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Five Gothic palaces in Barcelona’s atmospheric old quarter have been joined together to form the Picasso Museum. The 13th-century buildings provide a surprisingly sympathetic setting to display the works of one of the 20th century’s most revolutionary artists.
Picasso was born in Malaga but moved to Barcelona with his family at a young age and retained strong links with the city throughout his life. It was the personal choice of Picasso and his secretary and close friend Jaume Sabartés to site the first museum dedicated to his work in the city where he had spent so many happy and formative years. The museum opened in 1963 and constituted the first permanent collection of Picasso’s work to be established during his lifetime. Many of its exhibits were gifted to the museum by the artist himself over the years, while others were donated by the artist’s widow and other private collectors.
More than 3,500 works ranging from childhood sketches to significant mature works are included the collection, which covers paintings, drawings, sculptures and ceramics, arranged chronologically to offer a fascinating insight into the developing artist. Artworks and biographical information trace the transition from his childhood in Barcelona via the “Blue Period” in Paris to his eventual worldwide fame as the father of Cubism. Four rooms are dedicated to Las Meninas, an influential series of 58 paintings dating from 1957, while other important early works include The First Communion (1896) and The Embrace (1900).
The museum is open every day except Mondays. Admission is free after 3 p.m. on Sundays and all day on the first Sunday of the month. Audio guides are available for an additional charge and there are guided tours in English on Sundays. The on-site gift shop sells a variety of books, postcards and Picasso-related souvenirs. Three metro stops are nearby, or take the bus and walk through historic La Ribera to reach the museum.
There are so many ways to get the most out of this attraction. Here's some things to do at Picasso Museum:
Peruse our Barcelona things to do page to discover many more activities in the area.
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