Picasso’s walking route takes you on the trail of Pablo Picasso’s time in Málaga. The city where this world-famous artist was born.
In addition to being a painter, Picasso was also a draftsman, sculptor, graphic artist, jewellery designer and ceramist. This year, his fiftieth anniversary (April 8, 1973) is commemorated.
Pablo Picasso and his life in Málaga
On October 25, 1881, Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, or Pablo Picasso, was born in Málaga.
In Spain, it was and is customary to give your children several names of saints. In this case, they are Pablo, Diego, José, Francisco de Paula, Juan Nepomuceno, María de los Remedios and Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad.
He received the surname Ruiz from his father and Picasso from his mother. As is customary in Spain. It is a bit odd Pablo has become known by his second surname, the name of his mother.
The artistic development has been spoon-fed to Pablo. His father was an art teacher at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de Málaga, the school of fine arts.
Picasso walking route through Málaga
In the centre of Málaga, many places still remind us of the time of Pablo and his family in this city. We have made a walking route along a number of these places. Op onze website kun je het ebook wandelingen aanvragen, waarin de volledige route staat.
First painting by Pablo Picasso
Just before moving to La Coruña and later to Barcelona with his family in 1891, Pablo painted his first painting in 1889. El Picador, a bullfighter in the bullring.
The bullring of La Malagueta was built in 1874 and is located close to the harbour.
As a little boy, Pablo went to see bullfights with his father. This place has been the starting point for his works about bullfighting and also the wounded horse of Guernica.
Since 1869, the city council has resided in the building where the Municipal Museum was located. This building is the former headquarters of the San Juan de Dios Seminary, the Convent of the Augustinian Fathers and the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Málaga.
Picasso knew this building because his father had worked there since 1879 as a curator of the paintings that the town hall exhibited to the public at that time. Picasso remembered the workshop where his father spent the hours the school allowed him as an art teacher.
The building is currently under construction, waiting to become the Provincial Library of Málaga.
The famous painting ‘Guernica’ by Pablo Picasso is located in the Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. It is one of the most important works of art of the 20th century. The painting is approximately 3.5 meters high and 7.8 meters wide and depicts the horrors of the Spanish Civil War.
Although this painting is not on display in the Picasso museum in Málaga, you can admire many other beautiful works by Picasso here. In addition to paintings, pen drawings and sculptures are on display.
On Sunday afternoon, this museum as well as the Casa Natal can be visited free of charge. If you don’t like long queues, we recommend that you just buy a ticket for the Picasso museum and visit the museum at a different time.
The church where Picasso was baptised
Pablo Picasso was baptised on November 10, 1881, in the Santiago Church. The church is not far from Plaza de la Merced and Picasso’s birthplace. The church has a baroque interior and when you are outside, you should take a look at the Mudejar tower.
The parish of this church is one of the oldest in Málaga. His paternal grandparents also married here in 1820 and his parents in 1880. Pablo’s sisters Dolores and Concepción were also baptised here.
Meeting place of Pablo Picasso’s father
The oldest pharmacy in Málaga is located on the corner of Calle Granada and Plaza de la Merced. Today, this building is still in use as a Bustamante pharmacy. This is the place where Picasso’s father regularly met his friends.
He was also here on Christmas Day in 1884, when an earthquake destroyed the city. Picasso has always had a tragic memory of this.
Sitting next to Picasso on Plaza de la Merced
On the Plaza de la Merced you can sit next to Picasso on a bench. Picasso’s statue was unveiled here on December 5, 2008.
A funny detail is that the artist Francisco Lopez Hernandez made the statue of Picasso slightly larger than Picasso was.
Museo Casa Natal, birthplace of Picasso
Picasso spent the first ten years of his life in Málaga. If you are in Málaga, you can visit the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. The stately building is located on the Plaza de la Merced and is now a museum. The Museo Casa Natal tells the story of the childhood of Pablo Picasso and his family.
School Memories of Pablo Picasso
In Calle Comedias, stands the old San Rafael School, where Pablo was dragged every morning by his nanny, Carmen Mendoza. She was the model for one of his youthful drawings.
Later in life, Pablo Picasso told his biographers that he has many memories of this school. He told how he spent hours drawing and looking through the window, how he would escape, how he took his father’s personal belongings (a brush, a walking stick, a feather) to school as a guarantee that they would pick him up in the afternoon.
The building cannot be visited from the inside.
Meeting place for artists
On the Plaza de San Francisco, in the same location where the María Cristina Conservatory is today, it was a meeting place for artists from Málaga in the 19th century. Built on part of the old convent of San Francisco, which takes its name from the small square with Pomona fountain (1864).
Picasso regularly attended meetings here with his father. As a child, he could contemplate here the works that the painters of the time had left behind as a reminder of their passage through the salons.
Picasso’s father taught linear drawing and ornament at the School of Fine Arts, now Alteneo.
Pablo Picasso first came into contact with the classical plaster models, which he copied a few years later, in La Coruña and Barcelona, as a compulsory subject for his studies.
The group of painters who walked the corridors of the school were also teachers and friends of José Ruiz Blasco, the father of Pablo Picasso.
Many of them were for the young Picasso, a clear example of his later works. Like Bernardo Ferrándiz, Muñoz Degrain, Martínez de la Vega and Moreno Carbonero. They made art in the last part of the 19th century. This is Málaga’s Golden Age when it comes to painting. Pablo Picasso benefited from seeing the great historical scenes first-hand.
Currently, the building is the headquarters of the Ateneo de Málaga. It has an exhibition space where Plastic Arts examples take place.
Picasso evicted from the posh Alameda Principal
During his last visit to his hometown Málaga, Pablo Picasso and his friend, also a painter, Carlos Casagemas stayed in the former Hostal Las Tres Naciones. After being refused entry to the home of Pablo’s uncle, who lived in the very bourgeois Alameda Principal, because of their casual dress style.
The friends quarrelled regularly and Casagemas’ depression, caused by a broken love relationship, ensures that the men will never see each other again after Málaga.
A few weeks later, Carlos commits suicide. The impact of this drama will be one of the catalysts for the beginning of Picasso’s Blue Period.