Probably not, but in 1953 when he discussed an idea for a museum of his works with the city’s provincial delegate for fine arts, the palace in question, Palacio Buenavista, was mooted.
It didn’t happen on that occasion and it was not until 1996, 21 years after the world famous artist’s death, that his wish to have his works represented in his birth town resurfaced. Seven years later, the Picasso Málaga was opened by their Royal Highnesses King Juan Carlos 1 and Queen Sofia of Spain.
During excavation work at the palace, a striking Renaissance building with Mudejar details, further Roman and Phoenician remains were uncovered and are featured as an added treat. But it is mostly for the 233 Picasso works on permanent display that visitors arrive in their droves.
Picasso’s birthplace (Casa Natal on the Plaza Merced) is also open to the public and serves as an appetiser for his life and works with insights into how he lived those early years, returning for summers in Malaga with his kin after the family moved to La Coruña.
However at the large museum, the building of which also involved the site of eighteen houses in the city’s Jewish quarter, the line of development of Picasso’s work can be followed over eight decades through classic paintings, sketches and experimental ceramics.
Whatever your take on Cubism, Picasso was a pioneering force in the 20th century avant-garde movement. Cubist pieces are among his most popularly known and yet he employed a wide range of styles, materials and techniques with mastery, and switched between them with ease.
If your knowledge of the great artist is limited, then visiting Picasso at the palace extends appreciation of his work and the beautiful building is a wonderful bonus. The museum also has many temporary exhibitions, a café and bookshop.
Opening times are 10am to 8pm Tues-Thurs, with an extra hour in the evening on Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Mondays and December 25th, January 1st and 6th. Early closing – December 31st and January 5th.
The museum is on Calle San Agustin in the vicinity of the cathedral. For more information and download leaflets in English visit www.museopicassomalaga.org
To reach the city of Malaga from Club La Costa World resort, take the train from central Fuengirola to Malaga Centro Alameda. Trains run every 20 mins and the last train leaves Malaga at 11:20pm.