Housed in five adjoining Gothic palaces in the heart of historic Barcelona, the sprawling Pablo Picasso Museum contains one of the world's largest and most important collections of works by Picasso.
Barcelona's Pablo Picasso Museum located on the Carrer Moncada, which was home to Barcelona's most affluent aristocrats during medieval times. The five palaces or townhouses date back to the 13th through 15th centuries and serve as excellent examples of Catalan civic Gothic style; they share a similar layout consisting of a structure surrounding a central courtyard with access to the main floor via an outdoor set of stairs.
The museum was founded in 1963 with the original collection consisting of 574 works from the personal collection of Picasso's friend and assistant, Jaume Sabartés, along with items given by Picasso to the city, pieces belonging to Barelona's city museum and donations from Picasso's friends and collectors. Upon Sabartés' death, Picasso donated a large number of his own personal collection as well as that of his family, including roughly 1,000 pieces of his earlier works.
As for the museum's holdings, the collection has little of the artist's signature Cubist style. Instead, it serves as a key reference for understanding Picasso's formative years. The thousands of works showcase the sheer genius, the extraordinary changes of style and mood and the multifaceted talent of Pablo Picasso. Some of the most important collections, which are organized chronologically, of the Picasso Museum include:
The period between 1901 and 1904, which has come to be known as his Blue Period, consisted in the creation of works painted in varying shades of blue. Painted in Paris but said to be inspired by Spain and by the suicide of good friend Carlos Casagemas, they're principally somber pieces with austere colors and doleful subjects like beggars, drunks and prostitutes. While he had difficulty selling them at the time, pieces from the Blue Period are now some of Picasso's most popular.
Contrasting the somber tones and subjects of the Blue Period were the reds, pinks and oranges used during Picasso's Rose Period, which spanned from 1904 to 1906. His cheerful mood, thanks in part to a happy relationship, was reflected not only in the warmer tones but also in the subject matter, as prostitutes and beggars were replaced by harlequins and circus performers.
For a period of four months in 1957 Picasso dedicated himself almost entirely to Velázquez's most famous masterpiece: Las Meninas. The result was a series of nearly 60 interpretations of the painting, focusing both on the piece in its entirety as well as on its individual elements. Together, the paintings comprise an exhaustive study of form, movement, color, rhythm in which the figures were reimagined and recreated without altering the original composition.