15.12.14

Picasso Museum reopened


As I mentioned in a previous post, the Paris Picasso Museum opened to public again at the end of October, after five years of renovation – the double in time and costs of what was planned.

One may ask the question, why this 17th century building in the Marais – Hôtel Salé - was chosen for the Picasso collection. It took six years to prepare the first opening in 1985 and now another five years to remodel and create more space. It has obviously been a difficult task to preserve some of the old classified interiors and at the same time create space, making the art visible. A simpler, modern, building, more adapted to Picasso’s art might have been a better – and cheaper solution? Anyhow, much more space has now been made available to accommodate the world’s biggest Picasso collection, with some 500 Picasso works exhibited, based on donations (tax issues) by Picasso and his heirs – and you can also see part of Picasso’s private collection – which included Corot, Cézanne, Degas, Gauguin, Matisse, Renoir, Le Douanier Rousseau, Chirico, Braque, Giacometti...  

You may have expected a chronological presentation (like at the nice Picasso Museum in Barcelona) – the early years followed by the blue and rose periods, the African-influenced period, by the cubism… but the logic here is often different, more following themes, meaning that a painting from 1895 may be the immediate neighbour of one from 1971. Some people were accompanied by guides. It may be a good solution for the understanding of the presentation.

You are allowed to take photos and I took many, but as most of the art is protected by glass, the reflections make it rather impossible to obtain decent pictures. Anyhow, it’s easy to find good illustrations on the net…



One detail:  You can find the African masks, which we also can see on a photo taken in his little workshop at Bateau Lavoir (see previous post) and which inspired his African period - and the creation of what may be considered as the first cubism painting, from 1907 (not here – at MMA), known as the “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” – actually first called “The Brothel of Avignon” referring to an address in Barcelona, Carrer d'Avinyó.

I wish to draw your attention to the fact that although the official closing hour is 6 pm, rooms start to get evacuated at 5:40 pm – I could not visit some last rooms.  


10 comments:

Karen said...

Thank you for the tour. I took such a long time but seems to have been worth it.

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

The French are masters at juxtaposing the old with the new. This will now be on my "must see" list when visiting Paris in 2015. Thank you for giving us a taster of what to expect.

Warm regards.

Thérèse said...

Pour tous les amoureux de Picasso et de l'architecture et loin des contreverses.

Kate said...

I visited the museum years ago and would like to visit this remodeled version, too.

Nadege said...

Gorgeous building and beautiful collection. Thank you Peter!

Betty Carlson said...

I can't wait to see the remodeled version. It looks fantastic, although I agree that it might have been easier to start from scratch with a modern building.

Cezar and Léia said...

Bonjour Peter, thanks for sharing these pictures and for all information. I'm fan of Picasso art. A Luxembourg friend tried to visit there some weeks ago and said it was too crowded yet. She didn't manage to go in. :(

Studio at the Farm said...

Hmmm ... it doesn't sound like you were completely impressed with the new gallery, Peter :)
I must agree - a modern gallery would be better, and probably less expensive.
Thank you for the tour!
Kathryn

claude said...

Je ne suis pas fan mais je ne connais pas toute son ouvre, Peut-être que si, j'en trouverais
quelques unes qui me plaisent.
ça commence bien car j'aime assez "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" et ce n'est pas pour faire plaisir à Nathalie.

Anonymous said...


I'm so impressed by the masterly way you constructed this post and by the enormous amount of work it must have taken!

Maybe if the people in charge of this museum consulted with you it would have looked better.......

I'm late here to the comments form. I just did not know what to say.

The only works of Picasso I like are those absolutely magnificent ones from his Realism period.

I have read so many articles about the way the remodeling of this museum was handled......
Incroyable!

Thank you!
Maria