Virgen con el Niño Vigin with Child), ca. 1660-1665. Author:  Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (Sevilla, 1617-Cádiz, 1682). Property: Colección Masaveu. © of the reproduction photography:  María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation,2013. Author of the photography: Marcos Morilla.


Organised by: Fundación Museo Picasso Málaga. Legado Paul, Christine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso.
Curator Ricardo Tenorio.
Art work of Masaveu Collection loaned for exhibition: Virgen con el Niño, ca. 1660-1650. Author: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

Picasso’s South. Andalusian References was an exhibition of the Picasso Museum Málaga which surveyed the history of Spanish art by showing works by Picasso alongside invaluable archaeological pieces and paintings by great masters like Zurbarán, Velázquez, Goya, María Blanchard and Juan Gris, among others, in an ambitious exhibition which encompassed everything from Iberian art to classical antiquity, ending in modernity and its contemporaries. The exhibition traced Picasso’s intellectual journey from south to north, drawing from the symbolic patrimony of his land to somehow return to the origin, and it emphasised the profound mark that Mediterranean culture left on his works, associating this artist from Málaga with Spain’s historical-artistic heritage, with which he was on familiar terms.

The objective of Picasso’s South. Andalusian References was an exemplary show of how the visual nature of Picasso’s works is marked by features and qualities like austerity and disbelief related to the collective memory of this country. These features are palpable in his artistic heritage and present in the affective expressions of the peoples who for many centuries have artistically constructed a cultural identity which, in the specific case of Andalusia, is the clear crucible of three cultures.

This exhibition brought together approximately 200 works of art including paintings, sculptures, drawings and graphic works by Pablo Picasso along with a significant group of archaeological vestiges from the Iberian and Phoenician cultures and from the Greco-Roman period. It also included paintings, engravings and polychrome sculptures by great masters like El Greco, Sánchez Cotán, van der Hamen, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Alonso Cano, Antonio de Pereda, Murillo, Camprobín, Juan de Zurbarán, Pedro de Mena, Meléndez, Goya, María Blanchard, Juan Gris, Moreno Villa, Manuel Ángeles Ortiz and Ismael González de la Serna. Picasso’s South. Andalusian References examined topics that are part of Picasso’s iconography, such as the ritual of bullfighting, the still life, death and motherhood, shedding light on different aspects of his notable identification with and novel interpretation of Spain’s artistic heritage.

Bartolome Esteban Murillo is one of the greatest names in Spanish painting in the Modern Age. Belonging to the second generation of masters of the Baroque, his success was essentially grounded upon his personal treatment of religious themes,in which he fused Italian and Flemish elements with the Spanish tradition.

The painting Virgin with Child, also known as The Masaveu Madonna, is a wonderful paradigm of his oeuvre. Painted in his early adulthood, it is a work boasting felicitous simplicity and unique appeal, based on the composure of the people, who are directly illuminated, along with their mild gestures and the profound colour of the Virgin’s clothing. In this compact group, a sense of severity prevails mixed with the tenderness and the direct gaze at the viewer by the Madonna and Christ Child.

The painting, the circumstances of whose creation are unknown, became quite famous, as up to a dozen copies and versions of it have been located, for which the Masaveu canvas served as the original model.


Museo Picasso Málaga
9 October, 2018 to 3 February, 2019