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Musée Picasso Museum

The Musee Picasso is dedicated to Pablo Picasso and is a museum situated in Marais, the historical part of Paris.

There are many large private townhouses, which are known as hôtels particuliers, that have been turned into museums within the Marais neighbourhood of Paris, France and the Hôtel Salé is no exception.

The Hotel Sale is what holds the Musee Picasso art gallery.  This house was originally designed by the architect Jean Boullier for Pierre Aubert who was a tax farmer that became wealthy by collecting salt taxes, which is where the name of the house came from and was built around 1656.

Picasso Museum

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Musée Picasso Museum In Paris France

Before being used as the Picasso museum the Hotel Sale was already a well-known building as it had been leased to the ambassador of Venice, and had also been the Central School of Art and Manufacture. 

This property had changed hands numerous times through inheritances and sales and then went to the City of Paris who granted the building historical monument status and thus the restoration of this house began and the museum restoration was completed in the 1980's.

You will be able to find this museum situated right in the middle of the extremely historical and fashionable Marais district, in between the Pompidou Center and the Place des Vosges, which was opened to the public after the restorations were completed 1985.

Pablo Picasso was born in Spain in 1881and began to study art at an early age, in fact as early as 1895.  And during his long life he created quite a diversity of works from paintings and drawings through to sculptures, ceramics and even engravings.

Pablo Picasso, the world famous painter, decided to settle in France after fleeing from Franco's regime and he spent most of his life in Paris, although he also liked Provence in the South of France.  The museum came about mainly due to the fact that many of his works were left to the French State after his death in 1973. This was because his descendants had to pay the death duties and hence the museum was born for all of us to enjoy. 

And even though he rarely returned to his native country, you will notice that the majority of his paintings all reflect his Andalucian origins.

The collections received by the state after the artist's death were also supplemented by a second bequest and the Musee Picasso currently houses around 200 paintings, over 150 sculptures, ceramics plus over 2000 drawings engravings, collages, and manuscripts.

But apart from works by Picasso himself, you can also get to see some of the works by people such as Rousseau, Matisse, Renoir and Cezanne that Pablo Picasso acquired along with some primitive art and bronzes.

When you visit this museum, you will see that virtually everything is displayed in a chronological order, and the tour begins with a Self Portrait done in 1901 and ends with The Old Man Seated, which was done before his death in 1971.

Pablo Picasso once said "I am the greatest collector of Picassos in the world." And he was quite right, as he had amassed an enormous collection of his own works by the time of his death in 1973!  This ranged from sketchbooks to finished masterpieces and because of this the Musee Picasso now contains over 3000 different works of art and it contains a significant number of his work that was produced after his seventieth birthday.

The curators of the museum have also made a fantastic effort to present accompanying information such as cartoons of the time that mocked or caricatured his work and there are other items also on display such as photographs and newspaper clippings to provide the visitor with additional information.

Pablo Picasso is one of the very few artists that have become a household name, with the many thousands of works he has created throughout his life.  These are to be found all around the world, both in public and private collections, and Picasso holds the record for the number of museums devoted solely to his works.  But many people say that the Paris museum is the best of them all, housing the largest collection in the world.

It is a nicely done, intimate museum, that shows the charisma of Picasso through photographs of him at work and whilst with friends, along with very touching paintings of his family.  And this museum still has the same popularity it did when it first opened, if not more.

The museum is open every day of the week except for a Tuesday and is open from 10am through to 5pm.


Address & Contact Details:

Musee Picasso
Hôtel Salé
5 Rue de Thorigny
75003 Paris

Telephone: 1 42 71 25 21


Musée Picasso Museum



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