Group 26_

MPM presents Picasso of Malaga. Earliest Works.


The exhibition is Museo Picasso Málaga’s evocative look at Pablo Picasso’s earliest years, recreating for visitors the family environment, cultural atmosphere and urban surroundings of the city where he was born on 25th October, 1881.

From 25th February to 9th June 2013, the exhibition brings together a total of 53 works by Pablo Picasso that enable the visitor to discover the subjects the artist worked on at the beginning of his life and also to reflect upon the imprint left by Malaga and its people on the artist&rsquo";"s later works. Also on show are 35 works by other artists and 104 documents that put into context the situation of a city full of contrasts, on the threshold between two centuries.

Curated by Rafael Inglada and organized in collaboration with Museu Picasso in Barcelona, the Picasso of Malaga exhibition is the first of three exhibitions held as part of the MPM&acute";"s 10th Anniversary celebrations.

In the late 19th century, Malaga was a city full of contrasts. The enterprising spirit of the bourgeois classes had resulted in there being over 150 registered factories here in 1878. A large part of the population worked in them, with working hours of up to seventy hours a week. Described in travel books as &ldquo";“God&rsquo”;“s paradise on earth&rdquo”;", this superbly located seaport suffered a series of natural disasters during this period that brought on an economic recession. The city tried to recover from this with new plans for urban growth and by promoting alternative forms of business.

This was the context in which Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born and spent his childhood. The boy grew up in a predominantly female household, surrounded by his mother, Maria Picasso, and his aunts and sisters. There was also the social circle of his father, José Ruiz Blasco, a teacher and painter who enjoyed literary and artistic gatherings and the bullfighting world, and had connections to Malaga&rsquo";“s artistic circles. He supervised his son&rsquo”;“s training from very early on, introducing him to the principles of technique and composition, which the child quickly grasped. As Picasso himself recalled in 1943: &ldquo”;“My early drawings could never have been shown at an exhibition of children&rsquo”;“s drawings&hellip”;" they had barely any of the awkwardness or naivety of a child&hellip";" I quickly outgrew that period of wonderful vision&hellip";“&rdquo”;"

Portraits of his relations, lesson studies, bullfighting scenes, landscapes, still-lifes and copies of other artworks all bear testimony to those early years, when the young boy portrayed his home environment and the landscape around it to suit the aesthetic tastes of the city at that time. In 1891, the Ruiz-Picasso family left Malaga and only returned there for short periods of time. The last time Pablo Picasso visited was in 1901, in the company of his friend Carles Casagemas. By the age of twenty, his brushstrokes were gradually moving away from their early academic style and gaining a freedom that would lead him to become the great artist of the 20th century.

Picasso de Málaga. Earliest Works maps this period of the budding artist and his family. It brings together an outstanding collection of 53 works from the artist&rsquo";"s childhood and youth, along with a selection of works produced in his later years that invite us to reflect on the way this initial period may have left its mark on Picasso and his work.

The exhibition also contains 35 works by other artists such as José Denis Belgrano, Antonio Muñoz Degrain, Joaquín Martínez de la Vega, or the artist&rsquo";"s own father, José Ruiz Blasco, that reproduce the artistic atmosphere in Malaga at the time. There are also 104 documents including photographs, maps and objects that recreate the city as it stood on the threshold between two centuries.

Organized in collaboration with Museu Picasso de Barcelona, the exhibition has been enhanced thanks to contributions from private collectors in Malaga, the Museo del Prado, Museo de Málaga, the Biblioteca Nacional de España, Fundación Pablo Ruiz Picasso Museo Casa Natal, the Museo del Patrimonio Municipal and a number of international art museums. The Picasso of Malaga. Earliest Works exhibition is the first of three exhibitions held as part of the MPM&acute";"s 10th Anniversary celebrations.

Related Activities To coincide with the exhibition, Museo Picasso Málaga has produced a bilingual publication containing essays by the curator, Rafael Inglada";" Malén Gual, conservator of Museu Picasso de Barcelona";" Natasha Staller, professor of the History of Art at Amherst College (USA)“;” Teresa Sauret, lecturer of History of Art at Málaga University, and archaeologist Manuel Corrales. The book also contains photographs of works in the exhibition and a large amount of additional material that examines the subject of the exhibition.

On Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th February a seminar entitled Malaga at the end of 19th-century will be held in the MPM Auditorium. It will chart a map of the city as it stood on the cusp of two centuries, and its artistic, social and cultural context in relation to Pablo Picasso, analysing the aesthetic aspects of his earliest works. The talks will be given by Natasha Staller, Malén Gual, Rafael Inglada and Manuel Corrales, and also by historian Lourdes Jiménez, a specialist in 19th and early 20th-century art, and Javier Barón, head of the 19th-century painting department of the Museo del Prado. Both sessions will start at 7pm and admission is free until all seats are taken.

MPM has also organized a series of talks entitled Conversations with&hellip";“, moderated by journalist Carmen Abenza, in which the audience will be able to listen to a number of Malagueños from different backgrounds telling us their experiences and memories of Malaga from a personal and human angle. Speakers include Francisco Cabrera and Mari Pepa Lara, members of the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Telmo and Academia Malagueña de Ciencias”;" Antonio Sánchez Trigueros, from the Universidad de Granada";" architect Salvador Moreno Peralta, and photographer Pepe Ponce. The talks will be held every Thursday from 7th March to 16th May (except for Maundy Thursday, 28th March), at 7pm in the museum&rsquo";"s Reading Room. Admission is free until all seats are taken.

As always, every Thursday at 6pm, MPM will be offering visitors its Gallery Talks guided tours, which cover the museum&rsquo";"s temporary exhibitions. To take part, just put your name down at the ticket office. The tour is free with the price of admission.

Also coinciding with this exhibition, and keeping the museum in touch with local visitors, MPM is starting a series of free guided tours for organizations based in Malaga (associations, clubs, peñas and cofradías), who will be given 50% off the price of tickets (2.25&euro";" per person). To book, contact

For schools, MPM has organized tours and workshop-tours based on the exhibition. There are tours for pupils as well as special tours for teachers. From the 1st March, the museum has also organized Relatos de Málaga, a micro-story competition for pupils in the third stage of primary school and for secondary pupils.

More information about how to take part in any of these activities at

Related Exhibition

Eleven Invited Works

The Permanent Collection