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Exterior of the Picasso Museum in Malaga

The Malaga of Picasso

Málaga

Picasso-related places in the capital of the Costa del Sol

Malaga is the city where Pablo Picasso spent his early childhood. The atmosphere and the daily life of those years became the inspiration for some of the recurring themes in his paintings, such as flamenco, doves and bulls. We take a trip down the streets of his home town of Malaga in search of the work and the places that marked this Spanish art genius.

Picasso Foundation and Birthplace Museum. We begin our route at number 15, Plaza de la Merced. It is here where the painter was born on 25 October 1881 (although at that time the building bore the number 36). A couple of years later, his family would move to number 17. Today it is the home of the Picasso Foundation-Birthplace Museum, dedicated to the dissemination of his life and works. It houses a valuable collection of art, with pieces by Picasso and other contemporary artists. It also organises a regular programme of temporary exhibitions on the painter and his contemporaries, as well as housing an important specialist document centre.Farmacia Bustamante-former Mamely pharmacy. At the corner of the Plaza de la Merced, on Calle Granada, we find the Farmacia Bustamente, one of the oldest pharmacies in the city. When the establishment was run by Antonio Mamely, the back room became a meeting place where the pharmacist's friends would regularly get together to chat. His friends included the father of Picasso, José Ruiz, who was a painter by profession.

House where Picasso was born, Malaga

Church of Santiago. Nearby we find the church where Pablo Picasso was baptised. According to the records of the baptism, it took place on 10 November 1881 under the full name “Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios y Crispiniano de la Santísima Trinidad”. The church also features impressive Baroque decoration and a Mudéjar tower.On the same Calle Granada, at what is now number 5, there used to be a jeweller's that belonged to Picasso’s uncle Baldomero Ghiara, who supported him financially while he was studying at the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. Even today in the shop that is currently housed in this establishment, you can still admire the beautiful allegories painted on the ceiling that date back to the 19th century.

Interior of the Picasso Museum in Malaga

Museo Picasso Málaga. From Calle Granada we come to Calle San Agustín, where the Picasso Museum Malaga is located. The Malaga-born painter always wanted his work to be displayed in his home town; and in 2003, with the opening of this museum in the Palacio Buenavista, his wish was granted. It exhibits a collection of more than 230 works by Picasso donated by the artist's daughter-in-law and grandson, Christine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso. The collection shows the different artistic phases Picasso went through, with examples of his drawings, oil paintings, engravings, sculptures and ceramics. At the end of the street, next to the church of the same name, we come to the old convent and college of San Agustín, a building that was home to Malaga's municipal archive and museum in the 19th century. Picasso’s father was the curator of the museum and, in compensation for the delays in receiving his salary, they allowed him to have his painting workshop there. Pablo remembered perfectly his visits to his father’s workshop, where he produced his popular pictures of doves.

Church of San Agustín, Malaga

Ateneo de Málaga-former San Telmo School of Fine Arts. Next we come to the Plaza de la Constitución in search of the Ateneo (arts and sciences association) of Malaga. When Picasso was a child, his father used to work as a line drawing teacher in San Telmo School of Fine Arts. Although his son was not old enough to study there, it was in these classrooms where he learned his first lessons, on the occasions that he accompanied his father.Colegio de San Rafael. What is now number 18 on the nearby Calle Comedias, used to be the school where Pablo Picasso studied. The Malaga-born artist was not a good student, he used to get bored in class and his greatest fear was that his father would not come back to pick him up. For this reason, his father used to give him something of his, so that Pablo knew he would come back. “More than his walking stick, I would have preferred for him to leave me the dove or his paint brushes, because I knew he couldn’t do without those” Picasso recalled.

Courtyard of the Picasso Museum

Instituto Vicente Espinel. Situated on Calle Gaona, was the Instituto de Segunda Enseñanza where in June 1891 Picasso sat the entrance exams to attend the Instituto of A Coruña, the city to which he moved with his family in October that year.La Malagueta bullring During his childhood, Picasso attended many bullfights with his father. It was on those afternoons, when he was able to watch the most skilled matadors of the day, that he began to develop his love of bullfighting and what would later become one of the most iconic themes of his work.

La Malagueta bullring
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