The newly reopened Musée Picasso took 5 years renovate, but it was worth the wait. The minimalist exhibition spaces are triple the size of the former space, and easier to navigate than the old cubist arrangement of rooms.
And while there is still only room for a fraction of the collection to be displayed, the selection of works and their organization highlight the breadth and the originality of Picasso’s work.
High-ceilinged, well-lit rooms, laid out chronologically, represent key periods in Picasso’s career. Works include large preparatory paintings for Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon; the early modern collage Still Life with Chair Caning; important Cubist paintings Man with Guitar and Man with Mandolin; and exceptional assemblages, decoupages and constructions from the artist’s Cubist period.
The first floor held some of my favorite works in close proximity: Femmes à Leur Toilette, a large, gorgeous mural of wallpaper cutouts and gouache on canvas; Violon, made from sheet iron and wire; and the sumptuous pastel portrait, Olga Pensive.
Connecting the lower floors are the building’s stunning Baroque double stair and stuccoed hallways.
Short flights of wooden stairs lead to the top floor, where low-ceilinged, wooden-beamed galleries display Picasso’s collection: Cézanne’s brilliant Chateau Noir, landscapes and portraits by Corot, a Chardin still life, and stunning works by Miro, Modligiani, Matisse and Renoir.
From bottom to top, the museum is a treat.