This not one of those Ah-Ha Museums where you keep running into famous paintings that you have been seeing reproductions of for the past half century. On the contrary, most of the artworks in this museum were new to me, or at least ones I had not particularly noticed before.
The reason for this is that the artworks in this museum are from Picasso's private collection. These are works that he kept for himself, so until his death they were generally not accessible to us members of the general public, and they are not the familiar ones that are always used in books to illustrate his Blue Period, his Rose Period, his African Period, his Cubist Period, etc.
When Picasso died in 1973 the French government presented his heirs with a huge tax bill for inheritance taxes. Instead of paying cash they paid in artworks, so the French State became the owner of a very fine collection of relatively unknown Picasso paintings and other artworks.
(I hope you'll forgive my boasting, but I'm rather proud of the first photo on this tip. It shows the silhouettes of a tourist family entering the museum, complete with their bags and sunglasses. I believe this is my only silhouette photo that ever really turned out the way I wanted it to.)
Second photo: The entrance hall of the Picasso Museum.
Third photo: Portrait of Marie-Thérèse, 1937. She was Picasso's longtime mistress and the mother of his daughter, Maya Picasso.
Fourth photo: Women at their Toilette, 1938
Fifth photo: Café in the garden behind the Picasso Museum.
In the historic quartier Marais, the museum hostes the largest collection of Picasso in the world: 450 masterpieces to discover the artist universe. The museum is located in the hotel Salè.
The palace has been built betwen 1656 and 1659 for the wish of Pierre Aubert, a tax collector that became rich with the tax of salt, infact the name of the hotel means salted.
Open 11.30-18 closed on monday saturday and sunday opens at 9.30
I love Picasso, ad for those individuals who also enjoy Picaso's works, a visit to the Musee Picaso is a must. Picaso's heirs donated an outstanding collection of the artists' work (which is the collection housed here in the Hotel de Sale), in lieu of estate duties.
Along with over 200 paintings there are also sculptures, collages and more than 3000 drawings and carvings, 88 ceramics, as well as illustrated books and manuscripts and some of his private collection by his friends and contemporaries like Cezanne, Rousseau and Braque to name a few.
The musuem isn't large and your visit will only take a few hours.
It is OPEN again. Hooray. Don't miss it.
They have recently moved the June 2014 reopening to September 2014. So sad.
Update beginning 2014: They have finally announced (in French) the museum will reopen in June of 2014. We'll be there in June so will check and make sure. We've missed it during the very long renovation and are really looking forward to a visit to see what they've done. Official Web Site (French) of the Picasso Museum
Update end 2013: They announced a Fall 2013 opening date but it didn't happen so the current thought is Spring 2014. I sure hope they make it because we're planning to visit in Spring 2014 and would dearly like to revisit after too many years of closure.
Update 2013: The current opening date has been delayed again. It may be open by fall but it may not. Before you visit, check the web site (below) to make sure it is open.
Update 2011: They have extended the renovation time. The museum will be closed until Spring 2013 as of the last check of their web site. There are traveling exhibits all over the world so look for one near you.
Update 2010: The Picasso Museum Will Be closed from August 24, 2010 up to 2012. In the interim there will be several traveling exhibits including one at the deYoung in San Francisco we are attending. Check your area for a chance to see these visiting exhibits because you won't see them in Paris until 2012. Picasso Museum Official Web Site (in French but right click and scroll down to translate this page to English to get a good idea of content)
Update 2009: We were pretty disappointed visiting the Picasso Museum this afternoon. It is in the middle of renovation. Photos are no longer allowed inside the museum. The wonderful displays in the crypt-basement are closed. They are adding wall space that covers much of the beautiful old mansion housing the collection. Much of the collection is going into storage for a 4-year renovation. We'll try it again in 2014 and see there is an improvement, but it wasn't a great visit today. What was available was not well displayed and all the walls weren't even complete yet. There were paintings on one side and beams on the other . . .
Old review below:
There are two excellent reasons to visit the Musee Picasso. First, of course, is the marvelous collection of Picasso's works. The Archives are also open to the public and they include his copious correspondence. It is fascinating. There are also posters and sketches exhibited.
Secondly, the building is of historic importance. You would expect Picasso to be exhibited in a starkly modern building. Not so . . . The collection is in a delightful old Hotel Particular (mansion) in the Marais district of Paris. The lovely mansion was once owned by Aubert-de-Fontenay who was a salt-tax collector. See what tax collectors can afford to build!
If you haven't visited for a while, this is a good time to make another visit because the collection has been rehung and is very well displayed. They have hung a great many more paintings in the collection since our first visit many many years ago.
It is also great fun to wander through the building.
