El Blog del museo Picasso de Barcelona

Travelling through the blue: La Vie and Barcelona Rooftops by Picasso under study

From October 11th onwards you can see in the galleries of the museum the exhibition “Journey through the blue: La Vie” organised by the Museu Picasso of Barcelona in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Pablo Picasso, La Vie, 1903, Oil on canvas, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of the Hanna Fund, 1945.24

This exhibition brings to Barcelona, the city in which it was created in 1903, La Vie, a leading painting from Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period. It returns to the city for the first time since it left it at the beginning of the 20th century.

The exhibition aims to establish the connections between La Vie and some of the drawings from the collection of the Museu Picasso related to this work, as well as with the image hidden under Barcelona Rooftops, recently discovered in an exhaustive study carried out by the museum.

At the same time, studies carried out in 1978 discovered that under La Vie there is a work that was thought to be the lost Last moments, a key work in the period of the early youth of the artist that is also linked to various paintings and drawings of the collection.

Obra de Picasso "Terrats de Barcelona" 112.943 MPB

Barcelona Rooftops. Pablo Picasso. Barcelona 1903. Oil on canvas. 71 x 111 cm. Ceded by the Ministry of Culture to the Barcelona City Council. MPB 112. 943

The scientific material obtained in the study of Barcelona Rooftops is also presented, which helps to broaden the information about Picasso’s Blue Period.  So as to know better both the physical characteristics of this painting as well as its technical aspects, the surface of the painting was analysed and photographed with different sources of light, such as X-rays and infrared. Four micro-samples taken from the existing cracks were also analysed, using optical microscopy and electronic scanning. The information obtained, complemented by the studies of La Vie, provide enlightening data about the creative process of the artist and improve the understanding of his work.

Reyes Jiménez, during the process of studying the work Barcelona Rooftops | X-ray image of Barcelona Rooftops that reveals the existence of an earlier picture

Reyes Jiménez, curator of the exhibition and head of the Department of Preventive Conservation and Restoration, highlights the fact that the stratigraphy of colours carried out during the study revealed the coexistence of a more colourist chromatic palette during the Blue Period, with the palette from this period.

Malén Gual, curator of the exhibition and conserver of the collection, emphasises the importance of the  interrelation of the works from the blue period La Vie, Barcelona Rooftops and the whole series of drawings of the collection of the museum that are presented in this exhibition.

Unpacking and assembling the artwork in the exhibition

The exhibition “Journey through the blue: La Vie” will be open until 19th January 2014.

Museum’s newsroom

Related links
Web of the exhibition “Journey through the blue: La Vie”
Photo album of the exhibition
Picasso’s Barcelona Roofs
Inhabitants of the museum: Sebastià Junyent

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