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Picasso National Museum, Marais in Paris, France

Updated: May 27, 2023

The Picasso National Museum is in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, specifically the Marais neighborhood. This museum offers you a completely different perspective on Pablo Picasso's work. The museum shares insight into Picasso’s life and art through the lens of his relationships, personal travels and encounters. It is an enlightening lens to view his life and his creations.

Essential Online Links For Booking Your Trip to Paris

Logistics: Uber is available in Paris as are Taxis/ Paris Airports (CDG or ORY) Private Roundtrip Transfer

Save on entry fees: If you plan on visiting multiple museums, it is more economical to purchase a Paris Museum Pass to save money, you can buy this pass for 2, 4, or 6 days.

Top-rated Paris tours and experiences:

Paris: French Wine Tasting Class with Sommelier (one of my favorite Paris experience)

Top places to stay in Paris: George V (5 Star Luxury) ** Paris, Ile-De--France (Budget Friendly Residential Apartment) ** Hôtel du Lion d'Or Louvre (Budget Friendly, Central Location) **Hôtel de la Bourdonnais (Mid Priced, near Eiffel Tower)

My favorite Guidebook for Paris: DK Press Paris

My favorite biography of Picasso: Picasso: A Biography

Interested in other Modern Art Museums in Paris? Check out this article from See Great Art: Modern Art Museums in Paris and my article Rodin Museum and Garden in Paris.

Plan Your Visit

How Much Time to Allocate for the Picasso National Museum?

Plan to spend at least two hours exploring, the indoor and outdoor features of this museum. It is located at 5 rue de Thorigny, in the Marais neighborhood of the 3rd arrondissement, on the right bank of Paris. Because of its central location and vicinity to Notre Dame Cathedral and the Centro Pompidou Contemporary Art Museum, it is easy to add the Picasso National Museum to any Paris Itinerary.

Hours and Ticket Prices

The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. Last entry is at 5:15 pm. The entrance fee for a time specific entrance is 14 euros. For an extra 1 euro, you can get skip the line tickets. This is especially helpful if you are visiting during the busy summer months. If you are planning on visiting multiple museums in Paris, you can save money with the Paris Museum Pass good for 2, 4, or 6 days.

History of the Museum

The Picasso Museum in Paris was created through a donation by Picasso’s family after his death. The donation was an “acceptance in lieu” settlement, where Picasso’s heirs donated 5,000 works of art to France avoiding paying inheritance taxes. It was also Picasso's wish to have a museum dedicate to his creations in Paris. He lived in France from 1905 to 1973. The museum collection includes more than 5,000 works of art (paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, prints, engravings and notebooks). The collection also includes the artist's photographic archive and personal papers. The exhibits change regularly, so each time you visit you get a different perceptive on Picasso's life and his art.

The Picasso National Museum is located in the Hôtel Salé. It was built between 1656 and 1659 for a wealthy businessman. It is a magnificent example of Rococo style architecture. It is considered to be one of the finest historic houses in the Marais. Through the years, Hotel Sale has been home to multiple families and institutions. In 1976 it was selected to be the location of the Picasso National Museum in Paris and it was restored to its former spacious state.

About Picasso

Pablo Picasso was born in 1881 and lived to be 92 years old. He was born and lived most of his early years in Spain. Most of his adult life was spent in France. He is one of the most influential and prolific artists of the 20th century, creating more than 13,000 pieces of art in his lifetime. He is widely considered the father of Cubism, although he worked in multiple styles and mediums throughout his life.

Women played an important role in Picasso's life and art. They are a recurring theme in the emotional and erotic expression of his work. Picasso was married twice, first to Olga Khokhlova in his early years in Paris. In his later years Picasso married Jaqueline Roque. They lived together in the south of France. Maria Theres Waller, Dora Maar and Franciose Gilot were lovers and muses that played a major role in his life and work. Two bore him children and all three are featured in some of his greatest pieces of art. Life in the orbit of Picasso was not easy. Khokhlova and Maar both suffered severe nervous breakdowns while Roque and Waller committed suicide.

Museum Highlights

The Picasso National Museum has a rotating calendar of non-permanent exhibitions, focusing on different aspects of his life and work. The goal of the museum is to give you a deeper appreciation of Picasso's life, beyond his famous masterpieces. As you wander through the museum, keep in mind that the art you are viewing is the works of art the Picasso choose to keep.

Some pieces to seek out when visiting the museum include the following. "Massacre in Korea," the third of his anti-war political cubism pieces, the most famous being his huge masterpiece Guernica (which resides at the Reina Sofia in Madrid). Picasso's "Self Portrait" during his Blue Period, is an excellent illustration of his early work, as is his "Portrait of Olga," the classical style portrait of his first wife. The "Portrait of Dora Maar" gives you insight into his Cubism Period. While "The Kiss" is a fine example of Surrealism. As you move through the exhibits, you are treated to the dynamic changes in his style and a visual illustration of the recurring theme of the female form throughout his life.

I have a long and well nurtured fascination with the life and works of Pablo Picasso. I first saw his work in a touring exhibition when I was a teenager. I viewed some of his most famous works and the work of many of the artists who were his early inspiration on visits to Madrid. I also experienced some of his early works at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona. The Picasso Museum in Paris added a chronological and personal perceptive to his masterpieces.

Detailed posts on day trips from Paris and what to eat in Paris will be coming out in the next few weeks. For notifications on these posts and access to my dining guides and packing lists sign up for my resource page with the link below.

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