A 'good death' in Picasso's birthplace

Forty-one works by major artists have been selected from the Biblioteca Nacional.
Forty-one works by major artists have been selected from the Biblioteca Nacional. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • A "paradoxically happy"conjunction of art and poetry forms this new project

  • The institution displays its never-exhibited contemporary collection along with a selection of 41 pieces by old masters from the National Library

Pierre Reverdy was 37 years-old when he retired to the Abbey of Solesmes. From there, in the midst of the Second World War, he wrote 'Le chant des morts' (The Song of the Dead), a cryptic and agonising book, the dark epitaph of a civilisation that did not deserve that name.

Alongside 'Le chant des morts', the museum has added some vanitases from its own collection and some from the National Library including old works by Durero, Rembrandt, Tiepolo and Goya and more modern ones from the Equipo Realidad and Darío Villalba.

The new project for Picasso's birthplace adds two not inconsiderable attractions: for the first time in its three decades of history, the Foundation shows a wide range of 'Le chant des morts' illustrations and, also three quarters of the museum's contemporary collection on display in this exhibition has not been shown to the public before.

This is the case of 'Figura en el paisaje' (1975) by Rafael Canogar and 'Lídice 1' (1973) by Oswaldo Guayasamin, included in the Polygraph Collection of the Casa Natal.

The exhibition integrates the works of art with prints and poems about death from Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Dylan Thomas to Emilio Prados, María Victoria Atencia and Manuel Alcántara and that conjunction offers a proposal that is "paradoxically happy", in the words of the director of the Casa Natal, José María Luna.