Malaga at he time of Picasso

Vista de Málaga (siglo XIX)

Malaga where Picasso was born in October 25th, 1881, was a city in decline although during a good time of the century it was one of the most enterprising and modern cities in Spain. It developed economically in the base of the exportation of agricultural products, especially of wines and raisins. In addition, its benefits bolsterd up the industrial projects such as steel industry and textile manufacture which became one of the most important industries in Spain. Malaga doubled its population in 100 years. It expanded into a bigger city with its new suburbs and housing in the center where the Calle Larios started. Although the city had a broad middle class, the majority of the population was working-class. Their dreadful living conditions contrasted enormously with the prosperous people who governed the city; this situation caused a huge social conflict. In spite of everything, Malaga was a cosmopolitan city full of life with its port. People in Malaga would share leisure activities such as walking on the main street, spending time at the cafeterias and bars, visiting countryside ranches, gathering at bourgeois homes, and watching a bullfight (the main spectacle until the inauguration of Teatro Cervantes in 1872). The elites would meet up at the Malaga Circle and the Lyceum where many cultural events used to be organized. Along with the increased literacy, a significant number of educational institutions made the press hit a boom. Among them there was the School of the Fine Arts founded in 1851. Local artists could benefit from the good economic situation of the bourgeoisie who supported the arts education and maintained high commercial demand. Ferrándiz, Haes, Ocón, Muñoz Degrain, Denis, Martínez de la Vega were some of the most outstanding painters. The crisis came in the last decade. Due to the various reasons, the industries and the agriculture declined. The phylloxera plague which had eliminated almost every vineyard of the province was the death blow. The earthquake of 1884 and the Cholera epidemic of 1885 should be added to this grim landscape and they caused approximately 2500(two and a half thousand) deaths.