If you like Picasso, you have presently two opportunities to admire the painter’s works in Paris. Firstly the exhibition Picasso.mania taking place in the Grand Palais until 29 February 2015; and secondly the exhibition !Picasso¡ in the Musée Picasso which is in fact a new display of the museum’s collections.
I have not seen the first one yet as it pulls a crowd and I do not really like standing about and prefer to admire paintings at my pace. I will wait for a more favourable moment by the end of the exhibition which is planned on 29 February 2015. However I went yesterday to the Musée Picasso and saw the exhibition !Picasso¡ and I loved it! Despite the school holidays I did not have to queue at all… as I went there at lunch time: 1pm is often a good time to visit frequented places while tourists are having lunch!
!Picasso¡ is not really an exhibition but a new display of the museum’s collections made on the occasion of the 30th birthday of the Musée Picasso which was inaugurated in October 1985. More works (1000 instead of 400), a lively visit thanks to the display of many other archive documents (photographies, letters, newspaper articles,…), and a very clear display with concise texts of explanation in three languages (French, English and Spanish) in each room.
On the basement, in vaulted cellars, the history of the museum; On the groundfloor (1897-1921) and first level (1922-1973), the ‘main course’ with the display of the major works in chronological order and some thematic groupings. But my favourite are the last two floors: The level 2 is dedicated to ‘Picasso, public figure’. And the level 3 to ‘Picasso, intimate’. On both floors less reknown paintings and a lot of other objects are exhibited and reveal more personal and intimate aspects of the so-famous artist. In the same time one climbs in the upper floors of the Hôtel Salé in rooms of smaller dimension to end in the attic where one can admire superb wooden beams and the feeling of getting closer to Picasso turns out to be strengthened!
I have really appreciated to visit again the Musée Picasso where I had not been since its reopening one year ago and to discover the beautiful renovation of the Hôtel Salé and the new exhibition rooms especially in the attic. The closing of the museum for renovation works during five years was really worth it!
And if you still have some time after visiting the museum I suggest that you have a look to the museum shop which is located on the opposite side of the rue de Thorigny: really pleasant to buy some souvenirs or presents.
Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B – www.goodmorningparis.fr
Practical information: Musée Picasso – 5 rue de Thorigny 75003 Paris