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

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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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