Picasso and Spanish ceramics

Picasso’s experimentation with ceramics became an obsession which led him to work for hours on all kinds of pieces: from vases to tiles, most of them decorated with motifs to do with bullfighting, doves and mythological themes. He made around 600 during his lifetime.

One of the artist’s sources of inspiration was the exhibition La ceràmique espagnole, du XIIIème siècle a ens jours which he saw at the Palais Miramar in Cannes in 1957 and fascinated him. Also at the opening of the exhibition was Lluís Maria Llubià, a prominent Catalan historian and archaeologist specialising in ceramics and the first director of the Barcelona Ceramics Museum. His meeting with Picasso was the start of a friendship which resulted in the gift of 16 ceramic pieces to Barcelona’s art museums.

The starting point for Picasso and Spanish ceramics is the story behind the donation he made to Barcelona’s museums in 1957. There was just one condition: his pieces were to be exhibited alongside an outstanding collection owned by the museums.

The exhibition shows Picasso’s works which are held in the Barcelona Design Museum and how they interact with the museum’s collection of historic ceramics. The Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 is an outstanding chance to see how the artist’s wishes have been met and also learn how Picasso loved Barcelona’s art museums.

Where: Barcelona Design Museum

When: 21 June-17 September