Barcelona Picasso Museum Highlights
PABLO PICASSO PAINTINGS IN SPAIN: BARCELONA
You might be disappointed if you visit the Picasso Museum of Barcelona on your own: I have heard a lot of people complaining saying that they didn’t find there the kind of paintings they were looking for. and that’s correct, the Picasso Museum of Barcelona is not a Museum of the typical Cubist art that easily one relates to Picasso.
Our Museum specializes in the early works of Picasso and his late late works, that aren’t very famous. However, it is a great way to give you some background on a fascinating part of his life and it will help you understanding much better what was behind because is masterpieces.
This said, the best way to enjoy a visit to the Picasso Museum of Barcelona is to take a private tour. You can also hire an audioguide or buy the guidebook before entering the Museum. But to help you preparing your visit, I will share my favorite list of Picasso paintings with you.
WARNING. The Picasso Museum tends to rotate paintings often, so not all of my favorites might be on display during your visit.
Here is our curated list of Picasso paintings in Barcelona:
Science and charity
There are so many stories behind this painting, but one of the most fun is the fact that the bed looks shorter or longer depending on room from which side of the painting you were looking at it. It’s an unexpected optical effect resulting from the fact that the studio where Picasso painted it was too narrow and he couldn’t get the right perspective…
An ugly and short lady looks defiantly to you surrounded by a background of colorful brushstrokes evoking a swirl of movement behind her. She was one of the performers of a popular freak show in Paris. This painting represents really well the excitement of the young Picasso during his first months in the city of lights.
He tries to exorcise it by using blue colors: you have guessed right, it is the Blue Period. This beggar of elongated face and limbs that remind us of the style of El Greco is probably one of the best examples.
Person with fruit bowl
Finally something that looks like those famous works in our mental list of Picasso paintings! This is my favorite painting in the room of the Cubist period, and you can find in it all the characteristics that define this style: geometry, a subject shown from different points of view, and a realistic “clue” to help the public identifying what the painting is about.
Las Meninas series
This is not just one painting but a whole series of them. This is the result of several months of working over and over again in different versions and interpretations of the famous painting Las Meninas by Velasquez.
The original, now at the Prado Museum in Madrid, obsessed Picasso so much that he created over 50 pieces always revolving around the same subject. It is really fascinating to compare the original Velazquez with Picasso’s creations, and Picasso’s versions with each other. And that’s something you’ll can only do in the Picasso Museum of Barcelona!
AND BONUS! Here is how horses are linked to Picasso’s love live:
20 years before he painted his masterpiece! In Picasso’s iconography, gored horses are linked to bullfight, and bullfight is a metaphor of his (quite selfish) relationships with women, that led to pain and suffering. It was also similarly used in the Gernika painting to express the cruelty of war.
Now you can head to the museum with your Picasso list of works and enjoy it!
MORE PICASSO PAINTINGS IN SPAIN:
- Barcelona: You’ll find a couple of Picasso’s cubist portraits in the MNAC museum.
- Montserrat: the Art Museum of Montserrat features a couple of Picasso paintings from his early years.
- Caldes d’Estrac. The Fundació Palau is a little known local museum displaying the personal collection of a personal friend of Picasso: some 50 pieces from various periods and styles.
- Malaga: The Picasso Museum of Malaga features a lovely itinerary through Picasso’s evolution thanks to donations of descendants of Picasso.
- Madrid: Don’t miss the famous Guernika in the Reina Sofia Museum, where you’ll also be able to see another dozen of his paintings, mostly cubist as well as some metal sculptures. In the Museo Nacional Thyssen you’ll also find several of Picasso blue and pink period paintings.
What’s your favorite Picasso painting and where have you seen it?
Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.
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5 thoughts on “Barcelona Picasso Museum Highlights”
My favorite one is the Guernica: This work becoming a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace.
Next time I come to Madrid you need to take me there! And I'll take you seeing his Meninas when you come to Barcelona!
Wondering if the museum is exclusive of Picasso ?
Yes, the permanent collection is exclusive of Picasso (his early and late years). They do organize temporary exhibits that might include works of other artists, however they mostly revolve around Picasso’s work. I hope it helps!
You can learn a lot about Picasso and take the most out of the visit to this museum in our Picasso Tour: http://www.foreverbarcelona.com/tour/picasso-walking-tour-barcelona/
I loved the early works of Picasso in this museum–my favorites were the Las Meninas series of interpretations. I look forward to seeing Velasquez’s original in Madrid.
However, my most favorite painting of Picasso hangs in Musee de Orangerie in Paris called ‘The Embrace”.
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