Arts & Entertainment

Picasso returns to Prado museum with Bust of Woman

Madrid, Jul 19 (EFE).- Pablo Picasso returned to Madrid’s Prado museum with his painting Bust of a Woman, which is displayed among artworks by Spain’s greatest painters, notably Diego Velazquez and El Greco.

The painting represents the relationship between the Malaga artist and the museum, where as a student he used to contemplate the works of his favorite painters.

“Here he soaked up Goya, Velazquez and El Greco. That experience was fundamental in his way of conceiving art,” said Prado museum director, Miguel Falomir.

The painting, a 1943 vivid portrait of a woman reflecting the outbreak of violence in World War II, was donated by Aramont Art Collection to American Friends of the Prado Museum.

Prado has hung the painting close to Velazquez’s Jester Calabacillas portrait, as well as several of El Greco’s artworks, the two artists who deeply influenced Picasso.

Picasso’s painting reopened the debate on reordering collections between the Prado and Reina Sofia Museum. A royal decree in 1995 marked Picasso’s birth year as the dividing line between the two art galleries; artworks of artists born before 1881 go to Prado while those born after go to Reina Sofia.

The operation has been carried out “with exquisite intelligence and care” by the Prado, together with the Ministry of Culture and the Spanish Bar Association after holding talks with the Reina Sofia, according to the president of the royal board of trustees of the museum, Javier Solana.

“Neither the Prado nor the ministry commits illegal acts, (the donation) is absolutely in accordance with the law,” Falomir says during the unveiling of the artwork.

Javier Portus, head of the museum’s conservation of Spanish painting until 1800, says the “works of the past and the present illuminate each other.”

Velazquez and El Greco “allow us to better understand” Picasso, and vice versa, he adds.

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