Picasso Museum of Barcelona

This timeline shows biographical information about Pablo Picasso, as well as the highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso.

1881, 25th October

Born in Malaga, the first-born son of María Picasso López and José Ruiz Blasco, painter, teacher at the San Telmo School of Fine Arts and curator at the Municipal Museum.


The Ruiz-Picasso family reside in Corunna where the father won a place as a teacher at the Guarda School of Fine Arts, and where Picasso starts his art studies in 1892.


Picasso’s first visit to the Prado Museum in Madrid. After spending the summer in Malaga, the Ruiz-Picassos set up home in Barcelona. He takes the entrance examination for the Llotja School of Fine Arts where he studies for two years.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Man in a Beret


Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Self-portrait, Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, Portrait of the Artist’s Father, Portrait of Aunt Pepa, Mountain Landscape


He presents Science and Charity at the Fine Arts General Exhibition in Madrid. He begins his studies at the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid at his family’s request, but before long leaves the Academy. Frequent visits to the Prado Museum.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Science and Charity


He falls ill with scarlet fever. He returns to Barcelona and moves to Horta d’Ebre (now Horta de Sant Joan (Terra Alta, Tarragona)), on the invitation of his friend Manuel Pallarès. ‘Everything I know I learnt it in the town of Pallarès’, Picasso would say years later.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Mas del Quiquet


He returns to Barcelona and frequents the Quatre Gats tavern, a meeting place for avant-garde art. He shares discussions with Carles Casagemas, Jaume Sabartés, the Reventós brothers, the Soto brothers, the Cardona brothers and Joan Vidal Ventosa

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: The Divan


First individual exhibition at the Quatre Gats. In September, he makes his first trip to Paris with Carles Casagemas, on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition in Paris where a work by the artist, Last moments, was being shown. He meets Pere Mañach, his first dealer, and has his first contact with the gallery owner Berthe Weill. He returns to Barcelona at the end of December and celebrates New Year in Malaga with Casagemas.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: “Decadent Poet”, Portrait of the writer Ramon Reventós, Riera de Sant Joan Street, from the artist’s studio window, The Embrace, Fairground Stall


Move to Madrid. Casagemas commits suicide in Paris. He founds the magazine Arte Joven with Francesc d’Assís Soler which had a print run of 5 editions. He returns to Barcelona and makes a second trip to Paris. From June 25th to July 14th he has his first exhibition in Paris at the Vollard Gallery alongside the Basque painter Francisco Iturrino. He meets the poet Max Jacob. Beginning of the Blue Period.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: The End of the Number, The Wait (Margot), Still Life, Woman with Bonnet


Return to Barcelona and third trip to Paris, where he lives and works short of money in Max Jacob’s room.


Return to Barcelona. He begins his studies for La Vie (Life), a masterpiece from the Blue Period, presently housed in the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Mother and Child, Roofs of Barcelona


His fourth and final trip to Paris where he moves to Montmartre in the building known as ‘Bateau-Lavoir’ at 13 Rue de Ravignan. He meets Fernande Olivier who would become his companion until 1912. He also meets the poets Guillaume Apollinaire and André Salmon and frequents the Medrano Circus.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: The Frugal Meal, The Madman


Start of the Rose Period. He spends three weeks during summer at the house of writer Tom Schilperoort in Schoorl (Holland). He meets brother and sister Leo and Gertrude Stein.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Portrait of Senyora Canals


The Steins introduce him to Henri Matisse. A stay in Gósol (Berguedà, Lleida). Return to Paris.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Woman’s Head (Fernande)


He creates Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, the starting point for Cubism. He meets Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler, who is to become his main dealer, and Georges Braque.


Braque and Picasso develop Cubism.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: The Offering


He comes to Barcelona with Fernande and spends the summer at Horta de Sant Joan. He returns to Paris and changes address – leaving Bateau-Lavoir and moving to 11 Boulevard Clichy.


Picasso and Fernande spend a few days in summer in Barcelona and then Cadaqués.


In summer, Picasso goes to Céret where he meets with Frank Burty Haviland and Manolo Hugué. Braque also moves to Céret. In autumn, he meets Eva Gouel (Marcelle Humbert) who would become his companion.


He makes his first collages and exhibits at the Dalmau Galleries in Barcelona. After separating from Fernande, he begins his life with Eva at a new address at 242 Boulevard Raspail.


His father dies. Brief stay in Barcelona to attend the funeral.


He spends the summer months in Avignon. Braque and Derain are mobilised by the war which represents the end of Cubism as a movement. He returns to Paris with Eva in October.


Eva Gouel passes away.


Jean Cocteau introduces him to Serge de Diaghilev, director of the Ballets Russes who offers him work on the ballet Parade.


A trip to Italy with Cocteau to work with the Ballets Russes. He meets the ballerina Olga Khokhlova. Parade premieres in Paris with the curtain, decoration and wardrobe by Picasso. Trip to Barcelona from June to November.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Harlequin, Blanquita Suárez, The Passeig de Colom, Gored Horse


Marriage to Olga Khokhlova in Paris. They move to 23 Rue La Boétie. ‘Matisse-Picasso’ exhibition at the Paul Guillaume Gallery in Paris, organised by the dealer Rosenberg.


