A must-do for art lovers

While not Barcelona born and bred, the famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso did spend his formative years in the city and this exhaustive museum is a showcase of his earlier work and his relationship and influence on the Catalan capital. Spanning 5 adjoining palaces, the Museu Picasso is a must-see for art history buffs and fans of the eccentric artist’s work.

Attending the nearby La Llotja art school (where his father was a teacher) from 1895 to 1904, Picasso went on to become one of the 20th century’s most important and well-known creatives and is credited with birthing many artistic styles including co-founding the Cubist movement. Established in 1963 by his friend Jaume Sabartés (immortalised in a white ruff in a Blue Period painting), Museu Picasso displays 4,249 of the artist’s works from this period where you can see the talent exhibited in childhood sketches through to the evolution of Picasso in his school years and on to priceless pieces from his Blue and Rose Periods in France. Particularly considered is the chronological output from 1894 to 1904 then Cubist works from 1917 onwards in the assured style of the established artist.

Highlights of the museum include paintings by Picasso as a teen (‘Man in a Beret’), a portrait of his mother in pastels and the complete series of 58 canvasses titled ‘Las Meninas’ (Infanta Margarita María) based on the ‘Las Meninas’ painting by Velázquez and painted in the later and most recognisable style of Picasso. Don’t miss the Picasso prints collection in newer rooms of the museum or the linocuts, engravings and ceramics donated by his widow.

There’s a free guided tour included in the admission price, but you’ll need to book ahead as numbers are limited. To get to Museu Picasso, the closest metro station is Jaume I.

Born-Ribera, Barcelona, Spain, Europe

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