Picasso and Barcelona

It is fairly well known that Pablo Picasso had a history with the city of Barcelona. Although he was born in the city of Malaga and spent most of his adult life in France, it is irrefutable that the magnificent city landscapes of Barcelona influenced his creative path as a young artist. Picasso himself throughout his life referred to Barcelona as his one true home. 

Pablo Picasso pintando el Guernica (París, 1937)

Picasso and his family moved to Barcelona when he was just 13 years old, in 1895, after the death of his beloved 7 year old sister. Picasso’s father, himself a renowned artist who specialized in naturalistic depictions of birds, took a job teaching in Barcelona’s School of Fine Arts. The senior Picasso persuaded the admissions board of the academy to let his son sit the entrance exams for the advanced class. Although the process usually took potential students a month, the 13 year old completed it in just a week to the amazement of the admissions board. They had no choice but to permit him to enroll. His father rented him a small room near the academy so that the young artist could work alone, but would check up on his work several times a day. Although a rebellious student, Picasso would form friendships during his time at the academy that would last him a lifetime. It was in this room that Picasso transformed into the innovative genius artist he would become.

Portrait of Gertrude Stein, 1906, Metropolitan...

It is impossible to ignore the influence that the bright colours and loud characters of Barcelona at the turn of the century had on Picasso’s formative years and future career. The artistic community in Barcelona at the time was the envy of many European cities. To wander around the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona and see where the young Picasso lived and worked while painting his first masterpieces and then see for yourself the beauty of his creations at the Picasso Museum is a must-see experience for any visitor to Barcelona.

"Boy with a Pipe (Garçon à la pipe)"...