An Afternoon at the Museu Picasso Barcelona
One of the most popular destinations in Barcelona is the Museu Picasso. The museum features one of the most substantial collections of works by Pablo Picasso in the world. It is actually the first museum dedicated to his work, and was created while he was still alive. There is now a Picasso museum in Paris, as well as a few throughout Spain. This one, however, has the largest permanent collection of his works. Most of the paintings on display at the museum are from the period between 1890 and 1917. During my visit, there was no special exhibition on view, so only the permanent collection was on display.
The museum is located in the Old City, occupying five palaces surrounding a courtyard, and fits right in with the local Gothic Catalan architecture.
The collection features three mediums: painting & drawing, engraving, and ceramics. A walk through the museum begins with his early works, including a lot of drawings from his schooling. They are figurative and quite disciplined, disparate from his famous cubist style. While it was not the most exciting or revolutionary part of the collection, it was nice to see his capabilities and technique, as well as witness his artistic starting point. The museum also features a section on his famous Blue Period, the portion of his artistic career where he famously only used variations of blue hues in his paintings.
My favorite part of the museum was the Las Meninas series. Picasso painted various reinterpretations of Diego Velazquez’s famous 17th century depiction of the Spanish court. The original painting by Velazquez is considered one of the most important artworks in Spanish history, as well as Western art history as a whole. Picasso took inspiration from this painting and recreated it with his cubist vision, with a total of 45 paintings. It is the only complete series by the artist that remains together in the world.
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