Trip to London to prepare The Three-Cornered Hat, the new Ballets Russes production.


Pulcinella premieres in Paris – the third collaboration with Diaghilev’s company. Joan Miró visits Picasso’s studio for the first time leading to their good friendship.


His son Paulo is born.


He meets the poet and critic André Bréton, head of the surrealist movement. He spends the summer at Cap d’Antibes.


The ballet Mercure opens in Paris with decoration and wardrobe by Picasso.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Glass and Packet of Tobacco


Although not participating directly with Surrealism, his friendship with writers at the time often involves him in group meetings.


He meets Marie-Thérèse Walter, who he has a relationship with until 1936 and a daughter, Maya.


His collaboration with Juli González begins, who starts him on metal sculpture. Salvador Dalí visits Picasso on his first trip to Paris.


He moves to Boisgeloup Castle in Normandy, which he had bought a year earlier, where he sets up his sculpture studio.


Christian Zervos publishes the first volume of his monumental catalogue of Picasso’s work (32 volumes). The Barcelona Museums of Art buy the Lluís Plandiura Collection containing 22 works by Picasso.


Summer holidays in Spain: San Sebastián, Madrid, Toledo and Barcelona.


Separates from Olga and birth of Maya, Picasso’s daughter with Marie-Thérèse Walter. Sabartés becomes his private secretary and his friendship with Paul Éluard begins.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Minotauromachy


He sides with the Republicans at the start of the Spanish Civil War. He moves to Mougins and is visited by the Éluards, the Zervos, Roland Penrose, Lee Miller, Man Ray and Dora Maar, a photographer linked to the surrealist movement and who is to become his new companion. Named honorary director of the Prado Museum in Madrid.


He sets up his studio at 7 Rue des Grands Augustins in Paris. On April 26th, the German air force bombs the town of Guernica (Basque Country). From May to June he works on the painting Guernica to be presented at the Spanish Republican Pavilion at the International Exhibition in Paris. Trip to Switzerland and a visit to Paul Klee.


Death of his mother, María Picasso López, in Barcelona. He moves to Royan with Dora Maar and Sabartés. He decides not to return to Spain until the Franco regime ends. Portrait of Jaume Sabartés with ruff and cap

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Retrat de Jaume Sabartés amb gorgera i barret


He writes his first play, Desire Caught by the Tail.


He meets Françoise Gilot, a young painter who would be his companion for two years and mother to two of his children – Claude and Paloma.


L’Humanité announces his affiliation to the French Communist Party.


He begins his studio collaboration with Fernand Mourlot where he explores the creative possibilities of lithography.


Exhibition at MoMA in New York – ‘Fifty Years of his Art’. Picasso works on the Grimaldi Palace which, years later, would become the Picasso Museum of Antibes.


Birth of his son Claude by Françoise Gilot. They go to live in Vallauris (Provence), where he begins his pottery work.


He takes part in the Wroclaw Congress of Intellectuals for Peace (Poland), giving a speech in favour of Pablo Neruda's release.


Birth of Paloma, Picasso’s daughter by Françoise Gilot.


Picasso and Françoise separate. He meets Jacqueline Roque who would become his companion until his death.


Death of Olga Khokhlova. He purchases La Californie villa in Cannes, where he moves with Jacqueline.


He paints Las Meninas, which he would donate to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona in 1968.

Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Spanish Plate, The Bullfight Game


He purchases Vauvenargues Castle, near Aix-en-Provence.


On Picasso’s own volition, Jaume Sabartés, Picasso’s personal friend and secretary, proposes the creation of a museum dedicated to the artist’s work to Barcelona City Council. On July 27th, the Picasso Museum in Barcelona is founded in agreement with the City Council.


Picasso and Jacqueline Roque marry in Vallauris and move to Notre-Dame-de-Vie in Mougins.


Intense engraving work for the next two years.

1963, 9th March

The Museu Picasso in Barcelona opens to the public with the name The Sabartés Collection since, due to Picasso’s opposition to the Franco regime, it is impossible to open a museum with his name. The museum houses the personal collection of Sabartés and the Picasso works owned by the Barcelona Museums of Art.


Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Painter at Work


Death of Sabartés. Picasso pays homage by giving the Picasso Museum in Barcelona the Blue Portrait of Sabartés and the series of Las Meninas.


Highlighted artworks that can be seen at the Museu Picasso: Seated Man


Large donation to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona by the artist himself of over 900 works kept at the home of his family in Barcelona.


Installation of 8 paintings by Picasso at the Grande Galerie at the Louvre, the first time a living artist’s work is hung at the Louvre.[according to Picasso’s grandson, Olivier Widmaier, in Portraits de famille. Paris, Éditions Ramsay, 2002, p.123]

1973, 8th April

Pablo Ruiz Picasso passes away in Notre-Dame-de-Vie, in Mougins. He is buried in the garden at Vauvenargues Castle on April 10th.