Thousands of Pablo Picasso’s Works Now Available in a New Digital Archive

If you want to immerse your­self in the world of Pablo Picas­so, you might start at the Museo Picas­so Mála­ga, locat­ed in the artist’s Span­ish birth­place. But to under­stand how his work devel­oped through­out his life, you’ll have to get out of Spain — which is just what Picas­so did to accel­er­ate that devel­op­ment in the first place. At the turn of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, an ambi­tious young Euro­pean painter had to go to Paris, the con­ti­nen­t’s art cap­i­tal. Picas­so end­ed up spend­ing much of his life there, mak­ing it the most suit­able loca­tion for the Musée Picas­so, home to the sin­gle largest col­lec­tion of his art­works, from paint­ings and sculp­tures to draw­ings and engrav­ings, as well as an even larg­er archive of pho­tographs, papers, and cor­re­spon­dence.

Now, you don’t actu­al­ly have to make the trip to Paris to see these col­lec­tions, or at least an increas­ing­ly large por­tion of their hold­ings. As Sarah Kuta reports at, thou­sands of Picas­so’s art­works are “now acces­si­ble from any­where with an inter­net con­nec­tion, thanks to a new online archive cre­at­ed by the Picas­so Muse­um. The muse­um has dig­i­tized thou­sands of Picasso’s art­works, essays, poems, inter­views and oth­er mem­o­ra­bil­ia, includ­ing items that have nev­er been seen by the pub­lic before.” The project began last year, with the dig­i­ti­za­tion of “around 19,000 pho­tos”; if all goes accord­ing to plan, the muse­um will even­tu­al­ly make “an addi­tion­al 200,000 doc­u­ments” avail­able online.

Browse the Musée Picas­so’s online archive and you’ll find many works that, assum­ing you haven’t yet achieved full Picas­so immer­sion, you won’t have seen before: Femme couchée lisant from 1953, seen at the top of the post, for instance, or the ear­li­er Mas­sacre en Corée just above. (Despite liv­ing in Korea myself, I had no idea that Picas­so paint­ed a Kore­an War-themed pic­ture, much less an episode of his­to­ry that took place in the very neigh­bor­hood where I used to live.) Not every­thing is by Picas­so, a good deal hav­ing been made by artists with whom he was asso­ci­at­ed, like Man Ray, who took this 1937 pho­to­graph of Picas­so and his His­pano-Suiza car. You can find much more of inter­est in the archive’s themed sec­tions, like “Féminin / Mas­culin” and “Picas­so iconophage,” which are nav­i­ga­ble only in French — a lan­guage that, in any case, every Picas­sophile should learn. Enter the dig­i­tal archive here.

via Smith­son­ian

Relat­ed con­tent:

Pablo Picasso’s Mas­ter­ful Child­hood Paint­ings: Pre­co­cious Works Paint­ed Between the Ages of 8 and 15

14 Self-Por­traits by Pablo Picas­so Show the Evo­lu­tion of His Style: See Self-Por­traits Mov­ing from Ages 15 to 90

The Mys­tery of Picas­so: Land­mark Film of a Leg­endary Artist at Work, by Hen­ri-Georges Clouzot

A 3D Tour of Picasso’s Guer­ni­ca

Watch Picas­so Cre­ate a Mas­ter­piece in Just Five Min­utes (1955)

The Louvre’s Entire Col­lec­tion Goes Online: View and Down­load 480,00 Works of Art

Based in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities and the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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