Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a world-famous painter, sculptor, ceramicist, printmaker, and theater designer who lived most of his life in France. However, many of his works incorporate elements of Spanish culture and landscapes, especially that of Malaga, where he was born. Art lovers and Picasso admirers can view a large collection of his artwork at the Picasso Museum Malaga. Find out more about this museum and other galleries where his pieces are on exhibit.
1. Museo Picasso Malaga
The Museo Picasso Malaga is in the Palacio de Buenavista (Buenavista Palace) in the city of Malaga, Andalusia, Spain. Therefore, the people of Malaga are proud of the fact that world-renowned artist Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in their city. On October 27, 2003, the King and Queen of Spain inaugurated the Picasso Museum Malaga as it was opened to the public. This was a very big day, and almost 2,000 people attended the occasion. Moreover, in 2017, the place received 635,891 visitors, making it the most visited museum in the autonomous community of Andalusia. The famous museum currently features 285 artworks that were donated by members of Picasso’s family.
The 16th-century Buenavista Palace was originally built for Diego de Cazalla, a paymaster of the royal army. However, it became known as a National Monument in 1939 and displayed fine arts from 1961 to 1997. After it was acquired, its managing foundation converted it into the present-day museum. The building also incorporates 18 houses from the old Jewish Quarter and has 12 halls for permanent exhibition. It also features Picasso-related exhibitions.
2. How to get to Picasso Museum Malaga?
2.1. Going to Picasso Museum Malaga
The best way to get to the Picasso Museum Malaga is to walk about eight minutes to Ayala-Los Arcos and catch the Line 1 bus going to Paseo del Parque-Plaza de la Marina. Then, walk about six minutes to the museum. The bus trip takes about 19 minutes and costs €1. There are also a lot of buses available for this route and the interval between trips ranges from two to 10 minutes. Here’s a summary of all your transportation options going to the museum:
Line 1 Bus via Paseo del Parque to Plaza de la Marina (19 min.): €1
Malaga Centro → Walk 8 min. to Ayala – Los Arcos → 9 min. Line 1 Bus to Paseo del Parque – Plaza de la Marina → Walk 6 min. to Picasso Museum Malaga
Night Bus (21 min.): €1
Malaga Centro → Walk 12 min. to Paseo De Los Tilos – Estacion De Autobuses → 8 min. Night Bus to Paseo del Parque – Plaza de la Marina → Walk 6 min. to Picasso Museum Malaga
Taxi (4 min.): €4 to €6
Malaga Centro → 4 min. Taxi to Picasso Museum Malaga
Walk (23 minutes): Malaga Centro → Calle San Agustin → Picasso Museum Malaga
Drive (3 to 4 minutes): Malaga Centro → Plaza de la Marina or Alcazaba → Walk 6 min. to Picasso Museum Malaga
2.2. Picasso Museum Malaga Tour
Picasso Museum Malaga is usually open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from €8 to €12, depending on the type of exhibition that you want. You may enter the museum up to 20 minutes before the closing time. However, about 10 minutes after the closing time, all visitors must vacate the galleries. You can also access its store and bookstore up to 15 minutes before the closing time.
Check out the museum’s regular and seasonal opening hours, as well as entrance ticket details below:
Regular Opening Hours
March to June: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
July to August: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
September to October: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
November to February: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Special Opening Hours
December 24 and 31 and January 5: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
December 25, January 1, and January 6: Closed
The Echo of Picasso (temporary exhibition showing Picasso’s universal impact through works of various artists): €8.00
Dialogues with Picasso (access to museum’s collection dedicated to Pablo Picasso): €9.50
The Echo of Picasso + Dialogues with Picasso: €12.00
3. Why does Picasso matter in Malaga?
Pablo Picasso was born in the city of Malaga and spent his early childhood there. He sought inspiration for some of his paintings from the atmosphere and mundane activities during those years. Therefore, he included elements like flamenco, doves, and bulls in his works of art. Aside from the Picasso Museum Malaga, there are several landmarks in the city that are significant to Picasso.
