The Barcelona Suite

Pablo Picasso’s so-called “Barcelona Suite” was born primarily of the artist’s exposure in 1899-1900 to the city that he came to call his spiritual home.  Picasso produced a series of original oil paintings between 1901 and 1907, plus another in 1917, that illustrated his impressions of the city: its characters, its colors, and its vibrant culture.  The series includes "Anticipation" and "The Dwarf Dancer (Nana)," "Madame Ricardo Canals," "Mother and Child with Shawl," and "Harlequin."  These paintings, all in the possession of the Museo Picasso in Barcelona, also represent some fascinating shifts in Picasso’s aesthetic, from early brushes with Fauvist modernism to the later development of his Blue and Rose Period palettes.

In 1966, in honor of Picasso’s eighty-fifth birthday, the Museo Picasso published and released an edition of 60 hand signed lithographs after the original paintings by Picasso, as well as several unnumbered proofs.

These lithographic "afters" retain the spirit of the original paintings.  The lithographs after the two earliest works in the series, "Anticipation" and "The Dwarf Dancer (Nana)," are characterized by their exuberant colors and their painterly style reminiscent of pointillism.  The somber “Mother and Child with Shawl,” from a painting executed in 1903, supplants Picasso’s earlier spontaneous exuberance with a sense of poignant grief, its figures’ features lengthened in the style of El Greco and tinted with a bluish cast that suffuses the entire print.  This foray into Picasso’s famous Blue Period in turn gives way to the Rose Period portrait of Madame Ricardo Canals, flushed with iridescent pink and representing a more classical treatment of the painter’s haughty and beautiful subject.  “Harlequin,” from a painting dating to Picasso’s 1917 return to Barcelona, reveals a further development of the artist’s style with its earthen-toned palette and strong geometric patterns.

Each Barcelona Suite “after” measures approximately 24” x 22” unframed.


Back to the artwork