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picasso in barcelona top 5 places to visit

Updated: Apr 10

”There is where it all began … There is where I understood how far I could go.” Picasso in Barcelona.

Pablo Picasso, one of the most renowned artists of the 20th century, had a profound connection with the vibrant city of Barcelona. His time spent here during his formative years played a crucial role in shaping his artistic journey. As you embark on a visit to Barcelona, exploring the key spots associated with Picasso in Barcelona becomes an enriching experience that unveils the artist’s early influences and the essence of the city’s creative energy.

One of the significant places to start your journey is the Museum of Picasso, located in the heart of Barcelona’s Old City. This museum holds an extensive collection of Picasso’s early works, providing invaluable insights into his artistic development. From his early realistic paintings to the iconic Blue Period and Rose Period pieces, visitors can witness the evolution of Picasso’s style and themes. Visitors are often surprised by the variety of styles that Picasso mastered before arriving at his iconic Cubist period.

Next, head to the iconic Els Quatre Gats, a historic café and meeting place for Barcelona’s bohemian intellectuals, including Picasso himself. This charming establishment, inspired by the famous Le Chat Noir in Paris, served as a hub for creative minds during the modernist movement. Visiting Els Quatre Gats not only allows you to step into Picasso’s world but also provides a glimpse into the bohemian atmosphere that influenced his artistic pursuits.

Picasso designed this menu for the 4 Cats Café, which is now on display at the entrance.

Continuing your journey, a visit to Carrer Avinyó is a must. This narrow street in the Gothic Quarter was one of Picasso’s frequent hangouts during his time in Barcelona. Here, you can explore the surroundings that inspired his early works and get a sense of the city’s artistic ambiance that captivated the young artist. It was in these back alleys and cobblestone streets of the Old City where he would find the inspiration that would lead to his most iconic painting – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

Additionally, a stop at La Llotja (The Lodge) is essential. This institution is where Picasso’s father, José Ruiz y Blasco was offered work that would have the painter’s family move to Barcelona when Pablo was a young teen. Here he would meet his fellow students who were older than him and recognising his innate talent quickly befriended him. They would introduce him to the Bohemian life, and the nightlife, of the Mediterranean city.

As an added extra, there is much public sculpture and art that is dedicated to the Spanish master. Check out Antoni Tápies’ abstract expressionist sculpture dedicated to him on the Passeig de Picasso, next to the beautiful Parc of the Ciutadela. In our ‘Artspace The Life of Picasso in Barcelona Experience’ we make a point to find the more out of the way pieces and stories.

Picasso’s most iconic piece – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, was inspired by Avinyó Street in Barcelona

Barcelona, with its vibrant artistic heritage and Picasso’s indelible mark on the city, is a treasure trove for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Through visits to the Museu Picasso, Els Quatre Gats, Carrer Avinyó, La Llotja, and the backstreets that he used to visit, one can delve into the life and works of Picasso, discovering the rich tapestry of influences that contributed to his artistic genius. These key spots provide an immersive experience, allowing visitors to connect with Picasso’s spirit and gain a deeper understanding of the city that played a significant role in shaping his extraordinary artistic legacy.

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