Málaga and Picasso, The colours of success
Courtyard at the Picasso Museum in Malaga
The opening of the Picasso Museum has been a real revolution in the options open to tourists visiting Malaga. Now, not only is it capital of the Costa del Sol, but also a cultural reference at national and international level. Since its opening on 27 October 2003, the museum has surpassed the most optimistic forecasts, enabling visitors to enjoy over two hundred major works by an artist considered to be the towering genius of 20th-century world painting.
The permanent collection open to visitors at the Picasso Museum is Spain’s largest exhibition of this brilliant Malaga artist’s work. More than 200 paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics and engravings bear witness to the long, prolific career of the artist, from his academic roots to the last paintings of the 1960s. The majority of works are donated from the private collections of Christine Ruiz-Picasso, the artist’s daughter-in-law, and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, his grandson. During their visit to the museum’s twelve exhibition rooms, visitors can enjoy some works previously unseen by the public such as the paintings Naturaleza muerta geométrica con partitura (Dead geometrical nature with score) (1921) and Olga sentada (Olga in an armchair) (1923).
In addition to the museum’s permanent collection, there is also a select programme of temporary exhibitions.
In addition to viewing Picasso’s work, the museum also offers visitors the chance to visit an elegant complex of buildings whose main attraction is the Buenavista Palace. It is an excellent example of 16th century Andalusian civil architecture, combining elements of Renaissance and Mudejar styles. Picasso chose this building as the possible site for a museum in the city of his birth back in 1953. Designated National Monument, the palace houses not only the permanent collection, but also a projection room, bookshop and opens onto the garden, a perfect spot to relax and have some light refreshments.
In 1998, while the building was being refurbished and equipped, important Phoenician, Roman and Moorish ruins were discovered. The majority of the artifacts found are on display inside. The museum complex also includes some twenty refurbished historic buildings alongside the palace. In this way the exceptional art gallery is fully integrated in Malaga’s historic old town, at the foot of its famous Alcazaba (fortress) and next to the Roman theatre and Renaissance cathedral.
Picasso inherited Malaga’s rich cultural heritage. A stroll through the Costa del Sol’s capital will help you understand how the brilliant artist relates to his cultural roots. In the Plaza de la Merced (square), also located in the old town, you can find the house where Picasso was born, along with Santiago church, where he was baptized. Also nearby is the Judería neighbourhood, which has been recovered thanks to the gallery project. All these are emblematic sites that inspired much of the work of Picasso, considered the greatest genius of 20th century universal art.
Malaga and Picasso, soul and feeling united in an explosion of colour, beauty and art, enchanting visitors with their Mediterranean passion.