Picasso's connection with Barcelona
The personal ties between Picasso and Barcelona, that are essential to understand the process of the museum's creation, were established in the late nineteenth century and endured until the artist's death. Barcelona became a significant link in the chain of Picasso's life, not only during his artistic apprenticeship but also in his exposure as an artist.
Picasso's sojourn in Barcelona

Born in Malaga, Picasso and his family moved to Barcelona in 1895, when he was almost fourteen years of age, and where he would live until 1904. These nine years were the years of his academic training, his adolescence and the formation of his character. They also marked the first step in his artistic development in a city immersed in a dense intellectual climate, against a backdrop of ideological and social struggles. The artist led his life in the old quarter of the city, in the neighbourhood of La Ribera and its environs. During those years, Picasso established a coterie of artists and friends to whom he would remain forever close and would strengthen his ties to the city.

Josep Carandell describes the Picasso of that period in the following words:

'He sees everything, he looks at everything, he grasps everything, he uses everything as raw material for his works.'

4 Passeig d'Isabel II
3 Carrer de Cristina (today Carrer de la Reina Cristina)
3 Carrer de la Mercè
Llotja School of Fine Arts
Social life
Passeig de Colom
Els Quatre Gats
El Guayaba
Sala Parés
Edén Concert
Les Arenes bullring
El Torín
La Rambla
El Paral·lel
Ciutadella Park
La Barceloneta
4 Carrer de la Plata
2 Carrer d'Escudellers Blancs
17 Carrer de la Riera de Sant Joan
6 Carrer Nou de la Rambla
28 Carrer del Comerç
His circle of fellow artists and friends

Picasso soon felt at home at Els Quatre Gats, the artistic circle frequented by Rusiñol, Casas, Nonell and Utrillo, with whom he got along well. But he also made a number of other close friends – Jaume Sabartés, Manuel Pallarès, Joan Vidal Ventosa, the Fernández de Soto brothers, Sebastià Junyer-Vidal, Jacint and Ramon Reventós, Manolo Hugué and Carles Casagemas – and the ties he formed with them kept him in frequent contact with the city.

Ties at a distance

In April 1904, following several trips to Paris, Picasso decided to settle there. He would not sever his ties with Barcelona though, as his family and friends continued to live in Barcelona. He would subsequently donate a number of works to the city and help organise two monographic exhibitions of his oeuvre.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso
Fotografia, autoria desconeguda. Musée national Picasso, París
Picasso's sojourns in Barcelona

After a brief stay in Barcelona in the month of May, Picasso travelled to Gòsol with his partner Fernande Olivier.


He spent the month of May in Barcelona, where he painted Portrait of Pallarès. In June he visited Horta de Sant Joan, where he spent the summer with Fernande Olivier.


Picasso and Fernande Olivier returned to Barcelona in the company of Ramon Pichot. They spent the summer in Cadaqués, where they were joined by André Derain and his wife. Picasso met up with Eugeni d'Ors again in Cadaqués.


Picasso returned to Barcelona in the spring to see his father, José Ruiz Blasco, who would pass away on 3 June, and stayed to attend the funeral.


In June Picasso met up with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in Barcelona, where the company was presenting a show at the Liceu opera house. He remained in the city with ballerina Olga Khokhlova until the month of November. The couple stayed at the Picasso family residence on Carrer de la Mercè.


Brief autumn sojourn in Barcelona.


At the end of August, Picasso spent a few days in Barcelona with Olga and their son Paulo. They travelled to Sitges to visit Cau Ferrat museum.


In the summer Picasso travelled around Spain, visiting Barcelona and a number of other cities. He remained in the Barcelona until the month of September and visited Museu d'Art de Catalunya.

Donation of Picasso works to Barcelona

Picasso soon began to donate works to Barcelona. His participation in the city's Art Exhibition in 1919 paved the way for the future Museu Picasso.


Picasso's first donation to the city. On occasion of the display of eight of his works at an art show organised by Barcelona City Council, he donated Harlequin of 1917 to the institution known as Barcelona Art Museums.


As a token of his generosity, Picasso gave the Museu d’Art Modern an artist's proof of the 1935 etching Minotauromachy.

Monographic Picasso exhibitions in Barcelona

Before the creation of Museu Picasso, two monographic exhibitions of his work were organised in Barcelona.