Barcelona is a key element in understanding Picasso’s life. The artist spent his formative years in the city, studying at the art school, La Llotja. The academy was housed in a Gothic building in the Plaça Palau, and was near his home in the Porxos d’en Xifré. From the terrace, the young Malaga-born painter observed and painted the rooftops and captured the Mediterranean light.
The Museu Picasso is just a short distance away, on Carrer Montcada, in the neighbourhood of La Ribera. Housed in five Gothic palazzos which date back to the Middle Ages, the museum opened in 1963, thanks to the efforts of his secretary and friend Jaume Sabartés. It features a collection of Picasso’s earliest works, as well as a number of paintings from the Blue Period and the famous series based on Las Meninas, as well as a valuable collection of ceramics donated by the painter’s last wife, Jacqueline Picasso. A short distance from the museum, the Plaça Nova features the artist’s only piece of public art in the city: the three friezes on the façade of the Col·legi d’Arquitectes building executed by the Norwegian sculptor and photographer Carl Nesjar according to original drawings by Picasso.
The Catalan capital is also a culinary capital: prestigious chefs serve up our traditional cuisine and the flavours from around the world. Can you decide on one?