Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Well, that darn weather report was right--this is what we woke up to this morning.  

The view from our kitchen window--VERY wet and VERY windy:

We both were up early, at 5:30, and as usual we relaxed with several cups of coffee, read the news online, and had our usual scrambled eggs, baguette and fresh fruit breakfast.

David was my hero--he walked to our neighborhood bakery in the POURING down rain to get a fresh baguette!

Luckily, we had an indoor activity planned for today--The Musee de Picasso.  I've wanted to visit since my first visit in 2001, but it has been closed for several years for renovation.  Finally, it reopened on October 25th of this year.

I bought tickets before leaving home, as I had read stories of 2 hour long waits for tickets.  We hate to wait in line!

We left our apartment plenty early, and we got there about 40 minutes ahead of our 12:30 entrance time.  We asked if we could enter early, and the answer was "non".  Darn!  As it was still raining, we didn't want to stand around for 40 minutes, so we walked back to a small cafe that we had noticed about a block away.  It was a charming, tiny "salon de tea", each table had a bouquet of fresh roses in a teapot.  We ordered a couple of coffees and relaxed until close to our entrance time.

This time we didn't have to wait at all; we were ushered right in, they scanned our tickets and off we went to explore Picasso!

WOW--what a collection this is!  The pieces in this museum were mostly donated by the Picasso family, and they range in time from about 1901 until his death in 1973.  There is also an exhibit featuring Picasso's personal collection of other artists' work--he had a nice collection of Matisse, Modigliani, Renoir, Chagall, Miro, Degas and others I have forgotten--it was pretty impressive!

We both really enjoyed this museum--I've always been a big fan of Picasso's work, and I think David is now, too!

Here are just a few of the highlights:

Man with a straw hat and  ice-cream cone, 1938

Portrait of Marie Therese, 1937  (Marie Therese was his mistress)

Boy with a crayfish,     Doesn't he look pleased with himself?

Who knew Picasso used "found objects" is his sculptural work?  I loved these three sculptures using every-day found objects:

The Little Owl, using tools, metal objects, nails, screws and plaster.  1951

Valiauris, 1951.  Note the old shovel head used for the tail feathers, and a wing-nut for a top knot!

This was my favorite--he used two toy cars for the baboon's face, and a pottery urn for the body--genius!

Baboon with youngster, 1951

Close up of the baboon's face:

This piece was HUGE--it covered an entire large wall of a gallery room.  It's an odd combination of decoupage technique and painting.  He has used pieces of old wallpaper in some areas:

Women in the Bathroom, 1937-1938

Close up of one of the faces, made with some old wallpaper, embellished with oil paints.

Head of a Bull, 1942.  It's a bicycle seat and handlebars!  David spotted it right away…...

I liked his series of sculptures of women's heads/faces.  They were strange and lovely.

Head of a Women, 1931  Bronze  This was very large--4-5 feet tall?

Another large "Head of a Women"

Yet another large "Head of a Women"  It's amazing how he managed to capture such expression in such an odd way.  This piece was the plaster study for the large bronze piece, above.

For all of his strange and  wonderful pieces, there are an equal number of beautiful and more classic portraits.  This one is "Portrait of Madam Rosenbaum and Her Daughter",   1918

And one of his famous Harlequin series

Paul as a Harlequin, 1924  Paul was one of Picasso's sons

Portrait of Francoise, 1943  (Another of Picasso's many mistresses)

Another "Portrait of Francoise"

Woman and Child, 1961  I really like this one!  It's big--about 5 feet tall.

This was my favorite sculptural piece.  Matt, we were mighty tempted to make a name tag, but we resisted!

My very favorite painting in the museum:  Portrait of Dora Maar  1937

After about 2 1/2 hours, we were both reaching maximum sensory overload!  I did a quick cruise through the gift shop before we left, and then we roamed around the nearby streets looking for a nice spot for lunch.  We made a lucky choice, and enjoyed another long, leisurely lunch with wine!

Here's David:

We ordered two classic French dishes to share, along with a carafe of great French wine.

Lentils with pork and sausage--the lentils were so good, the ham was smokey, and the sausages were great:

Sausage with aligot.  Aligot is a traditional French potato dish, made with whipped potatoes, cheese and lots of cream.  It has an odd consistency kind of like wall-paper paste--but it is really, really delicious.

By the time we finished our lunch, it was almost 4 pm.   It was still raining and very windy, so we decided to call it a day.  We Metro's back to our neighborhood, making a quick stop at the bakery for  a fresh baguette and a desert to share later.

We didn't really have dinner tonight, just a snack of some cheese and a baguette.

We did share this yummy heart shaped cake, though.  

Mmmmmmm, good!

It was wet, windy and wonderful day in Paris.  And it's a good night to relax in our little apartment, listening to the rain on the roof.

Good Night from Paris!


  1. I'm SO jealous that I didn't get to go the the Picasso museum! It looks amazing.

  2. It WAS amazing, Matt! Maybe someday……….