From Grimaldi Castle to Picasso museum
A residence for bishops back in the Middle Ages (from 442 to 1385), the place then hosted the famous Monegasque family which gave it its name : Grimaldi Castle. Then stronghold of the King's governor, it became a city-hall in 1792, and eventually a barrack in 1820.
The birth of the Picasso museum
In 1923, Romuald Dor de la Souchère began his archaeological field work in Antibes, and in 1924, he founded the society "Amis du musée d'Antibes", whose goal was to establish a History and Archaeology Museum, and worked to make sure that the Past of the region gained some renown.
In 1925, the castle was bought by the city of Antibes and became the Grimaldi Museum, with as its first curator, Romuald Dor de la Souchère himself. It became a historical monument on August 28th, 1928.
The Grimaldi castle became Pablo Picasso’s art studio, then the Picasso Museum.
In 1946, Dor de la Souchère offered Picasso the opportunity of using a part of the castle as a studio
Autumn came and Picasso, very enthusiastic, worked at the castle for two months straight, and made a great many works, drawings and paintings. After his stay, he left to the city no fewer than 23 paintings and 44 drawings. And among them, the famous:La joie de vivre, Satyre, Faune et centaure au trident, Le gobeur d'oursins, La femme aux oursins, Nature morte à la chouette et aux trois oursins, la Chèvre...
On September, 7th, 1948, Picasso gave to the collection 78 ceramics that he had made at the at the Madoura studio in Vallauris.
On December, 26th, 1966, as a tribute to Picasso, the Grimaldi Castle officially became the Picasso Museum, the first ever museum dedicated to the artist. And finally, in 1991, Jaqueline Picasso's gift in kind enabled the enhancement of the Picasso collections.
The other works presented at the Antibes Picasso museum
Nicolas de Staël's artworks exhibited at the Museum are a testimony of the time the artist spent in Antibes, between September 1954 and March 1955. A first donation to the Museum was made by his widow after the exhibition dedicated to the artist in 1955, and from 1982, the City acquired major later artworks.
In 2001, a donation made by the Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergman Foundation enabled the opening of two more rooms on the first floor of the Museum. A permanent exhibition allows a wander through each artist’s work.
A must-see in the Museum : the work of Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergman. Top that with a rich modern art collection made from either extraordinary donations by artists whom exposed at one time at the Museum, or purchases made in order to represent the major art trends of the XXth and early XXIth century : Atlan, Balthus, Ben, Bioules, Bloch, Buraglio, Bury, Calder, Cane, Castellas, César, Chillida, Clavé, Combas, Corneille, Crotti, Debré, Dezeuze, Ernst, Gleizes, Goetz, Hantaï, Jaccard, Klein, Leppien, Magnelli, Malaval, Mansouroff, Mathieu, Meurice, Modigliani, Music, Picabia, Pincemin, Raynaud, Raysse, Sarkis, Soulages, Spoerri, Viallat...
The Castle terrace permanently hosts a remarkable exhibition of sculptures made by Germaine Richier, Joan Miró, Bernard Pagès, Anne and Patrick Poirier..
The opening times of museum
The Picasso Museum opens every day except Monday. It also closes on January 1st, May 1st, November 1st, and December 25th.
September, 16th – June, 14th : 10:00 am – 01:00 pm / 02:00 pm – 06:00 pm
June, 15th – September, 15th : 10:00am – 06:00 pm
Tills close at 12:30pm and 05:00pm.