Malaga is the ‘capital’ of the Costa del Sol, that popular stretch of Spain’s Andalusian coastline with glorious beaches and resorts that run from Nerja in the northeast all the way to Manilva in the southwest. Whether you’re a tourist or long-term resident, you will most likely be arriving and departing via Malaga airport – but don’t let that be your only contact with this beautiful city.
Did you know that Malaga was the birthplace of one of the world’s most recognised and celebrated artists, one Pablo Ruiz Picasso? Following in the footsteps of this ancient Mediterranean city’s most famous son is a fantastic way to get to know Malaga.
Pablo Picasso was born on 25th October 1881 in Malaga’s Plaza de la Merced, now the home of the Picasso Foundation and Birthplace Museum. Picasso was born at number 15, moving to number 17 with his parents at the age of 2 where he lived until 1891. Despite never moving back to Malaga, he retained strong Analusian roots throughout his life, which were often reflected in his art.
The foundation and museum was set up by the city of Malaga in 1988 and declared a historical-artistic monument of national interest, with the intention of promoting Picasso’s life and work. It includes a Picasso documentation centre, several art collections, and an educational department for cultural promotion. Exhibits include a broad range of the artist’s output including engravings, illustrated books, paintings, drawings and lithographs, alongside sculptures and 34 important ceramic works.
Malaga’s Picasso Museum opened in 2003 at the Palacio de Buenavista. The artist’s daughter-in-law and grandson donated most of the 285 works exhibited here in the beautiful surroundings of a 16th century Renaissance building. Even as far back as 1953, it had always been Picasso’s desire to have a permanent exhibition in the city of his birth. He died in 1973, 30 years before his wish could be made a reality.
In addition to the permanent exhibition which features 8 decades of Picasso’s art, the Otero Archive provides a close view into the famous artist’s private world. Currently also on view until 11th September is a temporary exhibition featuring Jackson Pollock as a guest artist, to be followed by a Joaquin Torres-Garcia retrospective entitled ‘The Arcadian Modern’ which will run from 11th October 2016 to 5th February 2017.
The Picasso Museum in Malaga is proud to have a complete collection of all of Picasso’s artistic styles and techniques. After you’ve finished appreciating the great man’s work, why not pop into the basement building and discover the ancient roots of Malaga’s own Phoenician, Roman and Arab history.
October is a special time in Malaga. It’s when the city puts on a big celebration in honour of Picasso’s birthday on 25th October. ‘Picassian October’ is now an annual tradition, having been feted for nearly 40 years. With the city decked out in all its finery for the month-long festivities, it’s an excellent time to be visiting Malaga.
Special exhibitions, theatre and education workshops, book presentations, guided tours and concerts are among the many entertainments organised to commemorate the city’s most famous son, who would be 134 years old this year.
Picasso Walking Tour
There are many locations in the city that have a strong connection to Picasso’s childhood years, and a Walking Tour through Malaga can easily take you all the important places. Start at the great man’s birthplace on Plaza de la Merced (Picasso Foundation and Birthplace Museum), then proceed to the Iglesia de Santiago Apostol (St James’ Church) on Calle Granada. Built on the site of a former mosque, this is Malaga’s oldest church and the place where Picasso’s parents and grandparents were married and Picasso himself was christened.
After visiting the Picasso Museum on Calle San Agustin, carry on to the Ateneo de Malaga in Plaza de la Constitucion, the original location of the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Telmo (School of Fine Arts of San Telmo) where Picasso’s father worked as an art teacher while his son first discovered the local art scene. Picasso’s first school can be found nearby at the Colegio de San Rafael.
Your final destination is the La Malagueta Bullring, where Picasso’s father often took his young son. Picasso’s fondness for bulls comes out time and again as preferred themes in his paintings. Built in the Moorish revival style, La Malagueta is an impressive 16-sided edifice and a denominated cultural asset of Spain. In addition to being one of Spain’s premier bullrings, it also houses a museum.
One of the highlights of the regular bullfighting season is the Corrida Picassani, named after Picasso, where special conferences and lectures about bullfighting, and children’s activities and competitions are laid on. It takes place at the end of Holy Week in the run-up to Easter.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Marbella’s longest running real estate agent Panorama.es
September 24, 2016