Picasso Museum of Barcelona

Roofs of Barcelona
Barcelona, 1903
Oil on canvas
69 x 108.5 cm
Ceded by the Ministry of Culture to the Barcelona City Council, 1991
MPB 112.943

The Work

During his second stay at the studio at 17 Carrer de la Riera Sant Joan in 1903, Picasso went back to a frequent theme from his arrival in Barcelona from 1895 to 1897 – the city’s rooftops. He produced several similar works showing different perspectives and uses of colour in vistas of the neighbourhood. The urban perspectives are reproduced with a lineal plan structure lending a particularly architectural vision.

The paint has been applied irregularly, with loaded brushstrokes in parts and lighter touches in others. The artist combines short irregular strokes with long vertical and horizontal ones, painting a dense profile in the outlines for many buildings.

Rooftops of Barcelona is also the theme and title of a slightly earlier work from the Blue Period, being an admirable composition of forms and volumes with a single colour.

Picasso painted the magnificent perspective of the street with its pedestrians from the same studio on his first stay.


Room 8