The Picasso Museum, Paris


The Picasso Museum in Paris was closed for several years for a proper refurbishing. We just happened to visit Paris a couple of weeks after the museum had re-opened, and Mrs. MM had the foresight to book tickets on-line. So one crisp and bright Sunday morning, we headed to the 3rd arrondissement (within the Marais) to see what it was like.

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The courtyard outside the entrance to the museum was PACKED with people, and we momentarily hesitated at the sight of so many people until ushers showed us almost directly to the door, what with our on-line booking in-hand. Take heed of that tip, if headed to Paris, book your museum tickets in advance, you will have practically no wait time at all.


The building has been completely cleaned up, and the interiors are bright, light, airy and a perfect setting for the wonderful art displayed within.


I think I could totally live in a house like this… :) The detailing on the moldings, cornices, ceilings were just beautiful. The modern lighting fixtures at first seem out of place, but in fact, highlight the beauty of the building without distracting like a ginormous chandelier might do.


I have always liked Picasso’s paintings, though I was perhaps familiar with a more limited and more visible timeframe of his art. This early pointillist like painting was something I wouldn’t have guessed was part of his portfolio… La Retour du baptême d’après Le Nain, 1917.


Other early works range from more traditional outlines of a portrait, to highly linear and modern takes on the same subject matter.


Displayed in the same room are these linear metal sculptures that appear in some of this paintings as well.

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This large colorful painting, Le Baiser or The Kiss from 1925 is more representative of the Picasso’s often seen going on the block for tens of millions of dollars, or in Modern art museums around the globe.

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My photos here capture but a tiny fraction of the pieces on display at the Picasso museum. It’s amazing how prolific an artist can be, and he has hundreds of pieces scattered elsewhere on the planet as well!

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Mrs. MM like this Portrait of Dora Maar.


While I thought there was something bizarre but appealing about this painting.


Nu couché et homme jouant de la guitare or Reclining nude and a man playing a guitar from 1970 makes me wonder if Picasso every really did have friends who lounged about in the nude while presumably clothed guitarists strummed nearby. I can’t imagine just reclining on the solihiya weave on our wooden couch in the living room in the buff… maybe I don’t have enough artistic genes in me… :)

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I really liked some of his dark and mostly black pieces. I could see them hanging happily on our living room walls, if only he hadn’t become so sought after. The folks who bought his art to begin with must have been real pioneers and they enjoyed his paintings for many decades until it became clear their descendants would make millions off of a single canvas.


The museum isn’t limited to Picassos alone. There are a couple of rooms of paintings donated by the artist or friends of the artist. This Modigliani is classic…

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…this landscape by Gauguin is beautiful.


There were several Renoir’s, but they have never really floated my boat, if you get my drift.


How could I not take a photo of this hunk of meat or Nature Morte or Still Life by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin?


And what about this Henri Matisse, Bouquet de fleurs dans le chocolatière 1902 or a Bouquet of flowers in a chocolate pot? Where’s the batidor?

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And finally, I leave you with this Still life with Oranges, 1912, also by Matisse. The verdict on the Picasso Museum? Beautifully done. A must visit. And the neighborhood is one you will want to spend time in as well.


11 Responses

  1. Hi MM!
    On your 11th picture down which you found…”bizarre but appealing” Sigmund Freud would probably say your subconscious mind was thinking of your Zubochon Pig on a platter waiting to be served :). LOL!

  2. #8 photo– didn’t know that Picasso had his own interpretation of Gustav Klimt’s ” The Kiss”

  3. #13 looks as though a man is holding a whole fish bone that would be appropriate to hang in Zubudagat.

    Yes, they are hung up on ginormous chandeliers.

    A friend kept a tiny antique shop on Lexington Ave and 72nd for close to forty years for which he paid sixty thousand annual rent toward the end of his tenure. He crammed the police outpost of a place and an offsite storage with objects gleaned from the flea markets all around town. A minor sub-group of his amassment included antique copper gelatine moulds that he loaned to photographers from time to time for the now defunct Gourmet magazine. One afternoon, Paloma Picasso stepped into his shop, spun slowly around and stopped when her gaze fell on a plate with a drawing of a minotaur, her dad’s, in his early ceramic phase. Wanted to buy it but not outright for the price quoted so she started diddling the price down with my stubborn friend until finally, after getting progressively exasperated, tried pulling rank by asking him if he knew who she was. My friend calmly replied, yes, a cheap bitch.

  4. Amusing – and telling – anecdote about Paloma Picasso, Footloose. ;-) The museum had few visitors in its early years, MM, and one could enjoy the paintings in silence. Alas, that is the case no more. Glad you also liked the Diego Giacometti light fixtures and other fittings.

  5. Footloose, I think I know which shop you refer to, family members live a couple of blocks uptown from there. :) EJ, egads, good thing I didn’t diss the giacomettis, I would hang them in my palace one day… :)

  6. a french friend grew up living next door to picasso’s, and a very young pablo (yes, him) would often be invited to have lunch or dinner with my friend’s family. picasso would repay the generosity by doodling on matchboxes, napkins, and whatever he could draw on. my friend still has several of these doodles in his collection.

  7. @#2 Betchay, Nothing escaped him. He did a few takes of Velasquez’s Las Meninas too.

  8. Footloose, your friend with the antique shop still scours thrift shops on the UES. I would chat with him when he had his store and occasionally bump into him on the street. Very nice man.

    Marketman, the Picasso museum was originally built by a very successful salt merchant.

  9. Sister, I do recall of course from the Payard pastry post that you live close by and it’s just opposite Danny’s cubbyhole.

    Many of these magnificent residential buildings now housing great collections were built before 1789 when Talleyrand claimed you have to have lived before to have known true douceur de vie. That is, of course, if you were rich. If you were poor, life is always miserable, nasty, brutish and thankfully short.

    There are scores of them: Musées Rodin, Carnavalet, Cognacq-Jay, Jacquemart-André, Marmottan Monet, etc. The one housing the Musée de l’histoire de France, Hôtel Soubisse, is of particular interest to us, it also lent its name to an onion flavoured versatile version of Béchamel.

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