The Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso) in Barcelona, has one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and is one of the most popular museums in the city. The museum is housed in five interconnected medieval palaces in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. The five medieval palaces in which the museum is housed, have a rich monumental heritage. All five buildings date back to the thirteenth century, and give visitors a real idea of what Barcelona was like so many years ago.
The Picasso Museum was first opened in March 1963 and was called the Sabart├ęs Collection, after Picasso's lifelong friend Jaume Sabart├ęs. Picasso has given Sabart├ęs a great many paintings and drawings throughout the course of their friendship and it had been his idea to start a museum in his friend's honour with his existing collection. Picasso himself suggested that the museum be established in Barcelona due to his long standing connections with the city and the strong influence Barcelona had on his artwork.
Picasso first came to Barcelona in 1894 and the city significantly shaped his youth and adolescence. As a result, the museum provides an interesting insight into the artist's formative years and his relationship with the city. Included in the museum's permanent collection are a number of the urban landscapes and street scenes that Picasso became famous for.
At the time, the museum was confined to the Palau Aquilar, just one of the five palaces it currently occupies. Then, in 1970, the museum's permanent collection was expanded significantly when Picasso himself donated a total of 920 works to the museum. The museum also has a set of 42 pieces of ceramic (including plates, dishes and vases) which were made in the 1950s and bequeathed by Jaqueline Picasso in 1982. Currently, there are more than 3,500 of Picasso's works in the permanent collection of the museum. Highlights include two of his first major works: The First Communion (1896), and Science and Charity (1897).