Picasso Museum Paris (Musée National Picasso) boasts the world’s most comprehensive art collection by the famous Spanish-born painter and sculptor. Located in the 17th-century Hôtel Salé, which is a historical monument, it houses hundreds of Pablo Ruiz Picasso’s paintings, sculptures and ceramics, and thousands of drawings. Also, visitors can admire the artist’s personal art collection encompassing masterpieces by Henri Matisse, Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, and other artists.
Now, let’s dive in and see what you can expect when visiting Picasso Museum Paris.
Picasso Museum Paris: Service Info
Learn where to find Musée National Picasso, what opening times are, and how much time to plan for a visit.
You can find the museum in the Marais district, known for many preserved centuries-old mansions and Place des Vosges – one of the loveliest squares in the city.
If you start at the square, take Rue (Street) Des Francs Bourgeois and turn right to Rue Elzevir. You’ll find the exhibition venue (5, rue de Thorigny) to your left after crossing the second crossroad.
The nearest metro stations are St. Paul (line 1), Chemin Vert, and St. Sebastien Froissart (line 8).
Hours of Operation
The Picasso museum Paris is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 am (9:30 am on weekends) to 6 pm (the last admission is at 5 pm). Monday is a day off, as well as January 1, May 1, and December 25.
Full-price tickets cost €14, while audio-guide rentals cost €5. If you have Paris Museum Pass, you don’t pay the admission fee.
Recommended Visit Duration
Most visitors can tour the art collection in around two hours. But if you are passionate about Pablo Picasso’s work and life, you are likely to spend much more time visiting Hôtel Salé.
Permanent Collection of the Art Gallery
The permanent art collection of one of the must-see Paris museums for devotees of Pablo Picasso is organized in chronological order. And the works of art are on display in the series of roughly 400 exhibits throughout 37 showrooms on 5 floors.
So, you’ll have quite an experience while progressing from the garden – exhibiting maestro’s larger sculptures – through the basement and up to the attic. Besides browsing art pieces, you’ll have a chance to brush up on your knowledge and entertain yourself with interactive multimedia displays.
Also, you can enjoy the specialties of the renowned Maison Angelina and have champagne at the rooftop cafe of this famous Paris museum.
Artistic Periods in the Artist’s Life
Artistic periods introduced in the Picasso Museum in Paris are:
- Blue Period from 1901 to 1904
- Rose Period between 1904 and 1906
- African Period from 1907 to 1909
- Cubism between 1909 and 1912
- Classicism and Surrealism from 1918 to 1945
- Final years (decades) from the end of WWII to 1973
The first and second floors exhibit Pablo’s works of art created from 1895 to his death in 1973. On the top floor, examine his personal collection encompassing art pieces created by other artists, including Degas, Gaugin, and Miró. On the basement level, take a look at photos and engravings, among other objects.
The Picasso Museum Paris: Exhibition Venue’s Masterpieces
If you are in a hurry to tour some other Paris museums and attractions but would like to see this art gallery’s highlights, prioritize the following masterpieces:
- Self-portrait (1901), painted when Picasso was 20 years old. Belonging to Blue Period, this painting shows the depression the artist was going through after his friend’s death.
- Portrait of Olga in an Armchair (1918) is a neoclassical masterpiece created when Picasso met his future wife. Besides this one, Olga Khokhlova inspired many other art pieces.
- Deux Femmes Courant Sur La Plage (Two Women Running on the Beach, 1922) depicts two spirited ladies running while holding hands. Or, are they dancing maybe, which may be plausible since Olga was a ballet dancer?
- The Paul en Arlequin (1924) painting introduces Pablo’s and Olga’s son Paul dressed as a harlequin. In addition to this masterpiece, the Picasso Museum in Paris has many sketches and drawings depicting a harlequin.
- Portrait of Dora Maar (1937) is a Surrealist representation of a majestic Yugoslav photographer Dora Markovic seated in an armchair. Distortions, such as those showing the model’s face from different visual perspectives (frontal and profile views), became the characteristic of the maestro’s artistic style.
- Le Chevre (1950) is a sculpture representing the anatomy of a goat. The famous Spanish artist created Le Chevre while living in Southeastern France in a town known for pottery manufactories.
Where Else Can You See Picasso’s Works of Art in Paris?
Musée National Picasso-Paris features the most comprehensive collection of the Spanish master’s works. Still, his masterpieces are the highlights of some other Paris museums. To have a look at them, consider visiting:
- Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), located near Trocadero, across the River Seine from the Eiffel Tower.
- Centre Pompidou in Beaubourg, the neighboring district of Marais.
- Musée de l’Orangerie, in Jardin (Garden) des Tuileries, next to Louvre.
What Paris Museums Are Nearby?
While in Marais, consider visiting a few other outstanding Paris museums, which, surprisingly, remain under the radar for most travelers. These are:
- Cognacq-Jay (Rue Elzevir), exhibiting 18th-century furniture and paintings.
- Maison Victor Hugo (Place des Vosges), introducing the work and life of the celebrated writer and humanist.
- Museum Carnavalet (Rue des Francs-Bourgeois), presenting the history of Paris through various objects and paintings.
What’s more, these exhibition venues’ permanent exhibitions are free of charge.
Quick Facts About Pablo Picasso
- No artist’s works of art were stolen as much as Picasso’s in history.
- When Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa disappeared in 1911, Pablo was among the prime suspects.
- His father, who was also a painter, claimed that he would stop painting when Pablo Ruiz turns 14. He explained that his son will best him as a painter by then.
- The Cubist masterpiece Des Demoisseles d’Avignon – exhibited at MOMA – isn’t about the namesake city in Provence. It illustrates ladies of the night on Avignon Street in Barcelona.
- Although there are many art galleries devoted to Pablo Ruiz Picasso in Europe (Barcelona, Malaga, Antibes…), the Picasso Museum in Paris is the most complete.