Musee Picasso Paris is such a treat if you are a Picasso fan.

Interestingly, Musee Picasso Paris is listed in Tripadvisor as #153 of 2,269 things to do in Paris . I am baffled why it is so underrated, but it is good news for us Picasso fans. Why? Because you get to see the artworks without the daunting crowds!!!

Pablo Picasso famous paintings
Cubism and Picasso

Background

The Musée Picasso in Paris is an art museum located in the Hôtel Salé building in the funky Marais district of Paris. The museum is dedicated to the works of the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881–1973).

When you visit Musee Picasso Paris, I recommend that you pay attention to the beautiful building itself. The building is called Hotel Salé and it used to be the Embassy of The Republic of Venice!!

Three years after Picasso’s death, in 1976, they decided to turn this gorgeous five story building into a museum dedicated to his works. Recently the museum was renovated to make better use of the building. It took five years to complete the renovation and this museum opened it’s doors again to the public in October 2014. And beautiful it is! 

When it reopened, French president François Hollande delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. Hollande described the museum as

“one of the most beautiful in the world and one of the most moving because it brings together the considerable and prolific work of the best-known artist of the 20th century.”

The artworks on display

Picasso cubism
Picasso portraits
Nathan Laurell on Flickr CC BY 2.0

This museum contains over 5,000 Picasso artworks. This includes Picasso paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, prints, engravings and notebooks. Each floor takes you through a different period in his work. Please note: The information about each painting and artwork is in French. Therefore, I highly recommend that you rent the audio guide for only 5 euros. It isn’t expensive and having the explanations will enrich your experience when viewing the Picasso artworks.

The paintings

Look out for the painting called “The Death of Casagemas” painted in 1901. This painting was done just after Casagemas committed suicide. He was Picasso’s best friend and his companion when he moved to Paris in 1901. Art Historians say that this suicide was one of the triggers of Picasso’s melancholy period which evoked his Blue Period. This painting is indeed a classic representation of Picasso’s blue period.

The museum also has an archives section that stores tens of thousands of items from Picasso’s personal repository. This includes photos, personal papers, letters and manuscripts. You can visit the Archives section, which I highly recommend.

Muse Picasso Paris also showcases Picasso’s personal art collection of works by other artists, including RenoirCézanneDegas, Rousseau, Seurat, de Chirico and Matisse. If you are familiar with Picasso’s biography, you will surprised to see the works of Modigliani and Henri Matisse, as his rivalry with them is widely document. The museum also contains some Iberian bronzes and a good collection of African art which inspired so many of his paintings in his African Period.

If you get hungry, there is a lovely café  with a great terrace. The café serves delicious sandwiches and you get to rest your legs at the same time. A winning combination!

Tips to Avoid the Crowds


Buy Tickets in Advance – Get a Paris Museum Pass or a timed-entry reservation to skip the line. This not only saves money but a lot of time.

Arrive Early – The best to see the museum is in the morning, when you are not yet exhausted and before the tourists and locals arrive. This way you will enjoy a much more peaceful and intimate viewing. 

Go Midweek – Midweek is usually quieter than the weekends. However all museusm are closed on Mondays (including this one)

True? Not sure… but it’s a nice story!

It is said that Picasso spent a whole night alone in the Louvre to compare his paintings with those of the great masters. He came out satisfied with the results of the examination, and he knew that there might one day be a Picasso museum. He once said:

“Give me a museum and I will fill it”

And indeed he did!!!!

If you would rather an expert show you the pictures and explain the stories behind them, you can join one of the fabulous organized tours. Press here for details.

Location and Contact Information:

Address
Hôtel Salé
5, rue de Thorigny
Metro/RER: St-Paul, Rambuteau or Temple
Tel : +33 (0)1 42 71 25 21

Visit the official website (in English)

Opening Hours and Tickets:

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and closed Mondays, on December 25th, January 1st, and the 1st of May. 

Tuesday – Friday: 11:30 am – 6:00 pm
Weekends and holidays (except the days mentioned above): 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
Last entrance to the Museum at 5:15 pm. Make sure to arrive several minutes in advance to ensure entrance. 

Late night openings: The museum is open until 9pm every third Friday of the month.
On late nights, last entrance to the Museum at 8:15 pm