Discover Picasso’s Legacy: An In-Depth Guide to the Picasso Museum in Paris’s Historic Marais

Photographic report produced in 2019 at the request of Phaidon for the latest 2020 edition of the Wallpaper City Guide – Paris.

You can buy the guide from the Paidon online store, Amazon or from your bookstore.

The Picasso Museum in Paris celebrates the artistic genius of Pablo Picasso, housed in the majestic Hôtel Salé in the Marais. It holds the world’s largest collection of Picasso’s works, with over 5,000 pieces and tens of thousands of archival items. The museum is unique as it showcases not only Picasso’s complete works in painting, sculpture, engraving, and illustration but also a detailed record of the artist’s creative process through sketches, studies, drafts, notebooks, etchings at various stages, photographs, illustrated books, films, and documents.

The Hôtel Salé itself is an attraction, described as one of the grandest and most extravagant Parisian mansions of the 17th century. Inside, there is a central staircase restored based on Michelangelo’s plans for the Laurentian Library in Florence, leading to the stucco and stone-adorned Jupiter salon.

The museum also houses an exceptional collection of furniture created by Diego Giacometti specifically for the Hôtel Salé, reflecting the artist’s delicate world. In addition to its artistic significance, the museum commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of Picasso’s death with exhibitions and events that offer new interpretations of his work.

Activity booklets are available for young visitors to guide them through the exhibitions, enhancing their experience with games and riddles. Following an enriching visit, guests can relax at the museum’s Rooftop Café, which provides stunning views over the Marais and a sweet respite. The garden behind the Hôtel Salé is another highlight, especially during the summer months.

Lastly, visiting the Picasso Museum is an opportunity to explore the Marais district, brimming with cultural treasures and a testament to Paris’s aristocratic architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries.