Housed on the second floor of the city’s age-old Stock Exchange, the Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi was Barcelona’s very first art school, founded in 1775 as a cost-free training center for the applied arts. Although hidden and little known, the black-and-white tiled corridors bespeak the austerity and importance of a cultural relic. In the 19th century, Picasso’s father was one of the tutors. A young Pablo, as well as Antoni Gaudí, Joan Miró and Antoni Tàpies took their first art lessons amid its sombre walls, a prelude to what would be no less than four illustrious careers.


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