Catalonia National Art Museum explores Romanesque footprint in Picasso’s work. The exhibition will open next Thursday in Barcelonan, co-organised by the Musée National Picasso-Paris, that explores the Romanesque footprint in Picasso’s work.

Looking at the period between 1906, when Picasso visited the town of Gósol in the Catalan Pyrenees, and 1934, the year the Catalan artist first saw the MNAC’s Romanesque collection, the display delves into three themes found both in Picasso’s work and Romanesque art, an essential part of Catalan history.

The first is the piece ‘Virgin from Gósol’, which Picasso saw during his visit to the town and which is now part of the MNAC collection; the second is the Crucifixion, often found in traditional Romanesque art and Picasso creations from the 1930s; and the third is skulls.

The exhibition, which includes some 40 Picasso works distributed throughout the Romanesque MNAC rooms, aims at grasping “possible affinities” between the two actors, rather than searching for influences, one of the exhibition’s curator, Emilia Philippot, stated.

“The attraction of Picasso for Romanesque art is probably explained by the simplicity and effectiveness of the Romanesque forms, very immediate; they are another kind of primitivism in art,” said Philippot. “The feeling we have in front of a fresco from the Romanesque is that we are facing the childhood of art. And this is something that interested artists from the twentieth century”, she added.

The display is curated by Philippot, the French representative, but also by Juan José Lahuerta, the Spanish one. To prepare the sample, the two museums scoured the personal files of Picasso and found various documents, never released to the public before, which “testify to a marked interest in Romanesque art” on the part of the painter from Malaga.