Completed in 1639, l'Hôtel Salé was designed by the architect, Jean de Bouiller, as the residence of the Lord of Fontenay, Pierre Aubert, the salt-tax farmer, hence the name Salé. It is a typical hôtel particulier (mansion) of the period and of the district, with a front courtyard leading into the Renaissance-style palace, which is decorated with interesting sphinx statues (probably added in a later period). The palace changed hands several times thereafter until it was finally purchased by the City of Paris in 1964. It was subsequently restored and eventually came to house the Picasso Museum, which opened its doors in 1985. The museum possesses the world's largest collection of Pablo Picasso's works - 5000 of them though only a fraction are on display - plus many of the artist's personal collection of works gifted to him by peer artists, such as Cézanne and Renoir. The museum had been closed for a major renovation of the palace itself and enlargement of the museum space, which was supposed to take only 2 years. Over budget and several years late, the renovation finally ended and the museum reopened in late Oct 2014. I was fortunate to visit it in early Nov 2014, a couple of weeks after its inaugural reopening.
The museum (formerly Hotel Sale) houses a large collection of Pablo Picasso's work. When Picasso died, the family donated his collection to France in lieu of payment for inheritance tax. There are over 200 paintings along with a vast amount of drawings, ceramics, sculptures, collages and manuscripts. The collection is divided into Picasson's different periods, in chronological order, including cubism and classical phases. As well as the collection, he has his own collection of works of other artists including Cezanne, Matisse and Modigliani.
It cost me around 9 Euros (July 2009) to look around the museum.
I visited Musee Picasso last fall. The building is interesting, and the area (Marais) one of my favorites.
For a true hardcore fan of Picasso this is a definite recommended must .
A decent collection of his work and history, with some works by other artists that Picasso collected. (and it WAS an art-lovers bargain for 6,70 admission in the past)
Now (2006) it costs 8,50 euros (gouge imo)
Tarif réduit (de 18 à 25 ans inclus): 6,50
(6,50 euros for a "student" ages 18-25)
The weirdest and most twisted thing is:
one of my favorite works here was not even a Picasso but a Henri Matisse that Picasso bought.
Check out the website below and see what you think.
And here is a link to an excellent Picasso website... if you love Picasso, you will end up spending some quality time here:
Hats off and much thanks to Dr. Enrique Mallen, Professor. Linguistics & Art History,
Foreign Languages. Sam Houston State University,
all Dr. Enrique Mallens collaborators, and Texas A&M Univ. for originally building and hosting the excellent "Online Picasso Project" at the link above.
I always make it a point to visit a museum or musee they call it here ..so in early 2008 . I am back in Paris again bu this time was a short trip as I was spending most of my holiday in the Rhone Alps areas visiting the breathtaking Annecy ...
Do I need to introduce Picasso to you ? Dont think so ...but perhaps from my little adventure ...the museum is not too big ..just the right size and putting some of the most interesting pieces of his royal highness ....though i have seen some of Picasso's pieces in other museums around the world ...but its always different to see it all in one place ...to see his life, his journey and his passion ...rather than being distracted by the work of other great masters ....just like its my dream to visit Dali's Museum in Figueras, Spain ...
The Picasso Museum inside the Hotel de Sale is also worth a visit - even for people like me, who are not that fascinated by cubism. But the huge number of paintings and sculptures shows perfectly the change of his style in time
Entree fee is 6,50 EUR, opening hours in summer from 9:30-18:00.
The Picasso Museum is worth seeing, specifically if your a Picasso fan, the museum is a bit off the beaten path so be prepared for a walk. From the Pompidou Centre there are signs that will direct you down several streets that will bring you to the Picasso Museum. Its located in a very quiet section of Paris, if you get lost just ask someone in a cafe, all the locals know where it is. Please note the museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Believe it or not, we had a really hard time finding this wonderful museum. We took the Metro and actually got in the general vacinity quickly (even stumbled upon a street market in the process).But getting from the Metro to the museum took a while. While everyone we asked was very helpful, it seems many Parisians don't know it's there. However, as is true all over Paris, the long roundabout walk led us by a gorgeous flower shop, we visited an adorable toy store and incredible antique/ decorator shop. The walk was well worth it. The Musee Picasso is in an old mansion, I think. The beautiful architecture is an amazing backdrop to Picasso's sculpture and paintings. My 5 year old granddaughter loved it as well! We did however, rush her through a few rooms with some of his more "erotic" drawings etc. Good thing they hung them too high for her to get a good look at!
It took me some time to actually find this museum, yet when I look at a street map it appears easy and straight forward?!
When Picasso died in '73, France inherited a great deal of his work and used them to create Musee Picasso, which opened in 1985. The collection is housed in the Hôtel Salé a 17th- century mansion that was built for a salt tax collector, Aubert de Fontenay in 1656.
The enormous scope of Picasso's work is fascinating and here you can see not only his famous paintings, but also his collages, sculptures and ceramics.