In this exhibition, we aim to show how Picasso returned to a Barcelona in 1917 after many years in Paris, where he encountered a rich cultural scene, a city unlike the one he had left. We also intend to examine the nature of his relationships with the local artists, the tourist outings he went on, the things he did in his spare time, and his artistic output during this period, which was particularly prolific.

In this interlude in Barcelona, far from the oppressive cli-mate in Paris, a city then at war, and from his Cubist circles, Picasso was able to work freely, searching for new forms of expression. This was a moment of stylistic transition in Picasso’s œuvre that would continue in the years immediately afterwards, when classical sources alternated totally freely with the achievements of Cubism.


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    Barcelona, capital of the arts

    By 1917, Barcelona had become a refuge for many avant-garde artists fleeing the war and was now a cultural epicentre in Europe. New art galleries had opened (the Sala Dalmau and Galeries Laietanes) and magazines on avant-garde art were being published (391, Troços and Un enemic del Poble) alongside the more traditional journals Arte y Letras, Vell i Nou and La Revista. With the support of the French government, the City Council organised an exhibition of French art at the Palau de Belles Arts, which served as an alternative to the salons halted during the war.

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    The Ballets Russes at the Liceu

    On 23 June, the Ballets Russes performed for the first time in Barcelona to great acclaim from the audience and critics alike, though Diaghilev, the company’s director, decided not to include in the programme the keenly awaited “Cubist ballet by Picasso”, Parade, following the scandals in Paris and Madrid. They put on six shows at the Liceu and the season closed on 30 July.

    Following a tour of Latin America, the Ballets Russes returned in the autumn and performed nine dances in eight shows, the most notable of them being Parade, which was staged just once on 10 November.

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    Picasso in Barcelona

    Picasso was always searching for new plastic devices and during these months he painted and drew works that in some cases (Blanquita Suárez, Mujer en un sillón and Seated man) follow Cubist approaches, with geometrical planes and bright, contrasting colours. In others (Olga Khokhlova with mantilla, Fatma, Harlequin and Gored Horse), he opts for a return to non-academic classicism and alternates a soft idiom with a more expressionistic language. In paintings such as El passeig de Colom and Man with fruit bowl, he uses both, with a variation in perspectives and a combination of geometrical planes and naturalistic elements.

Cultural events

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    Picasso 1917
    findings and discoveries

    Thursday November 9th 2017, 7pm

    Conversation between Malén Gual, Curator of the exhibition, and Reyes Jiménez, Head of Restoration and Preventive Conservation of the Museu Picasso

    Malén Gual and Reyes Jiménez will present the research process that was signified by the exhibition 1917. Picasso in Barcelona, and the discoveries both of them have made: one referring to the activities and processes of the artist in what would be his last long stay in the city, and the other in the framework of the exhaustive study about the works which Picasso painted during the same period.

    Admission free of charge, limited capacity
    Lecture hall
    Plaça Sabartés 1

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    Centenary of the premiere of Parade in Barcelona

    Friday November 10th 2017, at 9pm

    Concert offered by the Conservatori del Liceu with Carolina Santiago i Elisabeth Vera, with readings by Abel Folk and Enric Majó.

    A collaboration between the Conservatori del Liceu and the Museu Picasso of Barcelona

    On November 10th 1917, the Russian Ballet premiered the work Parade in the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona, to which Picasso attended. The work, for sure, left nobody indifferent, and both the music of Eric Satie, as well as the scenographies and costumes of Picasso and the choreographies of Serghe Diaghilev received heated criticisms and raised passions.

    In the event to celebrate the centenary, the arrangement for piano for two hands written by Satie himself will be interpreted, while the actors Enric Majó and Abel Folk will read the articles that appeared in the press the day after the premiere.

    Admission free of charge, limited capacity
    Lecture hall
    Plaça Sabartés, 1

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    Barcelona 1917: the avant-garde who fled from the Great War

    Thursday December 14th, 7pm

    Roundtable with the participation of Joan M. Minguet (professor of contemporary art, UAB – Autonomous University of Barcelona), Elina Norandi (curator of the Sacharoff Year), Xavier Theros (poet, anthropologist and writer), and Malén Gual (conservator of the collection of the Museu Picasso and curator of the exhibition 1917. Picasso in Barcelona), moderated by Eduard Escoffet.

