Thursday, May 14, 2015

Picasso Museum, Paris

Bill and I were thrilled to be approaching the Picasso Museum because it has just recently opened after being closed for renovation for five years. We never did see the museum before the renovation.
 This is the rear of the 17th century mansion, the Hôtel Salé, that houses the collection of works that Picasso kept for himself through all the decades of his life. After his death the works were donated to the French state in lieu of inheritance taxes.
 When you visit the museum you will pass from a narrow street into this courtyard. The entrance is on the right.
 Nice sphinx in the courtyard.
 This is the first work you will see -- one of Picasso's earliest works -- a gouache and watercolour poster for the Théâtre Molière Sainte Roulette, 1904.
 Nearby is one of Picasso's late works painted in 1971, two years before his death, an oil on canvas called Sunday. Bill and I think that Picasso sustained an incredibly high standard of output throughout his entire career.
 The central staircase is the most outstanding feature of the building's interior.
That's The Pan flute, 1923, in the background at the top of the staircase.
Bust of a woman, 1931
 I have a funny expression because I've accidentally stepped over a line setting off an alarm.
 Bather opening a beach hut, 1928. I love Picasso's bathers from this period. They feel intensely Mediterranean to me.
The collection contains a wealth of collages. Here's Guitar, glass, bottle of marc brandy, 1913. 
 This is a detail showing how casually Picasso pinned the papers together.
 Note the exposed ceiling beams.
Minotaur and dead mare before a grotto facing a young girl with veil, 1936 -- another of our favourite works.
Standing nude, India ink wash on paper. Woman with tambourine, aquatint and engraving. Both 1939.
 Minotauromachy, 1935.
 Reclining nude and man playing the guitar, 1970 -- another lovely, late work.
On the third floor you will find works by other artists that Picasso collected and kept all his life. It is a superb collection. Here's an oil by Kees van Dongen, The Vineyard, 1905. Bill and I became fans of Van Dongen after we saw a retrospective on our last visit to Paris. This one is a goodie.
Paul CézanneLa mer à l'Estaque, 1878-79.
 Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Still Life. A nice and unusual Chardin.
Left to right: a mask from Grebo, a Kono mask and a Tsoghoo mask 
If you visit, don't miss the basement. There are room after room of works and many photographs of Picasso at work. Here's a female head from 1931. Bill and I put the Picasso Museum in our top ten must-see sights in Paris.


  1. Love the Bather Opening a Beach Hut. Was the alarm really loud? Love your expression ;-)

  2. The alarm was subtle but quite noticeable. Without thinking, I said, "That was me!" to show no harm was meant. What a great Beach Hut painting. Do you remember seeing it in Toronto at that AGO show? John

  3. Paris, Picasso... perfect?
    Thanks again guys.

  4. Perfect indeed, Potch. Thanks for visiting! BTW, do we know you, Potch?

  5. It's always a delight to wander a museum or gallery even vicariously with you guys! Thanks for these beautiful posts. I love the details you find. So interesting to see what Picasso himself collected too. If I get back to Paris I'll definitely head there.

  6. We've thrilled that this museum has reopened and that they have done such a great job. Glad you like the details we highlight, Q -- makes us want to do more.