Are you an art enthusiast looking to delve into the world of Picasso’s extraordinary artistic genius? Look no further than the Picasso Museum in Paris, a treasure trove of the legendary Spanish painter’s works. Here are 10 compelling reasons why this museum deserves a top spot on your Parisian itinerary.
1. The largest collection of Picasso’s works in the world
The Musée Picasso-Paris collection comprises over 5,000 works and tens of thousands of archived pieces. For its quality and scope as well as the range of art forms it encompasses, this collection is the only one in the world to present both Picasso’s complete painted, sculpted, engraved and illustrated œuvre and a precise record – through sketches, studies, drafts, notebooks, etchings in various stages, photographs, illustrated books, films and documents – of the artist’s creative process.
The large collection contains masterpieces of the 20th century. From his Self-Portrait and La Celestina of his blue period until The Kiss, Large Nudes, Matadors and Musicians of his final years, you can find representations of all Picasso’s periods.
2. The Hôtel Salé
The hôtel Salé is probably, as Bruno Foucart wrote in 1985, “the grandest, most extraordinary, if not the most extravagant, of the grand Parisian houses of the 17th century”. The building has seen many occupants come and go over the centuries. However, paradoxically, before the place was entrusted to the museum, it was rarely “inhabited”, but instead leased out to various private individuals, prestigious hosts and institutions.
3. The great staircase and the Jupiter salon
The central staircase is the masterpiece of the house and has just been entirely restored to its original condition. It is based on the stair plan designed by Michelangelo for the Laurentian Library in Florence. Combining multiple effects of perspective and high-angle views, the staircase resembles a theatre. It leads to the “Jupiter salon”, a loggia with superb classified stucco and stone décor.
4. Giacometti Furnishings
The Musée Picasso-Paris owns an exceptional collection of 50 pieces of furniture created exclusively by Diego Giacometti – Alberto’s younger brother – for the Hôtel Salé. These works testify to the delicacy of Diego Giacometti’s world, where the purity of Greek line can be seen in the design of the tables, benches and chairs, or the touching presence of nature, in the tulips and foliage surrounding the bulbs of the light fittings, or the two little owls resting on the metal branches of a bronze lantern.
5. Celebration Picasso: 1973-2023
2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death and thus places the year under the sign of the celebration of his work in France, Spain and internationally. To celebrate Picasso’s legacy today is a way to question what this major work for Western modernity represents today. It is to show its living, accessible and current part.
The Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 is structured around some fifty exhibitions and events to be held in renowned cultural institutions in Europe and North America, which, together, thanks to new interpretations and approaches, will make it possible to review the state of studies and understanding of Picasso’s work.
6. Paul Smith’s scenography of the exhibition “Celebration Picasso: The Collection in a New Light”
It is fifty years since Pablo Picasso died, on 8 April 1973 at Notre-Dame-de-Vie, his home in Mougins. The body of work that he left behind had a profound impact on the entire 20th century. For this anniversary year, the Musée National Picasso-Paris has invited the British designer Sir Paul Smith, known for his work with colour, tailoring and unexpected details, to lead the artistic direction of an exceptional exhibition showcasing the museum’s collection. This exhibition created in collaboration with Sir Paul Smith is curated around masterpieces from the collection.
7. Activity Booklets for kids
Our booklet will guide younger visitors through the exhibition “Celebration Picasso: The Collection in a New Light”, punctuating their journey with games, riddles and content allowing them to find out more about Pablo Picasso. The booklet is available in French and in English.
8. The Rooftop Café
The museum’s Café sur le toit offers you the opportunity to extend your visit with a sweet break at any time of the day, according to the museum’s opening times. You can sit inside or on the terrace, a magnificent rooftop in the Marais district, where you can enjoy a ‘suspended’ break in the heart of Paris with a view of the sumptuous façade of the Hôtel Salé.
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9. The Garden
The garden is located behind the Hôtel Salé and is particularly pleasant during the summer months. It offers a very beautiful 900m² area and provides a breathtaking view over the museum.
10. The Marais district
The Marais district is a place not to be missed in Paris. Located in the heart of the city, it is one of the very rare districts to be appreciated by tourists as well as by Parisians. Spread over the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, it is bounded by the places de la République in the North, of the Bastille in the East and of l’Hôtel de Ville in the West. A historic district of the city of Paris, it is rich in numerous cultural treasures and is an exceptional witness to the aristocratic Parisian architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries, but also to the industrial activity of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Lead photo credit : © Vinciane Lebrun/Voyez-Vou
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