Raimon Noguera, to the left of Picasso, during the signing of the notary powers at La Californie, on 8th December 1969. © Photo: Fundació Noguera.
The space between the historic building of the Museu Picasso and the Centre of Knowledge and Research holds the name of plaça de Raimon Noguera or, as we refer to it in a colloquial way, Pati Noguera (The Noguera Courtyard). Since December 2017 there has been a plaque in the memory of this Catalan jurist who was a key character for the constitution of the museum, as we’ll explain in this article.
Raimon Noguera i de Guzman was born in Barcelona on 9th January 1897 and gained a degree in Law from the University of Barcelona in 1917. When he was 25 he passed the state examinations to become a notary, a profession that he carried out in Ponferrada and Castelló de la Plana before winning a place in Barcelona, where he returned in 1935. In those months prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, Noguera participated in the gatherings of the Ateneu Barcelonès.
During Franco’s dictatorship, Noguera was notable for his work in ordering and historic research of the Catalan notary archives. He also participated in the reform of the Mortgage Act of 1944 and in the Law of census redemption of 1945, among others. Throughout his career he received several distinctions such as the Gold Medal of the City of Barcelona, the Cross of Saint George and the Gold Medal of the Generalitat of Catalonia.
At the beginning of the 1960s, when the creation of a museum dedicated to Picasso in the city of Barcelona was in its early stages, Joan Prats and Jaume Sabartés proposed him to be the legal adviser they needed for its constitution. Noguera’s dialoguing and conciliatory nature was very valuable when it came to fitting in Picasso’s renowned anti-Franco attitude with the fact that the dictatorship was still in force in Spain.
Pablo Picasso: “Head”. Drawn on paper. 24/02/1970. Graphite pencil on paper. 48 x 38.2 cm. 48 x 76.7 cm. Donation Noguera i Guzmán, Raimon, 1985. MPB 112.764
Furthermore, Noguera was also key to his meeting with the Mayor of Barcelona, Josep Maria de Porcioles, who he convinced that the opening of the museum would be a unique opportunity to recuperate the Ribera neighbourhood and that, if it was done well, it would be the first monographic museum of the “greatest artist of all time”; However, if, on the other hand, it did not succeed, it could lead to adverse comments against the regime at an international level. As you know, the result was positive: the museum opened its doors on March 9th, 1963 with the name of “Sabartés Collection”.
A few years later, the mediation by Raimon Noguera would be essential for Picasso to decide to donate to the museum the works that he kept in the family flat in Passeig de Gràcia. Noguera simplified the paperwork as much as possible, since the artist did not like to have to deal with the legal questions, and obtained the notary powers for the donation of 1970. Picasso was so grateful for his work that he dedicated some drawings to him, as well as calling him affectionately «maître Noguera» or «friend Raymundo Noguera».
Finally, in 1985 Raimon Noguera also gave the museum the works that Picasso had dedicated to him, including the aquatints of the treatise of the bullfighting by Pepe Hillo that the artist produced for the publisher Gustavo Gili and the catalogue from the Avignon exhibition. The lawyer died on May 19th, 1990 at the age of 93.
Plaque of homage to Raimon Noguera i de Guzmán, located in the Pati Noguera of the Museu Picasso since December 2017.
- Book: The notary Raimon Noguera and the legacy of Picasso, Miró and Pau Casals, by Agustí Pons Mir. Edicions 62.
Written by the Museum