3.1. Picasso Foundation and Birthplace Museum
Pablo Picasso was born at number 15 (the original building bore the number 36) in Plaza de la Merced on October 25, 1881. Today, this building now houses the Picasso Foundation-Birthplace Museum, while also exhibits a mix of art pieces done by Picasso and other contemporary artists. The plaza also displays a bronze sculpture of Picasso by Francisco Lopez Hernandez.
3.2. Farmacia Bustamante
At the corner of the Plaza de la Merced on Calle Granada, you can find Farmacia Bustamante, formerly known as Mamely Pharmacy. This is also one of the oldest pharmacies in Malaga. Antonio Mamely, who managed the establishment, used a back room here as a meeting place for his friends, one of which was Jose Ruiz, the father of Pablo Picasso.
3.3. Church of Santiago
Pablo Picasso was baptized on November 10, 1881, at The Church of Santiago . This church boasts magnificent Baroque architecture and a contemporary Gothic tower. In addition, the records show that the famous artist’s full name was “Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios y Crispiniano de la Santisima Trinidad.”
3.4. Old Convent and College of San Agustin
Next to the Church of Santiago stands the old convent and college of San Agustin. In the past, this was home to Malaga’s municipal archive and museum. Picasso’s father also worked here as the curator and was allowed to hold painting workshops there to compensate for the delays in his salary. Moreover, Pablo frequently visited his father’s workshop, and this was where he created his popular painting of doves.
3.5. Ateneo de Malaga
Picasso’s father used to work as a line drawing teacher in Ateneo de Malaga at the Plaza de la Constitucion. The school is also known by its old name, San Telmo School of Fine Arts. There were times when he came with his father to this school and learned his first lessons within the walls of these classrooms.
3.6. Colegio de San Rafael
Pablo Picasso studied at Colegio de San Rafael, which is now number 18 on Calle Comedias. He was actually not a very good student since he would get bored all the time in class. He also feared that his father would not pick him up from school. To allay his son’s fears, Jose Ruiz would leave one of his belongings with Pablo to assure the boy that he would come back.
3.7. La Malagueta Bullring
On many occasions during his childhood, Picasso watched bullfights at the La Malagueta bullring together with his father. Bullfighting would later become an iconic element in some of his artworks.
4. What pieces are displayed at the Picasso Museum Malaga?
Christine Ruiz-Picasso, the widow of Pablo’s eldest son Paulo Ruiz-Picasso, donated 133 works of art to the Picasso Museum Malaga. These include 14 paintings, nine sculptures, 44 individual drawings, one sketchbook containing 36 drawings, 58 engravings, and also seven ceramic pieces. Charlene’s son Bernard Ruiz-Picasso also donated another 155 works, which include five paintings, two drawings, 10 engravings, and five ceramic pieces. All these artworks are also a part of the permanent exhibition in the Picasso Museum Malaga.
Interestingly, there is also a temporary exhibit that features art pieces that are unknown to the general public. Some of them have never been displayed in public before. The artworks in this collection rotate gradually to feature new Picasso works every three months.
For example, some of the most prominent Picasso works on display here are Mother and Child (1921-1922), Portrait of Paulo with White Hat (1923), Three Graces (1923), The Siesta (1932), Head of a Bull (1942), Three Doves (1960), and Child With a Shovel (1971).
5. Fundación Picasso
f(also known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso Foundation), is a second, smaller Picasso museum at Number 13 in Plaza de la Merced in Malaga. It is notably distinct from the Picasso Museum Malaga Foundation. The city government of Malaga formed this foundation in 1988 and the the Museo Casa Natal (Birthplace Museum) has since been its headquarters,
Technically, this is not a museum but a foundation that promotes Picasso’s work. However, the foundation also has an exhibition that features a mix of works from Picasso and other artists like kinetic sculptor Frank Rebaxes and sketch artist Luis Molledo. Fundacion Picasso – Museo Natal is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
If you’re around Paseo del Parque – Plaza de la Marina, the best way to get to Fundacion Picasso – Museo Natal is to ride a bus that takes you to Victoria for €1. This takes four minutes, plus a one-minute walk to the museum itself. It’s faster—but a bit more expensive (€2 to €4)—to ride a taxi because it only takes two minutes. Lastly, walking from the same point of origin takes only seven minutes.
