March 2009

March at the National Gallery

There are several ways to experience the work of Pablo Picasso – arguably the greatest artist of the 20th century – at the National Gallery this spring. Start with the major exhibition ‘Picasso: Challenging the Past’, and for a special treat book a breakfast view to beat the crowds. Catch the free print show, and explore the themes of the exhibition through film or talks on collection paintings. Or start your weekend with a Friday evening visit plus talks, live music and bar.


Major exhibition – Picasso: Challenging the Past

Discover how Pablo Picasso took on the great European painting tradition and created radical responses of his own. This major exhibition explores how Picasso challenged the art of the past throughout his long career, and includes ‘variations’ after 17th- and 19th-century masterpieces. Until 7 June.
For the most pleasant visit, come early in the show’s run.
Detail from Pablo Picasso, ‘Skull, Sea Urchins and Lamp on a Table’, 1946, Musée Picasso, Paris (MP198) © RMN / Jean-Gilles Berizzi / Succession Picasso / DACS 2009

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March News and Highlights

Beat the crowds
Picasso Special Breakfast Views
Tuesdays 3 March, 7 April and 12 May
8.30–10am, £25

Enjoy ‘Picasso: Challenging the Past’ before the crowds at an exclusive breakfast viewing.

See the exhibition before normal opening hours, then relax with a coffee and pastry in the National Dining Rooms.

Pablo Picasso, ‘Man with a Straw Hat and an Ice Cream Cone’, 1938, Musée Picasso, Paris © RMN / Jean-Gilles Berizzi / Succession Picasso / DACS 2009

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Picasso’s Prints: Challenging the Past
Until 7 June
Admission free

To coincide with ‘Picasso: Challenging the Past’, this Room 1 display of the artist’s prints expands on the themes of the major exhibition, notably on Picasso’s ‘variations’, produced after masters such as Manet, David, Cranach and Rembrandt.

Pablo Picasso, ‘Portrait of a Woman, after Cranach the Younger’, 1958, linocut. Tate (P11368) © Tate / Succession Picasso / DACS 2009

Discover ‘Picasso’s Prints’

Film season
Men Without Women
Saturdays 2.30pm
28 February – 18 April 2009
£4/£3 concessions

Accompanies ‘Picasso: Challenging the Past’ and includes film classics by Alfred Hitchcock and François Truffaut.

Picasso repeatedly turned back to the traditional theme of the artist and model, exploring the dualities of man/woman, self/other and vitality/mortality.

The films in this season explore and reflect on the darker side of these relationships.

Detail of still from ‘The Night Porter’. Source credit BFI.

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New Friday Lates
Start your weekend at the National Gallery!

The Gallery is now open 10am–6pm daily and until 9pm on Fridays.

As well as exploring the paintings or catching a temporary exhibition, you can enjoy guided tours, talks and events on Friday evenings.

Listen to live music, relax at the bar or have a bite to eat at the National Café.

Photo © The National Gallery, London

Friday Lates highlights

Special offer
£1 off Gerhard Richter Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery
26 February – 31 May 2009

Take your Picasso ticket to the National Portrait Gallery during March and see ‘Gerhard Richter Portraits’ for only £7.

One of the world’s leading contemporary artists, this landmark exhibition illuminates the startling range of Gerhard Richter’s imagery, focusing on his portrait and figurative works from the 1960s to the present.

Gerhard Richter, ‘Ella’, 2007. Private collection © Gerhard Richter, 2009

Gallery website
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March Focus
Inspired by…
Celebrating ‘Picasso: Challenging the Past’, free Gallery talks explore artists’ sources of inspiration.

What’s On Highlights
Course: The Body of Christ in Renaissance Art

Family Sunday workshops: For families with children aged 5 – 11

All events

Plan your visit
The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square, London
Open daily 10am – 6pm
Fridays 10am – 9pm