Picasso Museum of Barcelona

Mas del Quiquet (Quiquet’s Farmhouse)
Horta de Sant Joan, 1898
Oil on canvas
27 x 40 cm
Donated by the artist, 1970
MPB 110.066

The Work

Picasso travelled to Horta d’Ebre (Horta de Sant Joan, Terra Alta, Tarragona) in June 1898, on the invitation of his friend and Llotja school companion, Manuel Pallarès. The stay lasted until January 1899, when he came back to Barcelona. He would be marked by a strong impression, ‘Everything I know, I learnt it in the town of Pallarès’, he would say years later.

Studying the rural environment and the countryside in all its facets led to a series of drawings and paintings, most of which are at the Museu Picasso. The direct contact with Nature favours the apparition of a thematic and chromatic naturalism in his work showing a total design and stroke freedom. It is certainly far from severe academic rules.

The warm and fresh environment taken in at the Quiquet farmhouse is captured in the use of a new chromatism and radiant luminosity. John Richardson says Picasso painted ‘with the yellow and pink tones of the Colla del Safrà [artistic Catalan group], but with much more sensitivity’ (Picasso. A Biography, vol I, 1881-1906, p 103). The strong geometric complexity of the farmhouse structure stimulates the young man’s creativity and allows him to play with areas of intense luminosity and shadows, as well as practise perspective.


Room 3