Spain to France: Picasso’s homes

2 January 2024

Although Picasso was Spanish, he spent much of his life in France. This is also the country where the artist was introduced to the ceramic world and where he produced his iconic ceramics. Discover everything about all the places where Picasso lived.


On October 25, 1881, Pablo Picasso is born in Málaga, Spain. The house where the artist was born is now a museum. Picasso is familiar with the world of art from an early age. His father, Don José Ruiz y Blasco, is an art teacher and paints still lifes, landscapes, birds and pigeons, among other things. He also works as a curator at the Museo Municipal in Málaga. The family moved to A Coruña, a city in the northwest of Spain, in 1891. Picasso’s talent does not go unnoticed and he receives art lessons from his father from the age of seven. Picasso also goes to art school, where he further develops his artistic talent.

In 1895, Picasso’s younger sister Conchita dies, after which the family moves to Barcelona. Here, Picasso’s father also works as an art teacher. Picasso’s talent does not go unnoticed, and his father manages to convince the art school to let Picasso take an early entrance exam. Picasso completes this exam in one week, after which he is admitted to Escuela de Bellas Artes at the age of thirteen.

Picasso continues his studies in Madrid in 1897 at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. At the time, this was the most prestigious art school in all of Spain, but Picasso only studies here for a short time. He much prefers visiting museums and art exhibitions and soon leaves school. Picasso can often be found in the Prado museum, where art by Rembrandt, El Greco and Diego Velázquez was exhibited at the time.

Fundacion Picasso - Museo Natal, Málaga

Le Bateau Lavoir, Le musée de Montmartre, Parijs


From 1900 onwards Picasso starts traveling to Paris, which was the cultural capital of the world at the time. Picasso travels back to his home country Spain a number of times, but in 1904 he settles permanently in Paris. The artist lives in Montmartre, in a dark, dilapidated building nicknamed Bateau-Lavoir, which can be translated as ‘washboat.’ An artistic community is forming here, attracting artists all over the world. In 1914, however, almost the entire neighborhood moves to Montparnasse, a district in the south of Paris. This includes Picasso.

South of France

Paris is not the only place in France where Picasso lived. The artist spends the last few decades of his life in the south of France, in the Cannes area. In 1946 Picasso has a studio in a castle in Antibes. In 1957 Picasso even received the title ‘Honorary Citizen of the City of Antibes’. Around 1950, Picasso lives in Vaullauris, where he discovers the world of ceramics. After Vaullauris, Picasso spends the last 12 years of his life in Mougins, a town near Vaullauris.


In short, Picasso was able to call many places in Europe his home. From Málaga, Barcelona and Madrid in his home country of Spain, to the densely populated Montmartre in Paris. And of course the pottery town of Vallauris, where the artist produced his iconic ceramic work which is currently exhibited at the Royal Delft Museum. Book your tickets now and come and admire Picasso’s ceramics!


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Discover more about the exhibition Picasso. Ceramic Magician:

Picasso. Ceramic Magician.

Musée Picasso, Antibes, © Mairie d’Antibes