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Pablo Picasso's handmade jewellery in exhibition at artist's namesake museum
05 March 2021 @ 06:59

AN EXHIBITION of Pablo Picasso's works would normally lead visitors to expect a hall filled with paintings similar to Guernika, but the forthcoming display at the artist's eponymous Barcelona museum features the results of one of his other many creative talents: Jewellery.

Part of a collection of artists' jewellery at Valencia's IVAM museum in 2012, titled ‘From Picasso to Jeff Koons’ (photo: IVAM/Txema Rodríguez)

In practice, the Málaga-born surrealist painter had many other artistic hats – sculpture, engraving, ceramic pottery, household decoration and even poetry – but his skills as a jewellery-maker are largely unknown.

Neither are his necklaces and other hand-crafted pieces as outlandish as his most famous paintings – they are largely exquisite and very elegant.

Necklace made for Françoise Gilot (photo: Heirs of Pablo Picasso)

They include necklaces made from shells from Juan les Pins beach in 1937 for Dora Maar, stamped gold and silver from the 1960s, through to ceramic beads and pendants crafted in the Madoura workshop.

In fact, Dora Maar's shell necklace is thought to be the precursor of this type of costume jewellery, which became popular in subsequent decades and is still worn today.

Given that he made jewellery items for people in his closest circle, this form of craft encompasses some of Picasso's most personal artistic expression – especially as he did not start to create them specifically for sale until the 1960s, more than 20 years after he started making them.



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