This last week we inaugurated the exhibition “Landscapes of Barcelona”, curated by Claustre Rafart, which presents a series of paintings and drawings from the collection of the museum that reproduce the seafront and urban areas of Barcelona where Picasso spent his formative years.
Pablo Picasso. Barceloneta Beach. Barcelona, 1896. Oil on canvas. 24.4 x 34 cm (irregular). Gif tof Pablo Picasso, 1970. MPB 110.073 | Màrius Aguirre Serrat-Calvó. Factories by Barcelona beach. 1888-1910. Modern print © Arxiu Fotogràfic Centre Excursionista de Catalunya
The Ruiz Picasso family settled in the city in 1895. They were from Malaga and had lived for some years in Coruña: the sea had always been present in their lives. Picasso lived in Barcelona until April 1904 and, during this period, the artist discovered a modern city that was opening up towards Europe, and in which the old lasted as a sign of the times. This is the Barcelona that Picasso would know during his adolescence and youth and would make his own through his paintings and drawings. The artist used the landscapes of the city to put into practice his academic learning, but at the same time to experiment and get away from corseted styles.
The exhibition, that can be seen until September, is structured around five expositive areas: “Seafront”, “Historic Barcelona”, “Modern Barcelona”, “Rooftops” and “From the window”, that at the same time are interrelated between them given that Picasso’s landscapes are inter-connectable.
Pablo Picasso. Barcelona Rooftops. Barcelona, 1903. Oil on canvas. 71 x 111 cm. Permanently ceded by the Ministry of Culture, 1991. MPB 112.943 | Adolf Mas. Pont de la Parra Street. 1907. Gelatin-silver print on toned paper. Arxiu Fotogràfic de Barcelona
Furthermore, the works are accompanied by photographs from the Arxiu Fotogràfic de Barcelona, Arxiu Fotogràfic Centre Excursionista de Catalunya and Fundació Amatller d’Art Hispànic. Arxiu Mas.. These photographs provide us with information about the Barcelona of the time, while at the same time identifying landscapes of Picasso’s Barcelona with names and surnames. In some cases they help us also to recuperate the memory of the places that have disappeared since then, such as the Church of Santa Marta, which was demolished to open up the way for the Via Laietana at the beginning of the 20th century.
Pablo Picasso. Rooftops and church of Santa Marta. Barcelona, 1900. Oil on canvas mounted to wood. 21.3 x 22.5 cm. Gift of Pablo Picasso, 1970. MPB 110.102 | Adolf Mas. Dome and bell tower of Santa Marta. 1907. Gelatin-silver print on toned paper. Arxiu Fotogràfic de Barcelona
Parallel to this, we have started a digital publishing line “Journals on the Collection”, which makes available to the public free of charge the works of research and diffusion based around the collection of the museum and the work of Pablo Picasso. These publications, which are adapted to a wide ranges of devices, have been designed to be consulted online and have the aim of sharing knowledge in an accessible, global, ecologically responsible and economic way.