Picasso / Chanel at the Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid


Picasso / Chanel at the Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid

The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid is presenting an exhibition that explores the relationship between two of the 20th century’s great creative figures: Pablo Picasso and Gabrielle Chanel, bringing art and fashion in this new exhibition project.
Picasso and Chanel collaborated professionally on two occasions, both with Jean Cocteau: on the play Antigone (1922), and on Serge Diaghilev’s ballet Le Train Bleu (1924).
They met in the spring of 1917, probably through Cocteau or Misia Sert (pianist of Polish descent, she was a patron and friend of numerous artists.)
Chanel formed long-lasting friendships with both Cocteau and Misia who introduced her to Picasso’s circle and she socialized with the artist and his wife at a time when he was actively involved in Diaghilev’s company, the Ballets Russes. She became closely associated with the Parisian artistic and intellectual world of the day, to the extent of declaring that “I learned rigor from artists.”

cover image: Pablo Picasso, Untitled / Harlequin and Pulcinella, 1924, tempera on paper,  Fundaciòn MAPFRE Collections (c) Succession Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid, 2022.

The exhibition Picasso/Chanel is curated by Paula Luengo, head of the Department of Exhibitions at the museum. It benefits from the support of the Comunidad de Madrid and of CHANEL, in addition to Telefónica/ACE, sponsors of the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023.
The exhibition brings together an exceptional selection of garments, oil paintings, drawings, and other items, loaned from American and European museums as well as private collections and with the notably generous collaboration of Almine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, Patrimoine de CHANEL, and the Musée national Picasso-Paris.


Gabrielle Chanel, Ensemble, 1926-1928, Crêpe de Chine. Patrimoine de Chanel, Paris, (c) Chanel


Pablo Picasso, Musical Instruments on a Pedestal Table, 1914, oil and sand on canvas, Musée Ives Saint Laurent, Paris, (c) Christie’s France, (c) Fondation Pierre-Bergé – Ives Saint Laurent, (c) Succession Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid, 2022.


Gabrielle Chanel, Evening dress, 1927/28, Velvet, Martin Kramer Collection, Switzerland (c) Draiflessen Collection, Mettingen. Photograph: Christin Losta.

April 8, 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and
thus the year will represent the celebration of his work and his artistic legacy in France, Spain
and internationally.
The Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 revolves around some fifty exhibitions and events that will
be held in renowned cultural institutions in Europe and North America, and which together
will draw up a historiographical survey of approaches to Picasso’s work. The commemoration,
punctuated by official celebrations in France and Spain, will shine a light on the research and
understanding of Picasso’s work, notably during a major international symposium in autumn
2023, at the time of the opening of the Center for Picasso Studies in Paris.

11 October 2022 to 15 January 2023
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza
Paseo del Prado, 8 – 28014 Madrid


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copyright Inexhibit 2023 - ISSN: 2283-5474