First look at Antonio Banderas as Pablo Picasso in National Geographic's Genius

The National Geographic 10-part drama starts in April and features an all-star cast.

Antonio Banderas and Alex Rich will play Pablo Picasso in National Geographic's 10-part drama series about the awe-inspiring and prolific painter.

Premiering on Monday, April 23rd at 8pm on National Geographic, this is the second series in the Genius strand, following on from the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated Genius: Einstein.

National Geographic is one of 60 premium channels available on BT TV along with other channels such as E!, Comedy Central, Discovery and many more.

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One of the most influential and celebrated artists of the 20th century, Picasso’s career spanned more than 80 of his 91 years, during which time he produced an estimated 50,000 works.

His passionate nature and relentless creative drive were inextricably linked to his personal life, which included tumultuous marriages, numerous affairs and ever-shifting political and personal alliances. Constantly reinventing himself, Picasso always strove to innovate and push the boundaries of artistic expression, leading to his worldwide renown as a genius.

Genius: Picasso explores the Spanish expatriate's devotion to his craft, his contribution to modern art and his turbulent personal life.

Who is in the cast?

Genius: Picasso

Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro,) brings to life the artistic career of the titular artist. Joining him as the younger Pablo is Alex Rich (Glow, True Detective), who rejects academic study and joins the circle of young bohemian artists and writers struggling to make it in early 20th century Spain and France.

Clémence Poésy (The Tunnel) portrays Françoise Gilot, a French painter and best-selling author whose decade-long affair with Picasso yielded two children and who was his only lover strong enough to withstand his ferocious intensity and move on with her life. Sebastian Roché  (Young Pope The Man in the High Castle) is Emile Gilot, Francoise’s tyrannical father.

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Robert Sheehan (Misfits), plays Carles Casagemas, a Spanish art student and poet who was one of Picasso’s closest friends. Poppy Delevingne (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), portrays Marie-Thérèse Walter, a lover and muse of Picasso, who mothered his first daughter. Aisling Franciosi (Game of Thrones, The Fall) is Fernande Olivier, a French artist and model, of whom Picasso painted more than 60 portraits.

They join returning cast members from the first season, Samantha Colley (The Crucible”) as Dora Maar, a French photographer and painter who was also Picasso’s lover and muse,T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy, The Catch) as Max Jacob, one of Picasso’s first friends in Paris; Seth Gabel (Salem, Fringe) as Guillaume Apollinaire, one of the foremost poets of the 20th century and a frequent collaborator with Picasso; and Johnny Flynn (Lovesick) who makes a special appearance as French actor Alain Cuny.

Where is Genius: Picasso filmed?

The second season of the acclaimed series began production in 2017, filming in many locations where Picasso himself once lived and worked.

This included a three-day shoot in Málaga, Spain — birthplace of both Picasso and Banderas — where production filmed in the same house in which Picasso was born, the church where he was baptised and the bullring where he found much inspiration in his youth.

What is the story of Genius: Picasso?

Genius: Picasso

Intercutting between Pablo (Rich) as a young man determined to express his own point of view with his art and the technical master and visionary creator known as Picasso (Banderas), the series opens in the Spanish coastal town of Málaga.

The child Pablo (Alessio Scalzotto) learns to draw under the tutelage of his father, José Ruiz Blasco who is an art instructor at a provincial school.

Rejecting his education, paid for by his wealthy uncle, Dr. Salvador Ruiz, Pablo meets Carles Casagemas at a tavern in Barcelona where free-thinkers gather. Kindred spirits, the two travel to Paris in search of fame and fortune but are just two of many aspiring Spanish artists drawn to the French capital. Inspired by the Parisian nightlife but dismayed by having to imitate classic styles favoured by art sellers, Pablo sets about creating artwork that will sell, including his depiction of the dance hall Le Moulin de la Galette. But when tragedy strikes, Pablo's work takes a dramatic turn and he adopts a palette devoted almost exclusively to shades of blue…

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When does Genius Picasso air?

Genius: Picasso premieres globally in April.

Watch Genius: Picasso on Monday, April 23rd at 8pm on National Geographic, BT TV channel 317.

National Geographic is one of 60 premium channels available on BT TV along with other channels such as E!, Comedy Central, Discovery and many more.

> BT broadband customer? Get BT TV

> Not yet with BT? Find out the great ways you can get BT TV here

> BT TV customer? Head to channel 317 to watch National Geographoc, or visit the BT Player

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