Our tour of southern Spain continues as we take a day to explore the colorful coastal city of Málaga. Málaga is one of the oldest European cities and was originally founded by the Phoenicians as Malaka over 2,800 years ago.
The Home and Museum of Pablo Picasso
Our first stop was to learn more about the Spanish artist Pablo Ruiz Picasso. He was born in Málaga and his childhood home is now a museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
A wooden stairwell leads to the middle-income home where Picasso learned to paint from his father.
Picador, 1889. Oil on wood.
This oil on wood painting is not featured at the museum, however it is believed to be Picasso’s first work at the age of eight years old. The painting was inspired by his first attendance of a bullfight his father took him to.
Bulls and bullfighting remained one of Picasso’s passions for his entire life.
Just a short walk from Picasso’s house is the Picasso Museum. Unfortunately, there is a strict no photography policy at the museum so all the images of art are from their website: https://www.museopicassomalaga.org
Nicely designed arrows point you in the right direction and remind you to keep at least 2 meters from other guests.
Picasso’s work are displayed in rooms that surround the simple Spanish-styled central courtyard.
Glass of Absinthe, 1914. Bronze in Oil and white metal absinthe spoon.
Picasso and Braque invented Cubism in the years between 1908 and 1914. This style was characterized by the simultaneous representation of a single object from different angles, using geometric shapes and eschewing the traditional Renaissance rules of perspective.
Woman in an Armchair, 1946. Oil on canvas.
During WWII, Picasso remained in occupied Paris and continued working, however his style changed to show the grey veil of despair of that era.
Head of a Woman, 1939. Aquatint, scraper, and dry point.
Dora Maar was the inspiration for many of Picasso’s paintings during the years of 1937-1943. However, Maar never really liked how she was depicted saying that “all the portraits of me are lies. They’re Picassos. Not one is Dora Maar.”
There are two floors of the museum that house collections from most of Picasso’s life.
Woman, 1961. Cut, folded, and painted sheet metal.
Musketeer with Sword, 1972. Oil on canvas.
Insect, 1951. White earthenware storage vessel.
Regardless of how one feels about Picasso, there is no boubt that his influence in the cubist movement changed the way 20th century artists would see the world.
The Street Art of Málaga
After leaving the museum, we walked among the streets looking for whatever caught the eye of my camera.
Málaga is a city full of color. There were many murals throughout the city streets and many were clearly influenced by Pablo Ruiz Picasso.
I love the idea of being able to fly gracefully through the sky like a humpback whale.
Art was everywhere in Málaga! An old bicycle was painted to create a beautiful table for eating tapas outside in the warm Spanish sun.
One of our favorite things to do in a city is walk among the streets looking for murals painted by accomplished artists.
These are just a few examples of some of our favorites of the day.
Each mural seemed to have its own unique style and wonderful colors.
Even the logo for the Málaga Theater, Music, and Dance School is full of energy and color!
I like how the artist incorporated the flowers-styled brick work (white, red, and green) into this beautiful mural.
This mural featured the many different faces, cultures, and diversities of the region.
We even found WALDO!!
A modern looking bench casts an interesting shadow on the cobblestone walkway.
We enjoyed a relaxed walk among the trees through the narrow Parque de Málaga.
The Alcazaba, a moorish castle, sits proudly on a hill overlooking the port area of the city.
Centre Pompidou Malaga
Centre Pompidou Malaga is a art museum that features exhibits of various modern artist.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go inside the museum since we had an appointment to be at the Cathedral.
However the outside is truly a beautiful and colorful example of modern architecture.
Onward to the Málaga Cathedral where we had an appointment at 4PM to go to the roof-top tour.
The cathedral was started in 1528 and “finished” in 1782, however the south tower continues to remain unfinished even today. A plaque at the base of the tower states that funds raised by the parish to finish it were used instead to help those British colonies of North America to gain their independence from Great Britain.
COVID-19 precautions required all to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and to disinfect before entering the building.
The rooftop tour was the highlight of our visit. We were privately escorted up the narrow staircases to terrace views of the stained glass windows from inside the cathedral.
We continued upwards until we reached the roof with close-up views of the northern bell tower (84 meters) and the gigantic bells that ring throughout the city.
The level of craftsmanship of the domed brickwork and rainwater removal system was impressive…
…as were the views of the city below in all directions.
After a day of walking the streets of Málaga, we were ready to return to the Airbnb and pack the motorcycles for the next leg of our travels as we head inland to do some hiking…
Next Blog Post
Join us as we hike the Caminito del Rey and talk to some new friends from New Zealand who had an interesting time during the COVID-19 lockdown.
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