News - Picasso Portraits

If you thought paintings by Picasso were all abstract blue boxes and scary looking women (or is that Doctor Who?) then prepare to change your mind with a visit to Picasso Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in London...

Picasso Portraits will include over 75 portraits by the artist in all media, ranging from well-known masterpieces to works that have never been shown in Britain before. All phases of the artist’s career will be represented, from the realist portraits of his boyhood to the more gestural canvases of his old age. It is the first large-scale exhibition devoted to his portraiture since Picasso and Portraiture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Grand Palais, Paris in 1996.

The exhibition includes a group of revealing self-portraits as well as portraits and caricatures of Picasso’s friends, lovers, wives and children. Guillaume Apollinaire, Carles Casagemas, Santiago Rusiñol, Jaume Sabartés, Jean Cocteau, Olga Picasso, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Lee Miller, Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Picasso are among the people visitors will encounter. Complementing these images of Picasso’s intimates are portraits and caricatures inspired by artists of the past – Velázquez and Rembrandt among them – with whom he identified most closely.

In addition to supporting a wide ranging learning programme linked to the exhibition, Goldman Sachs is enabling the Gallery to introduce for the first time a special ticket offer, whereby every Friday morning throughout the run of Picasso Portraits, the first 100 tickets will be £5.

Picasso Portraits is curated by Elizabeth Cowling, Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at the University of Edinburgh. Her publications include Picasso: Style and Meaning (2002) and Visiting Picasso: The Notebooks and Letters of Roland Penrose (2006). She has co-curated several exhibitions, including Picasso Sculptor/Painter(1994), Matisse Picasso (2002–3), and Picasso Looks at Degas (2010–11).

Picasso Portraits is on from today, 6 October 2016 - 5 February 2017, at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Visit the website at for more information and to book tickets.

Images - Self-portrait by Pablo Picasso, 1896; Museu Picasso, Barcelona, Copyright: Succession Picasso/DACS London, 2016; 

Self-Portrait with Palette by Pablo Picasso, 1906; Philadelphia Museum of Art: A. E. Gallatin Collection, 1950   Copyright: Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2016; Photograph and Digital Image   Philadelphia Museum of Art © Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York

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