See more than 80 Picasso works at The Picasso Century at the National Gallery of Victoria

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition The Picasso Century developed by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Musée National Picasso-Paris and the National Gallery of Victoria closes on 9 October 2022.

The Picasso Century
Pablo Picasso
Spanish 1881–1973
Reclining woman (Femme couchée) 19 June 1932
oil on canvas
38.0 x 46.0 cm 55.6 x 63.0 cm (framed)
Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne-Centre de creation industrielle
Donated by Louise and Michel Leiris, 1984
© Succession Picasso/Copyright Agency, 2022Photo © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Bertrand Prévost/Dist. RMN-GP

The Picasso Century is your chance to see over 80 Picasso works alongside more than 100 works from over 60 of Picasso’s contemporaries exclusively curated from the French national collection by noted scholar of 20th century painting Didier Ottinger, Deputy Director of the Musée National d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris. The Picasso Century comprises more than 180 works in all.


Those non-Picasso works include several by artists rarely exhibited in Australia, including Natalia Goncharova, Julio González, Wifredo Lam, Suzanne Valadon and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva. The Picasso Century also places Picasso’s work in dialogue with that of the artists with whom he intercepted and interacted throughout the 20th century, including Georges Braque, Salvador Dalí, Alberto Giacometti, Françoise Gilot, Valentine Hugo, Marie Laurencin, Dora Maar, André Masson, Henri Matisse and Dorothea Tanning.


The Picasso Century examines the diverse influences, encounters and collaborative relationships that steered Picasso through many distinct artistic periods, such as his Blue Period, cubism and surrealism, and draws lines between Picasso’s famous creations and the world around him. By exploring Picasso’s career through his personal, artistic and intellectual engagement with his peers, the exhibition provides a unique insight into the artistic legacy of one of the 20th century’s most influential and celebrated artists, as well as the community of artists from which he emerged.

Pablo Picasso
Spanish 1881–1973
Portrait of a young woman, after Cranach the Younger, II (Portrait de Jeune Fille, d’après Cranach le Jeune, II) 1958
colour linocut, printer’s proof
64.4 × 53.4 cm (block)
76.9 × 57.5 cm (sheet)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1996
© Succession Picasso/Copyright Agency, 2022
Photo: NGV

Cécile Debray, President, Musée national Picasso-Paris, said: ‘The Picasso Century offers an original, broad approach that allows us to grasp the artist’s career in his artistic and cultural context, from his formative years to his posterity. It thus offers an astonishing journey through the Parisian and cosmopolitan art scene of the 20th century. A Picasso, no longer a genius “ex-nihilo” but an artist in the world, with his friendships with poets, cubists, surrealists, his political commitments, his love affairs with artists, his circles of disciples and admirers.


Fortunately, the exhibition long in the planning was not hindered by the tension in Franco-Australian relations following the AUKUS fallout. Cécile Debray, President, Musée national Picasso-Paris, said “I am delighted by this partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, which testifies to the ties of friendship and proximity between France and Australia, but also that the French museums participating in this major exhibition have the opportunity to be ambassadors of French heritage and of a historic artistic scene that was the foundation of Western modernity.”


Laurent Le Bon, President, Centre Pompidou, said ‘Picasso reunited at last with Australia and his fellow accomplices and travellers. I am delighted with this collaboration between two French institutions and the National Gallery of Victoria: this exceptional partnership will allow the Australian public to discover Picasso’s paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, and the works of the artists with whom he never ceased to interact. I wish to extend a warm thankyou to all those who have made this magnificent project possible.

The Picasso Century
Pablo Picasso
Spanish 1881–1973
The matador (Le Matador) 4 October 1970
oil on canvas
145.0 x 114.0 cm
Musée national Picasso-Paris
Donated in lieu of tax, 1979
© Succession Picasso/Copyright Agency, 2022 Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris) / Mathieu Rabeau

Special events for The Picasso Century

There are also special events you can attend around The Picasso Century.


Introductory talks series

Before you enter The Picasso Century or to reflect on your experience afterwards, visitors can also join the pop-up introductory talks series 10 Minutes with Picasso. In this talk, NGV Educators will give an introduction to Pablo Picasso’s story and that of the creative leaders in his circles.


Monthly discussion series

For the duration of the exhibition, audiences can also hear differing perspectives on significant figures, events and artworks featured in the exhibition with the in-depth monthly discussion series


Two Perspectives on Picasso

Hosted by NGV specialists and guest commentators, the four-part series will examine:

  • the value of collaboration through the friendship between Picasso and Georges Braque;
  • perspectives on gender and identity through the life and work of Dora Maar and Françoise Gilot;
  • the political engagement of Picasso and his inner circle; and
  • themes of love, grief and war through Picasso’s masterpiece and icon of the NGV Collection, Weeping woman, 1937


Friday nights

Each Friday night between 6 and 10pm, the NGV opens for NGV Friday nights. Your NGV Friday night ticket includes entry to The Picasso Century as well as the live entertainment. Artists performing over the coming Fridays include:

  • Velvet Bloom and Kalyani (2 September)
  • Birdsnake and Pjenne (9 September)
  • Surprise Chef and College of Knowledge (16 September)
  • Harvey Sutherland (DJ set), Polito and Vincent Sole (23 September)
  • ACOPIA and Sina (30 September); and
  • Sweet Whirl and The Dollar Bin Darlings (7 October)
Pablo Picasso
Spanish 1881–1973
Weeping woman 1937
oil on canvas
55.2 x 46.2 cm
National Gallery of Victoria
Purchased by donors of The Art Foundation of Victoria, with the assistance of the Jack and Genia Liberman family, Founder Benefactor, 1986
© Succession


WHAT: The Picasso Century exhibition of Picasso paintings alongside works of his contemporaries, organised by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Musée national Picasso-Paris, and the National Gallery of Victoria

WHERE: The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

WHEN: until 9 October 2022

HOW: Purchase your tickets via the exhibition page


Ticket prices are as follows:

  • NGV Member Adult $25
  • Member Child (5–15 years) $8
  • NGV Member Family (2 adults + 3 children) $50
  • Adult $30
  • Concession $28
  • Child (5–15 years) $10
  • Family (2 adults + 3 children) $65


What’s your favourite Picasso painting?



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2021 in review: a year of French culture in Australia

Reading Time: 7 minutes

As we prepare to farewell 2021, we thought we’d take a look at the highlights of French culture in Australia this year on Matilda Marseillaise. We’ve had celebrations of French food and wine to art exhibitions, festivals and other events with French themes. We’ve interviewed people across many areas including international touring artists and local French and francophone people. Join us as we look back over 2021.


French culture in Australia: French Food days

Food is an extremely important part of French culture in Australia as much as in France. January was of course the month of the Galette des Rois which is always one of our most popular posts and has become the go-to resource for French and Francophiles in Australia to find out where they can buy this special cake around Australia.


We celebrated Croissant Day with a brief history of the croissant and again letting you know where you can buy croissants from French bakeries in Australia. Then we turned to a sweeter treat for Chocolate Truffle Day. Another day to indulge in all things cacao was World Chocolate Day.


We also wrote about Cheese Lovers’ Day for the first time with a focus on cheese subscriptions and celebrated Mouldy Cheese Day in October. As always, Christmas was celebrated with the Bûche de Noël.

French culture in Australia - food days


French culture in Australia: Drinks Days

You can’t have food without something to drink and we continued our French wine varietal series throughout the year with facts about the varietals and recommendations from French wine importers in Australia. We also celebrated World Bartenders Day with French cocktails.


We looked at French spirits and liqueurs: Chartreuse Day with a look at the history of the green drink and a day celebrating another often-green drink: Absinthe Day. In addition, we discovered strong French links in one of the most popular spirits of the moment: gin. We also celebrated another spirit that you probably don’t associate with France: vodka.


Champagne and sparkling wine gave us moments of celebration throughout 2021 with various festivals: Sparkling Fest, Bubbles Festival, Taste Champagne, Effervescence Tasmania.

French drinks days


French culture in Australia during Festival time

Australia’s borders were still shut due to COVID-19 so festival time didn’t feature any international acts in 2021. 2021 highlights instead were French themed shows or shows from artists with French links at Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival and Sydney Festival. These provided opportunities to enjoy French culture in Australia.


Particularly strong French links were found in performances at Adelaide Fringe including music in different styles, theatre and more. The White Mouse told the story of Australian French Resistance leader, Nancy Wake. Louise Blackwell and the Paris Set took us to Paris for the night.


By the time June came, Adelaide Cabaret Festival was able to bring in a few international acts including Brent Ray Fraser, who paints with a very unique and personal tool. Kim David Smith gave a strong nod to Marlene Dietrich with his show Mostly Marlene also at Adelaide Cabaret Festival.


Auburn in South Australia’s Clare Valley was transformed into a French village and a celebration of French culture in Australia for a weekend at the inaugural Auburn Frenchfest, which will return in 2023.


Le Festival was held over 4 separate events throughout the year, bringing 4 weekends of French joy to Brisbane.

French culture in Australia - festivals


French and francophone culture in Australia: National Days

We celebrated (even if virtually for some) the national days of a number of Francophone countries: Canada Day, Bastille Day, Belgian National Day and Swiss National Day as well as Alsace Fan Day.


French culture in Australia via exhibitions

Fortunately, COVID-19 didn’t stop international works of art coming to Australia. Exhibition highlights included a number of exciting exhibitions with French links including: French Impressionism: From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Camille Henrot: is Today Tomorrow, and She-oak and sunlight: Australian impressionism.


Most recently the NGV opened the Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto exhibition and the Art Gallery of New South Wales opened its Matisse: Life and Spirit.


