Museo del Prado, Madrid

Museo Nacional del Prado | Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23
28014 Madrid

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The Museo Nacional del Prado and the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía are commemorating the 25th anniversary of the arrival of Picasso's Guernica in Spain with the exhibition Picasso. Tradition and Avant-garde (6 June to 3 September 2006), in a year that also commemorates the 125th anniversary of the artist's birth.

Picasso. Tradition and Avant-garde, sponsored by Fundación Winterthur and co-produced by the Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales (SECC), will be a major retrospective of the work of the most important Spanish artist of the 20th century. It comprises a survey of more than 50 masterpieces created over the course Picasso's long and active career, which will be shown divided between the principal galleries of Spain's two leading, national museums.

Every stage of Picasso's career will be represented, allowing for an overview of the most important phases within his oeuvre; from the Blue and Pink periods, to Cubism, the return to order in the 1920s, his relations with the Surrealist movement, the difficult years between the Spanish Civil War and World War II, up to the fertile last decades. The exhibition is a complete retrospective, which, due to the importance of the works included, can be considered of equal importance to other such exhibitions on the artist organised over the past few decades. On this occasion the exhibition brings together some of Picasso's most important paintings from museums and collections around the world, whose generosity has meant that most will be seen in Spain for the first time.

The Central Gallery of the Museo del Prado will be the setting for a unique and moving encounter between Picasso and the great masters of the past, while the Guernica in the Museo Reina Sofía provides the focus for an understanding of find Picasso's artistic response to the dramatic politics events of the day.

The exhibition starts in the Prado, whose Central Gallery will house a group of masterpieces by the artist, flanked by a special selection of works by Spanish Old Masters represented in its collections. Among the paintings that can be seen in this unprecedented dialogue between Picasso and the past are La Vie (1903) Cleveland Museum of Art; Boy with Horse (1906) Museum of Modern Art, New York; Bread and Fruit Dish with Fruit on a Table (1908-1909) and The Aficionado (1912) from the Kunstmuseum, Basel; Self-portrait with Palette (1906), and Three Musicians (1921) from the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Pan Pipes (1923) from the Musée Picasso, Paris; L'Aubade (1942), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Las Meninas (1957), Museu Picasso, Barcelona.

In the Reina Sofía the exhibition takes on a monographic character focused around the Guernica and its legacy, now seen alongside other works of significance for Picasso's artistic response to the dramatic circumstances of modern warfare, such as The Charnel House (1945), Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Massacre in Korea (1951), Musée Picasso, Paris. Within this exceptional context, the Reina Sofía will also be showing another masterpiece that expresses a condemnation of violence: Goya's 3rd of May 1814 in Madrid. The Executions on Príncipe Pío from the Museo del Prado. Seen alongside the Guernica, it will offer a unique image of the disasters of war.

The exhibition, curated by Carmen Giménez and Francisco Calvo Serraller, has an honorary committee whose presidents are Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain. Also represented on this committee are the Spanish Government, the heirs of Picasso and the leading national and international institutions that house works by the artist.

25 Years of Guernica Picasso's painting Guernica arrived in Spain from the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1981, to which it had been temporarily entrusted by the artist himself. The return of the painting fulfilled Picasso's wish that this monumental canvas - created as a commission from the Government of the Republic for the Spanish Pavilion in the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1937 at the height of the Civil War - would eventually come home to Spain once democratic rights had been restored in that country. The return of the painting marked a before and after in the Spanish political transition in a unique way. 25 years later, the Museo del Prado, which initially received and housed the painting, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, which now houses it, are joining forces to celebrate this unique anniversary.

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Picasso. Tradition and Avant-garde
Pablo Picasso