The Musée Picasso of modern art in the Chateau de Grimaldi in Antibes is a top cultural attraction and day-trip destination on the French Riviera.
The Musée Picasso in Antibes claims to have been the first museum dedicated to arguably the most famous artist of the twentieth century. The fairly small museum has around 250 artworks by Pablo Picasso including paintings, drawings, and ceramics. Works by other modern artists, especially Nicolas de Stael, Hans Hartung, and Anna-Eva Bergman are also on display. The museum is in the former Grimaldi Castle overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with marvelous views from the terrace where a few sculptures are exhibited. The Picasso Museum is a top day-trip destination from Nice and other French Riviera resort towns. Some may find the admission a bit steep for such a small museum.
The Picasso Museum in Antibes on the French Riviera
The Musée Picasso opened in 1966 in the former Château de Grimaldi overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Antibes. Picasso used the upper floors of the castle as a studio in 1946 and donated some works to the town. The collection was later enhanced by purchases and further bequests.
The Picasso Museum in Antibes has around 250 works by Picasso. However, many visitors may be disappointed, as fewer than 30 paintings are on display and these are not amongst his best-known works. Most were painted during his stay in Antibes and thus the museum gives a glimpse into a very short period rather than an overview of his artistic life and work.
Nonetheless, the paintings and a large number of drawings are clearly Picasso at work. The few ceramics on display are probably not his best efforts in this medium. English information sheets are available in each room.
On the lower floors of the chateau are works by other modern artists with several works by Nicolas de Stael, Hans Hartung, and Anna-Eva Bergman.
The terrace, with glorious views of the Côte d’Azur, has a few sculptures by modern artists including Miro and Germaine Richier.
Opening Hours and Tickets for the Picasso Museum in Antibes
The Musée Picasso Antibes is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm, closing for lunch from noon to 2 pm from mid-September to mid-June. In July and August, the museum is open until 8 pm on Wednesday and Friday.
Admission is €6 (free for under 18), which some may find a bit steep for such a small museum.
The museum is unlikely to convert anyone who does not like Picasso’s work but it is considered special by many who do, especially as the paintings were done on-site. The lovely Grimaldi Chateau, which partly dates to the fourteenth century, is best appreciated from the outside.
Antibes is easily reached by bus 200 from Nice and Cannes or by RER train from any other Côte d’Azur towns and Monaco. The museum is behind the market next to the cathedral – follow the castle or church towers to the waterfront. The old town and waterfront walks make Antibes a favorite day-trip destination from many French Riviera resorts.
Other single-artist museums on the Côte d’Azur include the Matisse Museum (free) and Marc Chagall National Museum in Nice.