6. Other Picasso Museums in Spain
6.1. Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid)
Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid houses the Guernica, Picasso’s absolute masterpiece. This black-and-white painting depicts the horrors of the Spanish Civil War when the Nazis attacked the Basque Country. The establishment had previously enforced a photography ban on the painting, even without flash. However, the new director lifted this decade-long ban on September 1, 2023, in an effort to enhance the visitor experience, especially for younger audiences.
6.2. Museu Picasso (Barcelona)
The Museu Picasso on Montcada Street, La Ribera in Barcelona is composed of five adjoining medieval palaces that house a total of 4,251 Picasso artworks. It was the first museum dedicated to Picasso’s work and was the only one that was established during his lifetime. The First Communion (1896) and Science and Charity (1897) are two of the notable works that are part of the collection here. In addition, this museum reflects how Barcelona influenced the artist’s youth, adolescence, and even the time leading up to his death.
6.3. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Madrid)
The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, or simply the Thyssen, is also an art museum in Madrid that was named after its founder, Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza. It is part of the “Golden Triangle of Art,” along with Museo del Prado and the Reina Sofia Museum. There are over 1,600 paintings in this gallery, in addition to Cubist works by Pablo Picasso, George Braque, and Juan Gris. The collection also includes Picasso’s Harlequin with a Mirror (1923) and The Harvesters (1979).
6.4. Fundcio Palau (Caldes d’Estrach, Catalonia)
Fundacio Palau (Palau Foundation) exhibits a collection of art compiled by Josep Palau i Fabre, a Catalan writer who wrote over 20 books about Picasso. This gallery is located in the center of Caldes d’Estrach in El Maresme. In May 2003, it began exhibiting Picasso artworks, some of which were either donated by Picasso himself, while others were purchased by the writer.
6.5. Centre Picasso (Horta de San Joan, Catalonia)
Located 2.5 hours from Barcelona, the Centre Picasso displays works created in Horta, as well as paintings of the villages that he painted when he was in Paris. Picasso visited this village twice. The first time was in the summer of 1898 when the then-16-year-old artist was invited by his friend Manuel Pallares, and the second time was another summer in 1909 with his girlfriend Fernande Olivier. For the artist, his first visit to Horta was a turning point. He even noted at one point that he learned everything he knew in Horta.
6.6. Centre Picasso (Gosol, Catalonia)
The Centre Picasso in Gosol is a museum located in a little village in the Pyrenees, about two hours from Barcelona. In 1906, Picasso visited this place with his girlfriend. His artwork here also depicts his stay in the village and his taste of rural life here. It was during his visit that his pink hues were replaced by ochre shades that reflected the colors of the local landscape. This is also where he created the famous portrait of Gertrude Stein, which is now in the United States.
6.7. Casa Museo Picasso (A Coruña, Galicia)
Picasso and his family resided in this two-story apartment in A Coruña from 1891 to 1895. It has been converted into a museum that recalls Pablo Picasso’s stay in this city. The ground level features art exhibits related to Picasso. The second floor is a replica of his family’s home during the years that they lived there. There are also replicas of his paintings that are related to that period.
6.8. Museo Picasso – Coleccion Eugenio Arias (Buitrago del Lozoya, Madrid)
This museum in the Sierra Norte mountains features a collection of painted ceramic, etchings, and drawings that Picasso gave to Eugenio Arias, his barber during the last two decades of his life. It also includes a barber’s toolbox that Picasso decorated with bullfight scenes and a metal artwork that he created to decorate the barbershop.
Looking for more information on the city of Malaga? Take a look at Malaga’s official Tourism website or plan out your transportation route by reading about Malaga’s Metro Lines. If you’re planning a laid-back vacation in this city, read about Malaga Pub Crawl and Malaga Tapas Tour for the best recommendations on where to eat, drink, and enjoy the nightlife.