    During the Great War (1914-1918), Barcelona became a refuge for those artists who wanted to flee from Paris under siege from the war. Picasso, already settled in the French capital, was in the city from June to November 1917.

    Other avant-garde artists also did so during those years: Arthur Cravan, Francis Picabia, Olga Sacharoff and Otho Lloyd, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, Albert Gleizes, etc. Barcelona, for a time, was one of the avant-garde capitals. But what really happened in that neutral city?

    Joint activity with the exhibition Arthur Cravan. Maintenant?

    Within the framework of the Olga Sacharoff year

    Olga Sacharoff

    Lecture hall
    Admission free of charge, limited capacity
    Access: plaça Sabartés, 1

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    Concert-vermouth: Hidrogenesse

    Sunday January 28th, 12.30pm

    Hidrogenesse will offer a recital based on their repertoire, full of historic, cultural and geographic references.

    At the end of the 20th century, Hidrogenesse founded the Austro-Hungarian collective. They chose this name for their recording label to refer to a place and time that no longer existed.

    In this closing concert of the exhibitions 1917. Picasso in Barcelona and Arthur Cravan. Maintenant?, which explore the cultural moment that took place during the Great War – triggering the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire -, Hidrogenesse will offer a recital based on their repertoire, full of historic, cultural and geographic references.

    Always interested in the passing of time and revolutions, they have recorded songs such as “This is how you dance in the 20th century”, “19th century”, “1987” and “Let’s leave the century”.

    Pati Noguera
    Admission free of charge, limited capacity
    Access: plaça Sabartés, 1

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    Guided visits to the exhibition (together with the exhibition Arthur Cravan. Maintenant?)

    Calendar and times:
    Saturdays 15.30 English /16.30 Spanish /17.30 Catalan

    • November 28th
    • November 11th
    • November 25th
    • December 9th
    • December 23rd
    • January 6th
    • January 20th

    Visit free of charge, included in the admission price
    Limited capacity, prior booking at:
    Meeting point: c/ Montcada, 23

    For more information:

Generalitat de Catalunya Department de Cultura


1917 Picasso in Barcelona

Coinciding with the centenary of the longest visit that Picasso made to Barcelona, after having settled down definitively in Paris in 1904, the Museu Picasso has organised an exhibition that, beyond being commemorative, provides new data to the life and creative chronology of the artist.

The catalogue narrates the meeting up again of Picasso with the city – between June and November 1917, and it does so by contextualising a very significant group of works from the permanent collection of the museum, which were carried out precisely during those months, by means of documents that until now had been unpublished (the majority conserved in the Picasso Archives of Paris) and of the stylistic and thematic plurality of the numerous drawings that fill three of his sketchbooks.

The Picasso that the catalogue shows is the Picasso who started his relation with Olga Khokhlova, who strolled with her around some of the best known places of the city, visiting Barcelona friends, and going to the theatre or watching bullfights. The result is a rich and suggestive monograph that approaches us to an artist who debated between the cleansing of classicism and the survival of the Cubist language. All in all, a close and active Picasso, and in permanent transformation.

  • Title: 1917. Picasso in Barcelona
  • Authors: Malén Gual, Reyes Jiménez, Ricard Bru
  • Year: 2017
  • Pages: 200
  • Languages: English, Castilian, French, Catalan
  • Size: 28 x 24 cm
  • Publisher: Fundació Museu Picasso de Barcelona
  • ISBN: Catalan 978-84-947539-1-6
  • English 978-84-947539-3-0 (ISBN Silvana Editoriale: 978-88-366373-3-1)
  • Castilian 978-84-947539-0-9
  • French 978-84-947539-2-3 (ISBN Silvana Editoriale: 978-88-366373-2-4)

Press dossier

Access to the
press dossier of the exhibition:


Organisation and production:

Museu Picasso de Barcelona


© Reproductions of Picasso’s works:
Sucesión Pablo Picasso, VEGAP. Madrid, 2017

Curated by:

Malén Gual

© Reproductions of other artists, as credited

Special collaboration:

Musée Picasso ParisPicasso Mediterranee

Practical information

* One ticket

Opening Times:

  • Tuesday to Sundays: 9am to 7pm
    (including holidays, except Public holidays Mondays)
  • Thursdays: until 9.30pm
  • Mondays: CLOSED
    (including Public holiday Mondays)


Collection + temporary exhibition
Temporary exhibition

For additional information, please visit the museum’s website:


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