Musée Picasso

Musée Picasso (33)

The Picasso Museum in Paris houses perhaps the most important collection of the artist’s work and is therefore an essential visit in the museum circuit of the city.

The building that houses the museum is the Hôtel Salé, built between 1656 and 1659. “Salé” means salted since, originally, it was the home of a wealthy salt collector called Aubert de Fontenay. Do not miss the details and look carefully at the façade of this mansion, and once inside, the cast iron stairway, the decoration of the Jupiter Room with its cherubs, work of Martin Desjardins, or the furniture and spiders on the ceiling, by Diego Giacometti.

Since the death of its first owner, the building has had a series of different owners, and all with different tastes as well. For example, when Leclerc de Juigné lived here, the last Archbishop of Paris before the Revolution, he had the nude sculptures on the walls covered up.

In 1964 the City of Paris acquired the property. To start with, it was going to install a clothing museum but the death of Pablo Picasso in 1973 made them change their plans. Thus, since 1985 this small palace has housed the Musée Picasso.

Picasso said that he himself was the greatest collector of Picasso pieces in the world. And the fact is, in his house and studio he had a large part of his work, which on his death, passed into the hands of the French State.

Initially, the works in the museum were arranged chronologically: his early years, the blue and pink periods, cubist and neoclassical works. Even so, there is so much material that the exhibitions vary regularly and not everything is on show at the same time.

You will find paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures, ceramics, engravings... Of course, Picasso was a veritable machine in both genius and production. The oldest piece on show is “The Barefoot Girl”, which the artist painted when he was 14.

We recommend that, specifically, you should see his cubist treasures such as the collage “Violin and music score” from 1912, the oil painting “Painter with palette and easel” from 1928 or the colourful “Woman with book” from 1932.

There are other not-to-be-missed works from his more mature stage such as “Woman in the pillow” and “The kiss”, both from 1969. This latter piece, both tragic and tender, express his feelings after the break with Françoise Guilot and the discovery of the young Jacqueline Roque, his last muse, model and wife.

This museum also contains pieces from Picasso’s private collection, which includes authors such as Cézanne, Matisse, Renoir or Braque. And as a final detail, we would also like to recommend you have a look at its primitive art collection, for many the true seed of cubism.

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