Picasso Theme Barcelona
Picasso (1881-1973), the famous artist that majority of people know, was born at Malaga in Spain and after the death of his sister in 1895, his family moved to Barcelona where he entered to Llotja, a drawing school, at the age of 13.
The first thing that can impress someone it is his real name, known as Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso Ruiz Picasso. Not really a short one, hopefully for our happiness, it has been reduced at Pablo Picasso.
This theme will take you 1 day or 2 if you want to discover very well the museum.
Let’s start first by the place where he exposed the first time his drawings, els 4 gats (the 4 cats).
Assuming that you are at plaza catalunya, just walk down the portal de l’àngel street until you cross the montsió street.
At the number 3, you will find the place which is a coffee restaurant on the lower part of the Martí house. The place was very famous during the end of the 19th century, in fact until 1903 where intellectuals and artists reunited in this place to celebrate concerts, shows and meetings.
The drawing in the entrance is from him and the house has been built in 1896 by Puig i Cadafalch mixing with an european gothic and catalan modernist styles looking like a medieval castle.
To see the 3 friezes designed by Picasso and made by blasting sand by Carl Nesjar, you will have to walk until nova square.
The square has been built in 1358 for the market called Palla and looking towards the CAB building (Col legi d’Arquitectes de Barcelona - Architect Association of Barcelona), you will see:
- frieze of the children located on the front of the arcs street,
- frieze of the giants located on the front of the nova square,
- frieze of the catalan flag located on the front of the capellans street.
Walking towards la rambla street, you will stumble on the Parés gallery (c/ petritxol 5) which welcomed his first exposition jointly with Ramon Casas. This gallery was very famous in the past where great catalan artists in different styles exposed their work.
Now heading near to the sant jaume square, you will cross the beginning of the avinyó street. Take the time to imagine that his painting “les demoiselles d'Avignon” reproduced the ladies of a whorehouse on this street and it also inspired him to paint one of the paintings for the art revolution of the 20th century.
Staying on the same street and walking until the number 56, you will discover Pitarra which was a clock shop converted in restaurant since 1890. The owner was Frederic Soler, most known as Serafín Pitarra, a poet and dramatist and on the back of the building, he organized literary meetings where a lot of artists participated including Pablo.
Close to this place, you will find his first studio located at “c/ plata 4” where he shared it with his friend Manuel Pallarès in 1896 and his last one, before going to Paris definitively in 1904, was located at “plaza santa maria 1” but before going there, go near to the pla de palau square.
You will see a neoclassic building related with the trading and maritime activities.
The Llotja house (passeig isabel II 1) has been built in the 14th century and extended 1 century later as goods warehouse and trading room.
Nowadays, it is the headquarter of the Chamber of Commerce but in 1775, it was the Royal Academy of Arts where his father was a teacher and himself as student of Antoni Quepa. Once inside, you will discover some beautiful works as the Dying Lucretia.
In front of the Llotja, there is the Porxos d’en Xifré building (passeig isabel II 14). It was in one of the apartments located inside that his family lived when they came to Barcelona. The building has been built in 1840 for Josep Xifré, a rich man who made his fortune in USA in which the ground floor was dedicated for the trading and the upper levels for living.
On the top, you will see a clock surrounded by allegorical relieves of time and on the corners, sculptures representing “trade, industry, navy, mercury, neptune and America” by Marià Campeny. Talking about the top, it was on the roof that Pablo painted some of his first urban landscapes about roofs, sea, light and Barcelona of the late 19th century.
Walking just 6 minutes from there, you will head to his last studio located at santa maria square. During the medieval period, it was the place for nobles and rich merchants and the Santa Maria del Mar church can be found here built by Berenguer de Montagut. Because of the good acoustic conditions, there are usually jazz recitals, classical and oriental music concerts.
Near to it, you will head to the Picasso museum (c/ montcada 15-23, bxs) which will be your last stop. It has been inaugurated in 1963 by his wish and with the help of his friend Jaume Sabartés where you will find a great collection of his arts, more than 3500 works, during his young period as the famous series las meninas de Velázquez (1957), ceramic collections donated by his wife Jacqueline Picasso, some arts from the blue period….
Just behind it, there is the Search and Knowledge Center of the Picasso museum (plaza jaume sabartés) dedicated to the study and scientific programs. Some of Its works are also exhibited here and it includes different spaces like a library, archives, conferences…
In fact, in the beginning, the museum included only 1 building which was the Aguilar palace (montcada 15). In 1970, the City Council extended it with the Castellet palace (montcada 17) and later with Meca palace (montcada 19). In 1999, it was added the Mauri house and Finestres palace (montcada 21-23) and in 2011, the center where people can access to the museum via the jaume sabartés square too. All buildings date between the 13th and 14th centuries except the last one of course.
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