Barcelona and the towns of Horta de Sant Joan and Gósol left an indelible mark in the early work of the great Pablo Ruiz Picasso.
Malaga born Pablo Ruiz Picasso came to Barcelona when he was 14 years old. He studied Fine Arts at La Llotja and quickly made contact with artists and intellectuals who gathered in the Modernist café of Els Quatre Gats -which is still open today- where, in 1900, he exhibited his works of art for the first time.
Nearby, in the Plaza Nova, you can see Picasso's only outdoor work of art, the three friezes of the façade of the Colegio de Arquitectos (School of Architects); and in the heart of the picturesque neighbourhood of La Ribera, are the doors of the Picasso Museum, one of the most visited museums in the town, located in the Carrer Montcada.
The painter also established very close ties with two other Catalan towns: Horta de Sant Joan (Terres de l'Ebre) and Gósol (Pyrenees). His Cubist painture was born in Horta de Sant Joan, 200 km from Barcelona. The town offers visitors a stroll through the locations that intrigued the artist and which appear in his first adolescent paintings. The route also discovers the places frequented years later by Picasso and Fernande Olivier, his partner back then and muse of his first Cubist paintings.
Fernande also accompanied him to Gósol, 149 km from Barcelona, where his colour palette changed from blue to pink, beginning a new pictorial era that he ended up developing in Paris.
A unique museum in medieval surroundings
The Picasso Museum in Barcelona, which opened in 1963, hosts the largest collection of the period of the young Picasso, with 4,249 works of art. The museum, which occupies several medieval palaces, exhibits important paintings such as Arlequín (1917), the Las Meninas series (1957) and La Espera (1901).