Picasso as never seen before at Prince’s Palace

The Prince opened the exhibition along with the painter's grandson, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, his wife and the exhibition curator, Francesca Ferrari - © Axel Bastello / Prince's Palace

This unique exhibition shows a little-known side of the Spanish painter.

A faun, a centaur, a satyr, Pompeii.. We find ourselves immersed in Antiquity, as seen by Picasso. The State Apartments at the Prince’s Palace are currently hosting a truly unique exhibition featuring 25 works, most of them on loan from the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, which focus on Picasso’s interest in the legacy of ancient Greek and Roman cultures.

As well as compositions that pay tribute to mythological figures, you will see that Picasso, the great master of Cubism and modern art, began his formal training at the end of the 19th century, acquainting himself with the classical art works that were constantly promoted by the academies at the time.

In 1917, the painter visited the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as the ancient cities of Naples and Rome. It was an experience that made a great impression on him, and it is the work that resulted from these trips in particular that is now on show at the Palace.

Smiling Faun, Vallauris, 10 March 1948 Wash on zinc printed on paper76.5 x 56 cm Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz- Picasso, Madrid ©FABA Photo: Hugard & Vanoverschelde ©Picasso Estate 2023
Olga in fur collar, Paris, ca. 1923 Oil on canvas 73 x 60 cm Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz- Picasso, Madrid ©FABA Photo: Hugard & Vanoverschelde ©Picasso Estate 2023
Man watching a sleeping woman, Dinard, summer 1922 Graphite pencil and oil on wood panel 19 x 24 cm Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz- Picasso, Madrid ©FABA Photo: Hugard & Vanoverschelde ©Picasso Estate 2023

The theme was not chosen at random, since it fits  perfectly with the Palace’s recently restored Renaissance frescoes, which also depict mythological scenes, as the curator of the exhibition, Francesca Ferrari, pointed out. 

The project was initiated by the artist’s grandson, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, as part of the year-long commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the painter’s death. 

The ties between Pablo Picasso and Monaco go back a long way, as the painter and his wife Olga signed the visitors’ book at the Prince’s Palace during a visit. The artist was also a regular visitor to Vallauris, where he studied pottery with Suzanne Ramié.

Prince Albert II visited the exhibition

On 15 September, the day before the exhibition opened to the public, the Sovereign inaugurated the exhibition along with Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, his wife, and Francesca Ferrari. 

Paying tribute to the “immense artist” that Picasso was, the Prince emphasised the beautiful link “between different eras” – that of the Palace frescoes, which date from the 16th century and that of Picasso, four hundred years later. 

The Prince visited the exhibition along with MR & Mrs Bernard Ruiz-Picasso and Francesca Ferrari – © Axel Bastello / Prince’s Palace