• Pablo Picasso, Femme nue au bonnet turc, 1er décembre 1955. Donation Louise et Michel Leiris, 1984—Musée national d’art moderne / Centre de création industrielle—en dépôt au musée national Picasso-Paris. Photo © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Béatrice Hatala © Succession Picasso 2017
    Pablo Picasso, Femme nue au bonnet turc, 1er décembre 1955. Donation Louise et Michel Leiris, 1984—Musée national d’art moderne / Centre de création industrielle—en dépôt au musée national Picasso-Paris. Photo © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Béatrice Hatala © Succession Picasso 2017
  • Pablo Picasso maquette décor ballet Tricorne 1919 © Succession Picasso 2017 © RMN Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso Paris Herve Lewandowski
    Pablo Picasso maquette décor ballet Tricorne 1919 © Succession Picasso 2017 © RMN Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso Paris Herve Lewandowski
  • Maquette attribuée à Pablo Picasso décor Parade © Succession Picasso 2017 © RMN Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso Paris) Mathieu Rabeau
    Maquette attribuée à Pablo Picasso décor Parade © Succession Picasso 2017 © RMN Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso Paris) Mathieu Rabeau
  • Pablo Picasso, Projet de décor pour le ballet Cuadro Flamenco, 1920 © Succession Picasso 2017 © RMN Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso Paris)
    Pablo Picasso, Projet de décor pour le ballet Cuadro Flamenco, 1920 © Succession Picasso 2017 © RMN Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso Paris)
  • Pablo Picasso, Compotier et guitare 1919 © Succession Picasso 2017 © RMN Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso Paris) Beatrice Hattala
    Pablo Picasso, Compotier et guitare 1919 © Succession Picasso 2017 © RMN Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso Paris) Beatrice Hattala
  • Pablo Picasso, Projets de costumes pour le ballet Tricorne, 1919 © Succession Picasso 2017 © RMN Grand Palais Musée Picasso Paris
    Pablo Picasso, Projets de costumes pour le ballet Tricorne, 1919 © Succession Picasso 2017 © RMN Grand Palais Musée Picasso Paris

Imaginary voyages : Picasso and the Ballets Russes

Between Italy and Spain
Bâtiment Georges Henri Rivière (GHR)—Fort Saint-Jean (320 m²) | From Friday 16 February 2018 to Sunday 24 June 2018

Picasso’s special connection to popular arts and traditions emerge in a spectacular way from his work as set designer and wardrobe master for Serge Diaghilev’s ballet company, the Ballets Russes.

Between 1916 and 1921, Picasso worked on four ballets for which he created the sets and the costumes: Parade (1917), The Three-Cornered Hat (1919), Pulcinella (1920) and Cuadro Flamenco (1921). That experience exposed the painter to the language of the human body and dance, inspiring new formal possibilities for him that he would mix with elements borrowed from puppet shows, commedia dell’arte, sacred art and Spanish folklore.

By displaying the artist’s work (paintings, drawings, sketches, mock-ups and costumes) alongside objects from the Mucem’s collections, the exhibition shows how Picasso was able to assimilate and reinterpret the figurative traditions of his era, resituating them within a new form of modernity.

The Vieille Charité Centre will be presenting a parallel exhibition from 16 February to 24 June entitled Picasso: Imaginary Voyages, in which paintings, sculptures, assemblages and drawings by the artist will be displayed next to masterpieces from the Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology and the Museum of African, Oceanian and Native American Art in Marseille.

“This exhibition is a part of the international cultural event Picasso-Méditerranée 2017-2019. More than 60 institutions worked together to design a programme around Pablo Picasso’s “obstinately Mediterranean” body of work. At the initiative of the Picasso-Paris National Museum, this journey through the artist’s creations and the sites that inspired him offers visitors a unique cultural experience that aims to strengthen the bonds between all our shores.” (Jean Leymarie)


General curators: Sylvain Bellenger, General Director of the Museum of Capodimonte—Luigi Gallo, art historian—Carmine Romano, art historian
Exhibition space design: Dodeskaden

Partners and sponsors

Picasso-Mediterranean, an initiative by the Musée National Picasso-Paris.
This exhibition was supported by the Musée National Picasso-Paris.

Musée Picasso, Paris Picasso Méditerranée