Picasso: The Boy from Malaga

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in the small and poor provincial Andalusian town of Málaga in 1881, just after the end of an economic boom. According to legend, the baby Pablo was still born, then resuscitated by cigar smoke. Unacademic but talented he picked up his father’s brushes well before the age of eight and depicted the world around him with its warm sun, chaotic household, bullfights and pigeons. This lecture will explore those childhood depictions within the context of 19th century southern Spain under Alfonso XII and XIII. The move by boat to the more optimistic area of La Coruna in northern Spain took the young Picasso out of his linguistic and cultural comfort zone but led to art school and eventually to the heady city of Barcelona. The boy from Málaga was on the move, rarely to return south and with Paris firmly in his sights. We will follow his journey and observe his gradual uprooting and appearance on the artistic stage of the early twentieth century.