Picasso Portraits

National Portrait Gallery
6 October 2016 – 5 February 2017

Last week Picasso Portraits, a major new exhibition of over 80 portraits by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), opened its doors to the public at London’s National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition is sponsored by Goldman Sachs and has been co-organised by the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, and shows works from all phases of his long and illustrious career, from realistic portraits of his youths to the abstracts in his later life, and all media he worked with, from oil paintings to caricatures, from bronze sculptures to drawings, many never seen in the UK before.

Picasso did not work to commission which left him the freedom to depict friends, family and acquaintances in any style and medium he fancied at the time. He often worked from memory or from photographs, so the outcome could be quite a surprise for the subject.

Highlights of the exhibition include a room of portraits of his first wife Olga in different styles, including Portrait of Olga Picasso from 1923 (Private Collection) and Woman in a Hat (Olga) from 1935 (Musee National d’Art Moderne Centre Pompidou), the latter painted after their divorce.

Another one is Self-Portrait with Palette from 1906 (Philadelphia Museum of Art) and the portrait Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, autumn 1910 from 1910, an extraordinary cubist work of the German art dealer and early champion of Picasso’s work, on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago.

The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Cowling, Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at the University of Edinburgh.

Her fully illustrated book which accompanies the show is available from theNational Portrait Gallery shops along with many Picasso related gift items.

More information including special events and ticket prices is available on



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