It is in Paris that they think that Picasso saw the famous Heads of the iberian, ancient sculptures

still life with a bull’s head, Pablo Picasso, 1958, the national Museum Picasso Paris. © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris) / Mathieu Rabeau© Sucesión Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid, 2018

Spanish for which he will be fond of. But the influence of the Spanish classical is also present since his childhood in Malaga, where he was born in 1881 in a family that was very religious. His father, don José Ruiz Blasco, taught drawing at the école des Beaux-arts of Malaga and served as curator of the municipal museum. It provides a very traditional culture in the iberian, one of the great masters of the Spanish school to the origin of his scholarship early.

Before his arrival in Paris, the painter is a student in Madrid between 1897 and 1898, where he gets a map of a copyist, and discovered the works of Goya, el Greco or Velasquez at the Prado Museum. A wave of influences, as evidenced by his famous reinterpretation of the Minimal of Velasquez in 1957. Beyond his masters, it is the aesthetics and the environment Spanish Picasso responds, underlines this Southern exposure. He has an attachment without bounds to the sea, which does not cease to be an inspiration from Málaga to the French Riviera or the icon of the tauromachies, the beast with horns, which Picasso made his emblem.

Picasso and archaeology

Bronze, iberian, Prayerful , undated, Musée national Picasso, Paris. Museum antional Picasso-Paris

If the Demoiselles d’avignon (1907), or in the Portrait of Gertrude Stein (1906) are returned to the iconography of african art, which Picasso and his contemporaries were interested in the beginning of the Twentieth century, it is in Spain he looks at the ancient mosaics of Tarragona, the carved heads of stone and the ex-votos in bronze iberian. Just another catalog of reasons for Picasso. Beyond the look of the painter on the archaeology of the Spanish, Picasso had seen in the museums in madrid ceramics roman populated by fauns and minotaurs. They come little by little, to live its works, to the point of, of these hybrid creatures, characters, full. As in the Suite Vollard , a series of etchings in the etching performed for the dealer eponymous between 1930 and 1937.

reference sacred

Agnus Dei, Francisco de Zurbaran, 1639, Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid. Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid.

over the course of the exhibition, a range of references to the sacred art of a Picasso painting. Thus, the busts of Alonso Cano, heads, carved and painted, are in a certain way, in the series ” heads of Fernande made by Picasso as early as 1906. Further the Mater dolorosa by Pedro de Mena, busts of mourning mothers that illustrate the death of Christ and the suffering of the Virgin, are counterpoints to the paintings in preparation for Guernica (1937). The late work The Family Picasso (1970) refers to the canvas The figure of the holy family with saint Anne and saint John el Greco (1590). Picasso revisits the still lifes and vanitas, as the Agnus-Dei of Zurbaran (1639) , here facing his still life with a bull’s head , 1958. A reinterpretation of the sacred repertoire through the bestiary picassien and the deification of the bull.

Folklore Spanish and aesthetic iberian

The ballet that goes from the old masters to modern art continues in the exhibition with 204 works in total, and nine themes.

pause. This walk between the centuries ends with a key work of Picasso when you hear his references andalusian: ballets russes , Serge Diaghilev. Between 1916 and 1921, the young artist has collaborated with Serge Diaghilev for four ballets and created the scenery and costumes for Parade in 1917, Tricorne in 1919, the Pulcinella 1920 and Cuadro Flamenco in 1921. It is in Tricorne composed by Manuel de Falla, which you can see extracts at the Picasso Museum of Malaga, that explode the Spanish influences with skirts mid-length and headdresses for women, and costumes inspired by the Fandango (ancestor of the andalusian Flamenco) for men. The attachment of Picasso in the arts and popular traditions is at its peak.

student inspired, Picasso becomes a source of influence for an entire generation of artists such as Juan Gris and Manuel Angeles Ortiz, whose paintings are exhibited at the end of the exhibition. In another wing of the museum, a rich permanent collection is presented. The opportunity to (re)discover the works of Picasso that belong to the fund Picasso managed by Bernard Picasso, and his wife, gallerist Almine Rech. At the Palacio de Buenavista, a former mansion turned into a museum in the heart of Malaga, not far from his childhood home, Picasso visited his hometown.

To see up to 3 February at the Museo Picasso Málaga, Palacio de Buenavista, San Agustín 8. 29015 Malaga, Spain.