The birthplace of Pablo Ruiz Picasso
PERIOD 19th century
At the end of the 19th century, Josê Campos Garîn, Marquis of Iznate, built this group of houses known as the Casas del Campo. Made up of two blocks, separated by a street, one of these flats was occupied by Picasso during the part of his life he spent in Malaga.
The faèades are structured on five levels, divided by running projected cornices and the roofs are double gabled. The ground floor comprises the access doors to the dwellings and windows protected by grilles.
There are a further three floors with large balconies and an attic. Malaga Town Hall purchased the house and in 1988 it became the headquarters of the Pablo Ruiz Picasso Foundation, which conserves documents and bibliographies of the artist, as well as holding diverse cultural events there.
In a plenary session in 1988, Malaga Town Hall decided to create the Pablo Ruiz Picasso - Malaga Town Hall Foundation, to be installed in the house where the artist was born. This building was entirely restored and re-opened by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia in 1998.
The Foundation has three facets: the International Documentation Centre, which specialises in Picasso; the organisation of multidisciplinary activities designed to disseminate and promote contemporary art using Picasso as a reference for the activities, and the Museum - Picasso's Birthplace, which is the basis of the ensemble and is what makes it a top tourist attraction worldwide.
Since it was opened to the public, the Foundation has organised a number of art exhibitions, conferences on Picasso given by national and international specialists, didactic talks on the Malaga artist in educational centres and for different groups in the city, and has published catalogues and books. Furthermore, each year it offers the Pablo Ruiz Picasso Grant for Plastic Arts, which comprises the most specialised monographic course on Picasso at international level. Finally, the Foundation organises, on the anniversary of the birth of Picasso, fifteen "Picasso Octobers", during which a wide and rich variety of cultural activities are held, all focussed on Picasso and related topics.
The International Documentation Centre, which collaborates in the area of documental exchange with the most important cultural institutions, museums and art centres in the world, has consolidated itself as the most comprehensive institution in terms of volume of information on the artists, with over 19,000 volumes and 9,750 brochures, and with a magazine and periodicals library of over 65,000 press articles. The services of the Centre are computerised, are public and free of charge, and include documental advice, consulting in the reading room and lending facilities.
As regards the artistic assets of the Foundation, these are made up of over 2,500 works that go from Iberian art to modern day pieces, and the Foundation's collection is constantly increasing, through acquisitions and donations, the latter including particularly those of the artist's heirs who have deposited with the Foundation ceramics and graphic works by Picasso that cover the period 1905 - 1971.
Picasso's work is displayed, in rotation, in the Museum located on the first floor of his house of birth, whilst on the ground floor there is an exhibition room where a carefully chosen programme of periodic art showings are carried out, focussed on Picasso and the avant-garde artists of his times.
Located in the Plaza de la Merced (formerly Plaza de Riego), one of the most significant areas of Malaga, both historically and culturally, the house where Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born was built in 1861 by master builder Diego Clavero, on the site that resulted from the disentailment of Santa Marîa de la Paz Convent. The house, together with the rest of the houses along the northeast side of the Plaza, made up the harmonious composition called Casas de Campos, which were completed in the 1870's and named after its developer, Antonio Campos Garîn, Marquis of Iznate.
The first floor of the house - at that time number 36 - was rented by Josê Ruiz Blasco (1838-1913) in 1880 when he married Marîa Picasso López (1855-1938), and here their firstborn, Pablo, was born on the night of 25th October 1881, where he lived until 1884 when the family moved to the third floor of number 32, in the same square. In 1983 it was declared a National Historical-Artistic Monument, and in 1988 Malaga Town Hall created the foundation that carries the name of the universal artist.
The building conserves part of the 19th century construction and contains an exhibition of some of Picasso' personal objects and his works, together with other of contemporary Spanish art. In 1991 it was included in the Spanish Museums System, and each year thousands of visitors come to the see the house where Spain's most important creative artist of the century was born.
In 1997 the building was completely restored and now has an excellent exhibition room. In April 2005 a new exhibition area was inaugurated at number Plaza de la Merced no. 13, only a few metres from Picasso's Birthplace.
HOW TO FIND IT
Address: PL MERCED 15, 29012 Málaga
Electronic Mail: email@example.com