A week ago, on Monday 8 May, a number of vans pulled up our steep and narrow street, preceded by a police car with blaring sirens and followed by camera crews.

Now what? A film crew? A hot Pursuit, A dignitary? A precious statue of Virgin Mary?
None of the above.
No fewer than twenty-five works of Pablo Picasso passed by our front door….
This very realisation gave me goosebumps.

2023 – The year of Pablo Ruiz Picasso

This year, 2023, is 50 years since the death of one of the most important Spanish and universal artists of all time, Pablo Ruiz Picasso, a genius born in Malaga at the beginning of the 20th century.To commemorate his life and work, An extensive programme of exhibitions and events in more than 33 countries around the world, are being organized, mainly in Spain and France,

Read more about the events in Spain: Spain info

Picasso in Málaga – Madrid – Bilbao – Barcelona ánd Vejer de la Frontera!

A unique exhibition of drawings by Picasso is on display at the Museo de Vejer until September 30th. Besides Málaga, Madrid, A Coruña, Bilbao and Barcelona, Picasso can also be admired in our tiny white washed mountain top village. This is quite unique and a huge boost for the cultural offerings in Vejer. Of course we had to go pay a visit!

Picasso at the Museo de Vejer

The museum of Vejer in itself is more than worth a visit, housed in the 18th-century Casa Palacio Marqués de Tamarón, with a beautiful interior patio where a long, slender palm tree, planted in 1879, grows through the roof, its crown of leaves swaying in the breeze above the glass ceiling.

On the first floor are the two rooms containing Picasso’s works. They are drawings, mostly black and white, some colour accents here and there. Gorgeous.

The information board at the entrance reports (Only in Spanish – I have translated it below)

Picasso sobre papel

El museo Casa Natal Picasso con motivo del 50 aniversario de la muerte del mayor artista del siglo XX, lleva a Vejer de la Frontera un repertorio de obras sobre papel realizadas entre 1947 y 1966 que muestran el genio malagueño en la plenitud de su habilidad. El autor de la paloma de la paz también retrata otras aves como una lechuza y un buho homenajea a pintores que reconocía como maestros, muestra su faceta de ilustrador de libros y vuelve su mirada a la cultura andaluza como sucede con las mujeres que traza para acompañar a sonetos de Góngora o la dama con peineta que acompaña a la novela Carme, de Prosper Merimee, ambientada en Montilla y Sevilla.

Es justamente la mujer quien mejor refleja el amor por la vida de Picasso, como sucede en la desesperada llamada del deseo confrontado con la vejez, cuando nuestro artista tenia ya 85 años. Otras claves más secretas anidan en la atracción por el Mediterraneo que está tras la cabeza de hombre griego barbudo, en los paisajes de Vallauris o, en un prodigio compositivo y de memoria, en La amazona. Cincuenta años sin Picasso nos demuestran cuán vivo sigue el artista malagueño, cuanta vida sigue latiendo y desbordando en su obra.

Picasso on paper

‘To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the greatest artist of the 20th century, Málaga’s Casa Natal Picasso Museum in Vejer de la Frontera is bringing together a repertoire of works on paper that he created between 1947 and 1966, showing Málaga’s genius at the height of his creativity. The author of the dove of peace also portrays other birds such as a barn owl and an eagle owl, pays tribute to painters he recognised as masters, shows off his skills as a book illustrator and turns his gaze to Andalusian culture, as with the women he draws to accompany sonnets by Góngora or the lady with the comb belonging to the novel Carme, by Prosper Merimee, set in Montilla and Seville.

It is precisely women who best reflect Picasso’s love of life, as in the desperate cry of longing in the face of old age, when the artist was already 85. Other, more secret clues lie in the attraction to the Mediterranean behind the bearded Greek man’s head, in the landscapes of Vallauris or, in a prodigy of composition and memory, in ‘The Amazon’.

Fifty years without Picasso show us how alive the Malaga artist still is, how much vitality still pulsates and flows in his work’.

Museo de Vejer
Address: C. Marqués de Tamarón, 10, 11150 Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz
Telephone: 956 45 08 00

Opening hours Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.30am to 2pm and from 5pm to 8pm
The entrance fee is 4 euros and capacity is limited
No advance reservations or purchases can be made. As a resident of Vejer, you do not have to pay

Picasso in good company

Quite by chance, I found myself in good company! A friend of a friend turned out to be a gifted photographer, he took a beautiful photo of me, thank you Dennis!

Credits first photo: Dennis Pedersen Still Life Photographer
Other pictures: Anne Middelkamp


Anne Middelkamp
15 may 2023