About 19 years ago, when I was a foreign exchange student in Madrid, Spain, I discovered Pablo Picasso. I lived about five blocks from the Prado Museum and spent many days wandering the halls of the Prado discovering some of the mysteries of the art world. When I was there, Picasso’s master work, Guernica, was in El Casón del Buen Retiro museum, just to the side of the Prado. I spent hours looking at that wall of terror and the sketches and studies that accompanied it.
Yesterday, I got to see that part come full circle. The NH family all took a trek to the Picasso Museum in Antibes, France. If memory serves, the period that Picasso spent in Antibes was after the Guernica stage, but the impact on me and my offspring was not unlike the experience I had 19 years ago. Imagine Cubism through the eyes of a three-year old – just learning to draw her own drawings. Those picture blew my mind at 18. As I explained the way that Picasso pained with his brush and his imagination, I saw the unmistakable light of recognition in Little NH’s eyes. That’s the kind of spark I live for.
The museum itself is a real treat. Housed inside a palace overlooking the Mediterranean with bright blue skies framing the horizon, it’s no wonder that Picasso found some great inspiration in this place – even during a time of relative poverty. It’s a must for anyone with even a passing fancy in the artist or his work.
For me, the museum rekindled an old love of a master painter. Being able to give my daughter the chance to experience it for the first time at the tender young age of 3 makes me wonder what else is possible for her.