Picasso Museum in Antibes
In 1946 Picasso spent a joyous year in Antibes using the 2nd floor of this magnificent chateau as his workshop, and at the end of that year gave several important works to the city, including 44 drawings and 23 paintings, among them some of his most famous works. During this time Picasso worked with a reduced palette of only 12 colors, using only the paint he could buy at the local hardware store, the same paint that the fishermen used for their boats!
How to get there: From Nice, you can take the bus #620 for 2.50€ which will take an hour, or take the train for around 5€ which will take 30 minutes. The Picasso Museum is in the Old Town on the seaside.
Hours: Summer (June 15-Sept. 15) 10am-6pm, plus open late on Tuesdays and Fridays in July and August until 8pm. Winter Hours: 10am-noon then 2pm-6pm. Closed Mondays; plus Jan. 1, May 1, Nov. 1, and Christmas.
Tickets: 8€ for adults, but reduced to 6€ for seniors over 65, students and teachers with institution ID. Free for children under 18, and handicapped persons.
Free Days: First Sunday of each month, plus twice a year there are entire free weeks: The first full week in November (Tuesday through Sunday) and the first full week in February (Tuesday through Sunday).
Picasso War and Peace Museum in Vallauris
While you’re in the area, why not go have another Picasso experience and go see the Picasso War and Peace Museum in Vallauris? It’s a one-room experience, displaying two monumental works on opposite sides of a long medieval arched tunnel.
Picasso lived in Vallauris for 7 years, between 1948-55. Vallauris is known for its pottery and this became Picasso’s ceramic period, working at the ceramic workshop Madoura (where he met Jacqueline Roque who would become his 2nd and last wife). In the summer of ’52 he took over the Formas, an old perfume factory that as his studio and spent the entire summer shut away working on two monumental paintings, War and Peace, specifically to display in this little chapel. They are mounted on opposite sides of a medieval arched tunnel, War on one side and Peace on the other. It was meant to be seen by torchlight, so the one night of the year that you can see it as it was intended is the Night of the Museums in May, when the lights are cut and every visitor gets a flashlight.
How to get there: From Antibes, just take the local bus to Vallauris (ask at the tourist office) which will take 15 minutes, or take the train to the next stop and get off at Golf Juan. The Picasso Museum of War and Peace is at the Place de la Liberation. The Bus #620 from Nice also stops in Vallauris.
Hours: Summer (July through August) 10am-12:30 then 2pm-6:30, 7 days a week. Winter Hours: 10am-noon then 2pm-5pm, closed Tuesdays in winter; plus Jan. 1, May 1, and Christmas.
Tickets: 6€, but reduced to 3€ for seniors over 65, students and teachers with institution ID. Free for children under 18, and young adults under 26 that reside in the European Union. You can also tour the Madoura Pottery Studio where Picasso created his ceramics; And the Ceramics Museum; tickets are sold at the same ticket booth.
Free Days: First Sunday of each month.
Picasso on the Cote d’Azur
A great resource with much more on travelling in the steps of Picasso is this great site I Travel With Art – Picasso.
Click here for more on Picasso’s life, including his long and rather twisted history with the Cote d’Azur. Also check out this blog post on the Picasso Affair, the local scandal revolving around a retired electrician and his mysterious suitcase packed with previously unknown Picassos!
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Photo credits: Musee Picasso by Ecce Art, licensed under creative commons