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Museu Picasso

AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 9 May 2009 | Views [534] | Comments [1]

There are many remarkable things about the Picasso Museum, Barcelona - a fact that is in itself unremarkable given the central role Picasso played in so much art of the 20th Century.

This being Barcelona the museum is full of tourists, but somehow here, in the churchlike hush of its rooms, they are better behaved, more tentative than at Parc Güell or on the long tree lined street of La Rambla.

The museum begins with early works, figure studies from the 1890s, and moves sequentially through to his last paintings, made as a very old man, nearly 100 years later. Picasso's longevity is one of the remarkable things. In photos from the 1950s he is already 75, stout and bald. Yet at this time he had nearly 25 years left to paint, another lifetime, a whole new career in art.

And another remarkable thing. His prodigious output. Most of the works in the museum, from sketches on napkins to enormous canvases, are donations from the artist's collection. Which inclines you to think of how much Picasso must have made if he could give away a museum's worth.

The tourists mostly cluster in the first rooms. Portraits, blue and rose period, posters and design. There is an exquisite sketch of some goats, and next to it caricatures of fat men in top hats and waistcoats. Landscapes, pastorals, domestic interiors. It is all here, every genre available to the painter of the late 19th and early 20th Century.

The last room, ceramics from the collection of his lover Jacqueline aside, are paintings made after Velasquez. The Las Meninas series. A studio painter's paintings of the painting of an artist's studio, transposed across time and reinvented in bold flat colours. These rooms are less crowded, though it could just be that the tourist rush has passed.



You must have enjoyed a whole museum of Picasso.

  Tamara May 18, 2009 6:35 PM

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