Margarida Cortadella

Jaume Sabartés, friend and biographer: identity and friendship

Friday April 28 – Session 05 @ COAC

The communication aims to explain the role of Jaume Sabartés (1881-1968) in the construction of the biography of Pablo Picasso. Friends from when they met in Barcelona in 1899, 1904 would be the year of inflexion in his life: Picasso would settle down to live definitively in Paris and Sabartés would go to Guatemala. The journey of life of Sabartés ended on 12th November 1935, when he settled down in Paris to be personal secretary of Picasso.  The memories from youth, the everyday conversations about the past and the present recuperated, as well as the research into the family origins of the artist, would be the sensitive material that Sabartés would use in his writings.

The friendship between both figures would be outlined as the engine for the writing and of how it was Picasso himself who incited Sabartés into writing.  The communication will focus on the texts about the life and work of the artist, without tackling the literary aspect of Jaume Sabartés, which started at the beginning of the 20th century in the magazines Joventut and Pèl i ploma.

The bibliographic corpus of Sabartés will be exposed that stretches from 1936 to 1968, the year of his death.  Aspects will be dealt with related to the edition of these texts and the network of relations that cover translations, editorials, etc.  A series of more than 30 texts that have suffered the vicissitudes typical of the historical context that both characters lived, the Franco regime and voluntary exile.  Some unpublished, and others only published as translations into French or Italian, the communication will present a project of the Museum, of critical publication of these texts in Spanish and Catalan.

Based on the longer and more ambitious texts such as, for example the book of memoires, Picasso: retratos y recuerdos (Picasso: portraits and memories) or the documentary biography, Picasso: documents iconographiques, (Picasso: iconographic documents), an itinerary will be carried out around the large collection of the briefest writings that tackle diverse aspects both of the biography, as well as the work of the artist.  Texts that always talk in the first person about the work process of Picasso, from the point of view of an exceptional spectator, and that shun in a voluntary way, the academic and historiographic form.

Margarida Cortadella

Head of Library, Museu Picasso, Barcelona

Margarida Cortadella i Segura, has a degree in Philology from the University of Barcelona and a diploma in librarianship and documentation from the University School Jordi Rubió i Balaguer and librarianship and documentation  from the University of Barcelona.  Since 1991, her professional career has been developed in the field of documentation and information in specialised centres and libraries.  Since March 2000, she has been documentalist at the Museu Picasso of Barcelona where she has carried out various tasks and functions.  In 2004, she was curator of the exhibition, Illustrated books by Picasso. The Museum’s Collection. Currently she is Head of the Museum’s library.

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Museu Picasso Barcelona
Montcada 15. 08003 Barcelona

Fundació Palau. Centre d’Art
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Caldes d’Estrac Barcelona

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