Malaga is known for two things: sunshine and Picasso.
I’ve been to both, and I personally prefer the birthplace museum, located in the house where he was born in Malaga.
I think this museum lets you know Picasso as a person, not just an artist, in the context of his life and family. While the museum lacks many things, I had a feeling that I know more about Picasso than after visiting the main Picasso Museum.
But you should make up your own mind, so in this post, I offer a short guide and tour for the ‘Casa Natal de Picasso’ Museum, located on the corner of Plaza Merced, at the edge of Malaga old town.
Casa Natal de Picasso, Malaga
Picasso was born in the corner house on this square in 1881 and lived there until 1884, so very briefly. He spent much of his adult life living in France, and the museum has just a very brief section on this part of his life.
There is surprisingly little from the original house. Just a few furniture pieces, random artifacts like his father’s waistcoat, but plenty of paintings and sketches.
The visit starts by viewing the ‘gallery’ on the ground floor with his sketches and artwork and continues on the first floor where you see more of his family possessions, some restored rooms and photos from his life in France.
It also displays a collection of personal family items, like photographs, and documents, which help you fill in the gaps in the narrative of Picasso’s personal and family life. What I also loved was the quotes on the walls, especially one where he explains how his father encouraged his early interest in painting and even secured models for him so he could practice his craft.
The place is not big by any means, and you will get an audio guide so you can fill in the blanks between the artwork and photos.
The museum feels much more intimate and personal, but I felt like it left many questions unanswered. It seems a little disconnected from the present.
While there is so much you will understand about his creative process and the environment that helped him nurture his talents, you won’t learn almost anything about his surviving family members and kids.
If you want answers to those questions and to understand what the Picasso brand stands for today, there is a fascinating article about the battle for the Picasso fortune in Vanity Fair.
In the meantime, here is a little photo tour and at the end of the article you will find details for visiting the museum. Enjoy!
Casa Natal Picasso: Picasso’s Birth Home Museum
Location: Plaza de la Merced, 15, Malaga
Opening hours: From 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day, including holidays. December 24 and 31: 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m, closed on 1st Jan and 25th Dec.
Tickets: 3 euros
BONUS TIP: Entrance is free every Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.