Unseen Picasso works on show in Warsaw National Museum

The National Museum in Warsaw displays thirty works donated by Pablo Picasso during his visit to Warsaw in 1948.

Poland’s art treasures - journey through time

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The exhibition is the first of a series in which the museum will show off a selection of the most interesting items it stores.

The event poses a unique occasion to take in works which are usually unavailable to the visitors. The Museum has selected 10 plates created by Picasso, depicting faces and still life. All of them exist in just single copies, in contrast to Picasso’s later work when he produced them in a series from 25 to 500 identical copies. Furthermore, the museum puts on show a series of graphic arts, mostly lithographs.

The National Museum in Warsaw has Poland’s largest collection of the artist’s works.

Pablo Picasso spent two weeks in Poland in 1948. During what was his only stay to this country, he visited Kraków, Oświęcim, and Warsaw.

In the last one he left a particular mark - a wall painting of the Mermaid of Warsaw with a hammer instead of a sword. It was painted by coal on one of the buildings at a construction site. When the building’s construction finished, one family found the painting in their own flat. The work generated a considerable attention, with dozens of guests paying a visit to the flat every day. Eventually, in 1953 the family painted over the Picasso’s work to get rid of the crowds. The Picasso’s take on the Warsaw Mermaid has been lost forever.