During their five years in Galicia, the Ruiz Picasso family lived on the second floor of 14, Payo Gómez Street. It is a A Coruña house with a typical architecture, with wooden galleries, whose original structure remains intact. In this flat, the A Coruña City Council has recreated a 19th century home where you can see reproductions of Picasso's work in A Coruña, as well as that of his father.
My name is Pablo, Pablo Ruiz Picasso, and I lived in this house a long time ago: I arrived from Malaga with my family in 1891 because my father got a teaching post here. It was an epic journey: six days on a steamboat, with thunderstorms. Suffering seasickness, we landed in Vigo, and from there, we spent almost a day more by train to Coruña. To complete the quest, we took an ox cart from the station to bring us to the city. I had just turned 10 years old.
Here in Coruña was a Doctor named Ramón Pérez Costales. He was a friend of my godfather, Salvador, from Malaga. Costales was a very important man –a minister! – and he helped us a lot. Every Thursday, I went to eat at his house, which was across the street. It was there that I saw the Republican flag for the first time. Mr Ramon would give me cigar box covers to paint, and then he would buy them from me for a penny. Mr. Ramón... What a guy! I painted a portrait of him...
For me, coming to Coruña was like a party. I thought that I had won the lottery! In Malaga, my aunts kept an eye on me all day. Of course, my father wasn't so happy... He thought that here he was going to succeed as a painter... He liked to paint doves best of all. Whenever I draw a man, I think of him.
I'll never forget the sound of the rain hitting the cobblestones. It rains a lot in Coruña, and even more if you come from Malaga! And the wind: it won't stop until there is no Coruña left!
Authors of the text:
Elena Pardo and Rubén Ventureira