The Museu Picasso, founded in 1963 from a private donation by Jaume Sabartés, contains some 3800 works by Pablo Picasso. The collection focuses both on the formative years of this artistic icon, as well as his relationship to Barcelona. In particular, the Museu Picasso includes works through the artist’s 'Blue Period' (1901-1904), of which the collection is particularly impressive. In addition, the museum holds Picasso’s 'Las Meninas' (1957), a series of paintings he made after the Diego Velázquez masterwork from 1656 (housed in the Museo de Prado, Madrid), and is lauded for its collection of prints.
The buildings that house this decisive Picasso collection contain historical insight into the city. The Museu Picasso began in one palace (Palau Aguilar, Montcada 15), but has expanded a great deal over the years, currently occupying five grand houses or palaces dating from the 13th to 15th centuries (Palau Aguilar, Palau Baró de Castellet, Palau Meca, Casa Mauri and Palau Finestres at Montcada 15, 17, 19, 21 and 23). The five buildings maintain architecture of a Barcelona in the distant past. The museum website gives a brief overview of the palace gems.
The museum continues renovations and plans to add centers for educational and cultural activities. In addition to its permanent collection, the Museu Picasso curates temporary exhibitions that focus on particular aspects of Picasso’s life, work and influences.