See the Largest Picasso Art Museum in Paris

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by Henk Bekker

in France, N24, Paris

Visit the Musée National Picasso-Paris to see the world’s largest museum collection of Pablo Picasso art including over 250 paintings and 220 sculptures.

Visit the Musée National Picasso-Paris to see the world's largest museum collection of Pablo Picasso art including 300 paintings and 400 sculptures.
© Musée national Picasso-Paris / Succession Picasso 2024

The National Picasso Museum in Paris has over 3,700 artworks by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The Musée Picasso-Paris in a lavish city palace in the Marais area, show works in rotating exhibitions. Usually, the main exhibition changes every three years or so while smaller thematic exhibitions are staged a few times per year. The Picasso Museum is very popular but not particularly spacious, so buy tickets in advance and visit early morning but best not on Tuesdays.

Musée National Picasso-Paris

Autoportrait (1901) in the Picasso Museum Paris
© Succession Picasso 2024

The Musée National Picasso-Paris was established in 1985 in the popular Marais district in the mid-17th-century Hôtel Salé, a building with which Picasso had no prior connection.

“Picasso’s Picassos” form the core of the collection. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) kept much of his own art throughout his long career and many of these works were given to the French state in lieu of paying inheritance taxes.

The collection expanded through further donations and acquisitions and currently consists of over 5,000 artworks. Of these, around 3,700 are by Picasso including works on paper, ceramics, sculptures (c. 220), and paintings (c. 250).

Picasso personally owned many artworks by other artists and the collection currently includes, for example, 8 paintings by Matisse and 7 by Renoir. He also had an extensive collection of sculptures from Africa and Oceania.

Much of the Picasso archives of over 200,000 items are now available digitally for free.

To put the size of the Picasso Museum’s art in context: the combined Picasso collection of around 20 other public art institutions in France is only 185 artworks, of which 72 are in the National Modern Art Museum (Pompidou) and 12 in the Orangerie.

Visit the Picasso Museum in Paris

L’Homme au mouton in the Picasso Museum Paris
© Succession Picasso 2024

The Picasso Museum is spread over five floors. Visitors follow a one-way route through the three floors of the semi-permanent collection from the first to the top floor and down back to the ground floor. Smaller temporary exhibitions are usually on the ground and below-ground floors.

The current main exhibition is The Collection: Seeing Picasso Again. It is in place from March 2024 until mid-2027. Some works may rotate during this period while smaller temporary exhibitions illustrate the influence Picasso had on other artists but also how others influenced his work.

This exhibition of almost 400 works is spread through 22 rooms and includes paintings, sculptures, assemblages, ceramics, drawings, and prints from all periods. It also includes paintings by artists such as Henri Matisse and Paul Cézanne and many sculptures from Africa and Oceania.

The presentation is mainly chronological but some special themes are also emphasized. A special room is filled with paintings by Francoise Gilot.

Some of the works on display include:

  • Autoportrait, 1901
  • Autoportrait, 1906
  • Portrait d’Olga Khokhlova dans un fauteuil, 1918
  • La Flûte de Pan, 1923
  • La Nageuse, 1929
  • Figures au bord de la mer, 1931
  • Portrait de Marie-Thérèse Walter, 1937
  • L’Homme au mouton, 1943
  • Le Jeune Peintre, 1972

Picasso Museum Paris Visitor Information

The Musée National Picasso-Paris (National Museum) was established in 1985 in the popular Marais district in the mid-17th-century Hôtel Salé, a building with which Picasso had no prior connection.
© pascalegueret / Depositphotos

Musée Picasso Paris Opening Hours

The Picasso Museum in Paris is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 18:00 with exhibition halls closing from 17:40 onwards.

On the first Wednesday of each month, the Picasso Museum is open until 22:00.

The museum is closed all Mondays, 1 January, 1 May, and 25 December.

The museum is relatively small inside so it gets crowded easily in peak periods. The best time to visit the Picasso Museum in Paris is early morning or late afternoon on weekdays. Avoid Tuesdays when the Louvre is closed and the Picasso Museum is often busier than on weekends.

Tickets for the Picasso Museum in Paris

Tickets for the Picasso Museum in Paris are €16 for adults — it may be cheaper if parts of the museum are closed for changing temporary exhibitions.

Admission is free for children under 18 and EU nationals under 26 years old. A special family deal is €12 for an adult visiting with a child under 18 — maximum two adults per child.

The museum is free on the first Sunday of the month — time-slot reservations are not possible.

Time-slot reservations are sensible if offered when buying tickets. Time-slot reservations and advance purchase tickets are not available for any free or discounted admissions — such tickets must be obtained in person at the museum on the day of the visit.

Transportation to the Musée National Picasso-Paris

The Musée national Picasso-Paris, 5 rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris, is at the edge of the popular Marais area. The closest metro stops are all a few blocks away from the museum: Saint-Paul on line 1 or Chemin Vert and Saint-Sébastien-Froissart.

Buy Online Tickets for Top Museums in Paris

It is possible to buy tickets online for most museums and top sights in Paris. Time-slot reservations are highly advisable and generally a sound investment. Also, look for discounts if buying more than one ticket from the same reseller:

Henk Bekker in armor

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years of experience writing online. He is particularly interested in history, art, and culture. He has lived most of his adult life in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. In addition to European-Traveler.com, he also owns a travel website on the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland and maintains statistical websites on car sales and classic car auction prices. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of London.

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