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Articles in this blog may be ESE news, academics pieces written by our team or events in Malta of general interest.

Picasso and Miro Exhibition – The Flesh and the Spirit’ Valletta

As part of Valletta’s European Capital City of Culture 2018 programme, an amazing collection from two of the most famous Spanish artists of the 2oth century- Picasso and Miro is now on display in Valletta, Malta.


This exhibition forms part of the international project ‘Picasso-Mediterranee’. This cultural event spearheaded by the Musee National Picasso-Paris explores Picasso’s relationship with the Mediterranean. ‘Picasso-Mediterranee’ began in the Spring of last year, and will see 60 museums and cultural institutions from across the Mediterranean participate over the course of the project, until its conclusion in Spring 2019.

The Grand Master’s Palace, Valletta

Housed in the equally stunning Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta, this remarkable exhibition showcases a selection of outstanding work from two of the biggest masters of the modern art world, Pablo Picassco and Joan Miro.

Picasso and Miro – Founders of Modern Art

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is most famous for being the founder of ‘Cubism’. Cubism opened the door onto modern art and pre-dates all other avant-garde movements.

Joan Miró (1893-1983) is best known for his involvement in the creation of the modern art movement ‘Surrealism’.

These two giants of the modern art world were not just simply a part of these emerging art movements, they led the way – bursting onto the art scene and grabbing the world’s attention. This resulted in both Picasso and Miro producing unique collections of work over their lifetimes and assuring their places in art history.

The Flesh and the Spirit

Entitled ‘The Flesh and the Spirit’ the exhibition aims to unite art and history whilst exploring how culture enhances everyday life. The collection includes 100 magnificent etchings created by Picasso in the early 1930’s along with over 40 inspiring paintings by Miro.

The exhibition takes us on a journey though the minds of this artistic duo, demonstrating each artist’s personality, passions and thoughts through their art work.

The works chosen for this exhibition show Picasso expressing his ideas through line and drawing while Miro explores with the use of colour and its intensity.



The Master of Colour

Miro’s collection of paintings are from 1960 to 1970, a period when he was really maturing as an artist and demonstate his skill with colour and form. Miro’s paintings use colour and gestures to explore the goodness of nature and the secrets to happiness.



A Colourful Rebellion

Some of his works in this exhibition have a rebellious quality, with almost child-like elements. These paintings mirror the period Miro lived through when Spain was ravaged by civil war. They consist of classical artwork which have been almost ‘graffiti-ed’ over, with Miro’s signature colour and form. These paintings show the artist rebelling against tradition and are almost a colourful, ‘two fingers up’ to the system and government of the time.



In stark contrast,  Picasso’s work focuses on darker thoughts, with emphasis on male obsessions and female beauty.

The Suite Vollard Print Collection

The collection of prints named the Suite Vollard prints shows Picasso omitting colour from his work and instead using only black and white, – utilizing this lack of colour to display the dark thoughts and ideas of obsessive behaviour.

This body of work moves away from the cubist work that Picasso is most famous for, giving the viewer a deeper look into the artist’s mind. Picasso uses delicate, gentle lines in a move back to more traditional styles of drawing and etching. These works echo the turmoil of the period in which they were created, with the uncertainly of the Spanish civil war in the 1930’s and climate of unrest in the world as a whole as it spiraled towards the beginning of the second world war.


Minostaur and Bacchus

The use of mythical creatures such as the Minostaur from Greek Mythology, drawn in intimate settings with the female form, have an unsettling air about them. Bacchus also features heavily in this collection. This somewhat unattractive, hairy, middle-aged man can be found drunkenly grinning in the midst of these dark sexual scenes, as Picasso explores the darker themes of the male obsession with the female form.


The Exhibition is on now in Valletta

The exhibition is currently open to the public daily from 10 am – 4.30 pm and will run until 30th June 2018. Entrance to the exhibition is free however an entrance fee to enter the Grand Mater’s Palace applies.  There are free exhibition tours once inside, taking place everyday from 12:30 – 13:30.

For more details :


Grandmasters Palace


Fundación MAPFRE:


Focus on Fluency

  • spearheaded (v) -lead, head or front something such as a campaign or movement
  • avant-garde (n) – new and experimental ideas in art, music or literature
  • etchings  (n) – Art work  produced by the method of etching using plates or objects
  • duo (n) – a pair of people or things
  • ravaged (adj) –damaged or devastated
  • ‘two fingers up’ (n) – the action of putting up ‘two fingers’ as a means of swearing or protesting
  • omitting (v) – to leave out or exclude from something
  • grinning (v) – to smile in a playful way
  • midst (prep.) – in the middle of something
Samantha Dixon - ESE Malta Author: Samantha Dixon

About the Author: Samantha is British and has taught English as a foreign language in several different countries including Thailand and Finland. She has been with ESE since March 2016 and is now working as part of the Marketing team. Samantha enjoys being creative, painting and writing when time allows. She also enjoys spending time with her 4 year old son and her new baby daughter, soaking up the Maltese sun.

About this blog

Articles in this blog may be ESE news, academics pieces written by our team or events in Malta of general interest.  Please feel free to write to us with any comments, suggestions or any articles you may have written and would like to share with us and our students.