is a wonderful and inspiring museum. If you’re into art, you will not want to miss it! The content of a museum is important, but not the only thing to consider. Here’s another fact about it.
There are five large Gothic-style palaces that house the Picasso museum. They are dated between the 13th and 14th centuries, occupying a total area of 10,628 m². Each building follows the same pattern. There is an internal courtyard with an external staircase leading to the noble floors.