An international exhibition of a different scale and type, Van Gogh Alive also toured in 2021 and continues to tour Australia. Our Hearts are Still Open, a photographic exhibition and book were recently unveiled in Sydney and we chatted to Australian-born photojournalist Tony Maniaty about them.

French culture in Australia / la culture française en Australie


French and francophone film

The Alliance Française French Film Festival returned to the big screen in March and April 2021. Highlights for us included Bye Bye MoronsMiss among those that we reviewed. Countless others were also enjoyed. Because of COVID-19 lockdowns throughout Europe for much of 2020, Australian audiences were the first to see a number of films shown at the AFFFF 2021 including Eiffel and Delicious. We interviewed incoming Artistic Director of the festival, Karine Mauris.


One of our most read film reviews this year was for a film which is now on SBS on Demand: Roxane. With most of the Eastern states in lockdown over several months of the year, our articles about previous festival films available on streaming services were also well-read.


French and francophone films also featured at the Jewish International Film Festival and at the Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney Film Festivals.


French culture in Australia via music

We interviewed Sydney music duo Goldfynch on the occasion of their release of the beautiful escapist song “Ballooning over Paris” something we all longed to do with Australia’s closed borders. Baby et Lulu’s much anticipated Album Trois was finally released and we chatted to Lara Goodridge.  Pauline Maudy of MZAZA toured her show “Take me to Paris” around Queensland.


Sticking with the musical theme, we also interviewed Elena Gabouri ahead of her performances in Opera Australia’s Aida in Sydney and in Melbourne. Nicolas Fleury, French horn player from Melbourne Symphony Orchestra chatted with us. On the theme of opera and classical music, Pinchgut Opera presented Platée for the very first time on Australian stages.


Our favourite French festival So Frenchy So Chic announced a return to Melbourne and Sydney in February 2022.

French culture in Australia/ la culture française en Australie


French culture in Australia via theatre

2021 saw the return of French theatre to Australian stages. Brisbane French Theatre presented its original play Us and Them. Perth French Theatre invited you to the circle of illusionists and after many false starts, Melbourne French Theatre was able to present its new show, The Candidate.


French culture in Australia in sport

The French Rugby team Les Bleus played 3 test matches against Australia’s Wallabies in Sydney and in Brisbane. We told you where you could watch them around Australia.


Other French happenings

Adelaide’s Les Deux Coqs in conjunction with Holdfast Bay City council started Rendezvous Market, a European Market with foods and crafts from many European countries being represented.


Glasshouse Fragrances’ launched a French inspired collection just in time for Bastille Day with delicious scents of Montmartre Macaron and Sacred Heart.


We made sure you knew your French (and Belgian) dogs from the imposters for International Dog Day in August.


In November, Sacreblue, the Embassy of France in Australia’s brand new website dedicated to French culture in English was launched and we were finally able to announce our partnership with them.

French culture in Australia/ la culture française en Australie



We interviewed cabaret singer Caroline Nin and director Craig Ilott about L’Hôtel, an immersive theatrical world of French intrigue which made its worldwide debut at Adelaide Cabaret Festival in June.


We interviewed a man who is perhaps Australia’s most famous French television chef, Gabriel Gaté for International Chefs Day.


One of the first international productions to visit Australia since COVID-19 struck and closed our borders in March 2020 was The Little Prince, direct from Marseille to the Sydney Opera House. We interviewed Chris Mouron who adapted the book for stage, Ebony Bott of the SOH about the logistics of bringing an international team to Australia, and staging a large show during COVID-19 times. The Little Prince is making a return to Sydney for a limited season of shows in early January – read our interview with Lionel Zalachas and Laurisse Sulty


We chatted to Michael Boyd, illusionist and also show director of Cabaret de Paris which started its Australian tour with new lead, Rhonda Burchmore.


We spoke to Australian author Pip Drysdale about her thrilling novel The Paris Affair.


Most recently, we chatted with Priscilla Doueihy ahead of her performances at Sydney Festival 2022 show 44 Sex Acts in One Week; Erin Helyard about piano and French composers ahead of Adelaide Festival 2022 shows Four Hands at the Érard and Evolution of the Piano.


French businesses in Australia

We published interviews with founders of French businesses promoting French culture in Australia including:


French culture in Australia/ la culture française en Australie

We supported local French businesses by getting them to contribute their recommendations for Christmas gifts for francophiles. When many of the Australian states went back into lockdown, we let you know where you could purchase French take-away food.


Sofitel Adelaide, its French restaurant Garçon Bleu, and street level champagne bar Déjà Vu, were long awaited additions to Adelaide’s 5-star hotel and dining scene.


The French Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry held events both virtual and in person, where permitted, throughout the year including the French ANZ Business Days 2021 business forum which covered a number of interesting and pertinent topics.


It’s been a busy year! What have your highlights been? Is there anything you’d like to see on Matilda Marseillaise in 2022?