Málaga, Birthplace of Picasso
Sometimes our visits are influenced by the cheapest flights, and flying to Málaga in the Andalusia region of Spain was our best way to get back to the mainland from the Canary Islands. The fact that it was the birthplace of Pablo Picasso made the decision easier.
The streets were ablaze in preparation for Carnaval and we heard more non-Spanish speakers than ever in this lovely city on the Costa del Sol that is a surprisingly popular cruise ship stop.
On our first night we strolled into the Old Town where the food was fine, but the people-watching was outstanding from our sidewalk table on a warm southern-Spanish evening. We took in wandering street musicians and a steady stream of older Seńoras dressed to the nines and wearing beautiful lace mantillas - probably just finished a night at the opera? It was especially interesting when a homeless man fit right into the parade.
The highlight of our short stay in Málaga was the Picasso Museum housed in a converted palace with rooms opening into a central courtyard. It's beautifully curated to follow his career chronologically and the audio guide is well-paced and captures the spirit of Picasso, his passions, his friends, and his inspirations. The cafe and gift shop are excellent and there is a fascinating video interviewing David Douglas Duncan - a renowned war photographer who also published seven books of photographs of Picasso, his family, and many of his private works. The artist gave Duncan free rein to capture sometimes the most intimate of settings - starting on his first encounter with Picasso in the bathtub.
We learned that doves were a part of Picasso's life and art since his childhood when his artist father would teach him to draw them.
In 1949 a lithograph of one of his pet doves (the bird was given to him by friend and artist Henri Matisse) was chosen for a poster for the Paris World Peace Congress. His daughter was born the same year and he named her "Paloma" - Spanish for "dove". She went on to be a successful fashion & jewelry designer.
Later Picasso made a number of simple line drawings of doves that have become worldwide symbols of peace.
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