I thought I would go back to my Paris photos to give you a post about the Picasso Museum which we visited on the weekend. It re-opened in October last year after a £44 million, 5 year refurbishment (and much hype). Having fond memories of a visit to the museum over 6 years ago, I was excited to see the transformation. I confess that I am not a huge Picasso fan, but came away from my last visit with a new appreciation for the breadth and vast quantities of his work so felt it was worth another tour.
We were advised by my Parisian friends to go early on Sunday morning to avoid the crowds, about half an hour after opening so that the initial queue that typically forms before opening has time to go through the ticket hall. The timing was indeed perfect and we didn’t have to wait more than 20 minutes. Half an hour later when we peered into the central courtyard it was entirely full with visitors waiting to get in.
I have to admit however that I was somewhat disappointed with the exhibit. There was no commentary whatsoever to put his work in context, or describe its innovations, nor was the work arranged chronologically so a progression and development in his style could be observed. A seemingly random room of paintings by Cezanne, Miro and Renoir was not explained, and I only learnt later that some were gifts and others were part of his own personal collection. The rooms don’t flow easily together and I found myself constantly wondering if I had missed something, or needed to walk up or down a staircase to continue the exhibition. I don’t believe I was the only one with this problem as people seemed to be walking in all directions on all floors!
That said, the Marais mansion in which the museum is housed, built in the 1650s, still made the visit worthwhile. The museum has been extended to include a beautiful stair hall (photos included), and up into the roof space where the original timber beams are exposed, and all of this has been carefully undertaken.