Smoothwall Firewall project

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Finding Picasso in the Sierra Norte

Toreador before the fight

Well, this was a bit of a surprise find I have to admit. We were travelling back from southern Spain, just north of Madrid, heading for the Spanish/French border, and we needed somewhere to stay over night.

I spotted a beautiful walled town just off the Autopista and decided it would be a great place to stop, its name, Buitrago del Lozoya. We found a lovely small hotel in the middle of the walled town, and we then noticed that their was a Picasso museum underneath the town hall. I have to come clean and explain that I am a large Picasso fan, and have visited the "Salt Merchants House" in Paris and his museum in Barcelona to just enjoy the magnificence that was his genius. So it was a complete, and very pleasant surprise to find that in this tiny town there was also a tiny museum of his work.

The reason for this collection is an odd one, his life long friend, fellow exile and Barbour had lived in the town, and had been given many works by Picasso as presents, and on his death he gave them to the town to use as they saw fit. Thus the museum under the town hall.

The collection is obviously not enormous, and the pieces on display are certainly not on the scale of Guernica , which is a must see on everyone's bucket list ;-) They are however very interesting, and give a real glimpse into the private life of Picasso and his friends.

One of the pieces that was particularly unique was the Barbour's work box, which Picasso had scribbled over for many years, including the phrase "To my good friend Arias", which was the name of the Barbour. There were also many ceramics, with pictures of bull fighters and bull fighting, that had also captured Picasso's imagination during this period.

If you are in the region, then this little museum, which is beautifully kept and maintained is well worth a visit, as is the town which offers an oasis of calm on a long journey from the middle of Spain to the west coast of France. I have attached a few of the items I took pictures of below to whet your appetite.

Picasso Ceramics

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