No artist shaped the twentieth century more than Pablo Ruiz y Picasso. Born in 1881 in Malaga, southern Spain, Picasso's immense talent was spotted at a young age and was first fostered under the tutelage of his father, also an artist, when the family moved to Barcelona in 1895. Our in-depth, 3-hour, Barcelona Picasso Tour focuses on these formative years of Picasso's life. Led by a local art historian, our private or small-group tour will visit the Picasso Museum and other sites related to his time in the city, his first inspirations and the influence of the bohemian circles in Barcelona at the time.
Barcelona Picasso Tour
We will begin our walk at the Plaça de Catalunya, an important central square where the old city meets the Eixample. From there, we'll make our way into the charming El Born district and learn about where and how Picasso's family first lived upon relocating to Barcelona in 1895. We may stroll by Casa Llotja de Mar, the former site of the Academy of Fine Arts, where Picasso studied and his father, José Ruiz y Blasco, taught. While Picasso's father was able to secure him a spot at the Academy, it quickly became a source of tension for the two—it became apparent early on that Picasso would quickly eclipse his father's talents, eventually leading to enough strife for Picasso to adopt his mother's surname. Alternatively, we stop for a coffee at the famed café Els Quatre Gats ("The Four Cats"), a center for artists and intellectuals at the turn of the century that was frequented by Picasso. Either way, we will develop an appreciation for the degree to which the city influenced him, be it via the site of his first exhibition, or the brothel that influenced his early landmark work, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon."
Armed with an understanding of Picasso's relationship with the city, we'll then head to the Museu Picasso, which holds over 3,800 original works in its permanent collection, chronicling Picasso's entire career. While the exact paintings we visit will vary depending upon the expertise of the docent and our interest, our docent will lead us through the collection and temporary exhibit, providing us with a thorough chronology of Picasso's development of an artist from his early days in Barcelona through his major later periods, visiting masterworks like "Science and Charity," "Royan," and the astonishing "Las Meninas," a reinterpretation of the Velazquez painting of the same name.
Our discussion will finish with a focus on Picasso's contemporaries and his lasting influence on the art world. The docent will leave you in the museum to allow for further exploration of the collection on your own or provide recommendations for other sites of interest
What kind of pieces might we see at the Picasso museum?
The collection at the Museu Picasso is varied, spanning the artist's career. Please be aware that due to having such a vast array of Picasso's work at their disposal, the museum changes around what is on public display frequently. Read about some of the museum's most well-known works on the Context Blog here
Is this tour walking-intensive and/or wheelchair accessible? The tour is fairly walking-intensive and the general route may include narrow sidewalks and cobblestoned streets. Museu Picasso is fully accessible to wheelchairs. Please contact us to discuss in more detail your mobility concerns so that we can best advise.
Is this tour suitable for children? This walk is not a part of our official family program. That said, we may be able to arrange a visit with a family-friendly expert. Please contact us.