Wales acquires its first Picasso painting

  • 10 November 2009

Wales has gained its first ever Picasso painting for its public collections, independent charity The Art Fund announces today. Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales has acquired Picasso's Still Life with Poron (1948) with help of a major grant from The Art Fund.

Still Life with Poron cost a total of £1,435,000 of which the museum’s Centenary Fund contributed £1,335,000. The Art Fund supported the acquisition with a grant of £100,000.

The Picasso still life is the most important acquisition made by the museum since its Centenary Fund was founded, its core purpose being to make exceptional acquisitions of modern art. The painting will be shown initially alongside work by other leading 20th century artists including Paul Cézanne and Giorgio Morandi.

Still Life with Poron, purchased from E & R Cyzer Gallery, London features a lobster, lemon and a Poron (or porrón - a traditional Spanish wine pitcher) which are laid out on a kitchen table. The work was painted in the artist’s studio on the Rue des Grands Augustins, Paris in December 1948.

One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Picasso painted still lives throughout his career. Although painted after the Second War, Still Life with Poron references Picasso’s single most important innovation – the development of Cubism in the first decade of the last century.

Andrew Macdonald, Acting Director of The Art Fund said: “National Museum Cardiff is home to many important works by 20th century masters, but until now, it had no paintings by Picasso. It is entirely right that a work by the greatest master of the last century should join the Welsh national collection, and The Art Fund is extremely pleased to provide the final funds needed to buy the painting, which has spent a large part of its life so far in private hands and will be enjoyed by the public for years to come.”

A new, free display, bringing together mid 20th century still life paintings, including Pablo Picasso’s striking Still Life with Poron (1948) - the first oil painting by the artist to enter a Welsh public collection - will be on view at National Museum Cardiff from Tuesday, 10 November 2009.