When in 1971 the Réattu museum offered Picasso a second exhibition (the first took place in 1957), the Spanish Master decided to donate 57 drawings to the City, marking the climax of the relationship between Arles and the artist.
This exceptional donation shows his particular attachment to Arles based on his Andalusian passion for bullfights and, above all, the irresistible attraction of Van Gogh “ghost”. The figure of the Arlesienne thus appears in his work as of 1912, and the Arles arena in 1960.
The Reattu museum still has the 57 drawings donated by the artist two years before his death, constituting the “Donation Picasso”.
This painter’s “diary” takes us to the heart of Picasso’s work, exploring three themes: the Harlequin, the Painter and his model and the Musketeer- half Spanish knight, half matador- a fascinating final self-portrait.
The museum also has two paintings by Picasso: The 1923 portrait of Maria (the artist’s mother), donated in 1985 by Jacqueline, Picasso’s last wife; The Portrait of Lee Miller in Arlesian traditional dress, painted in 1937 (the same year as Guernica), with reference to Van Gogh’s Portrait of Madame Ginoux.