WHAT IS THERE
This museum is home to around 5,000 works of art and 200,000 documents and items from Picasso’s personal archives. That makes it the most extensive Picasso collection in the world. Were you expecting the Picasso Museum in Barcelona to hold that title? It does at least seem to be the more popular museum of the two…
Major works by Picasso on display at the museum in Paris include ‘Self-Portrait’ (1901) and ‘Celestina’ (1904) from his blue period, ‘Glass, Apple and Books’ (1911), ‘Two Women Running on the Beach’ (1922) and ‘Paul as Pierrot’ (1925).
Just so you know, we’d ideally have shown off some of the exhibits here on the website, but Picasso’s work is still under copyright and you’re not allowed to take photos for “commercial” projects inside the museum.
Picasso is most famous for his paintings, but it turns out his talents didn’t stop there – his sculptures, sketches, ceramics, illustrations, writing and even ideas for plays here say it all.
The museum is also home to pieces by other artists from Picasso’s own collection too, including his friend Georges Braques as well as Cézanne, Matisse, Miró and Henri Rousseau. Swiss sculptor Diego Giacometti designed the fixtures and fittings inside the museum back in 1985. All the furniture, handrails and ceiling lamps are in his signature style and the stairs leading up to the first floor from the ground floor are honestly incredible.
The museum’s many, many exhibits are arranged in temporary displays with themes across five floors.
There are plenty of photos and videos about Picasso from the archives too. Not to mention some of his diaries and books from his personal library.
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” That’s just one of the many Picasso quotes waiting for you at the museum. And all of them offer amazing insights into his life and work as an artist. There just so happens to be proof of these particular words right here at the museum. Just wait until you see the breathtaking paintings in the style of the Old Masters that Picasso produced when he was just 13 years old (‘The Barefoot Girl’ and ‘The Man in the Hat’)! And then compare them with ‘The Young Painter’ – a masterpiece by a 91-year-old Picasso.
Picasso’s countless relationships with women provided him with a rich source of inspiration for many of his works. He painted his first wife Olga no end of times. There’s a whole room here dedicated to his portrayals of women reading and his friendship with Nusch Eluard is documented by paintings, letters and photos.
You might not be able to see ‘Guernica’ – arguably Picasso’s most famous political painting – here in Paris (you’ll have to visit the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid next), but his criticism of the Spanish Civil War and General Franco comes across in plenty of other pieces like the etching ‘The Dream and Lie of Franco’.