Paris - Ile De France

Hôtel Salé, home to the Picasso Museum

This page was updated on: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at: 6:03 pm

Hôtel Salé, a mansion built with money from the salt tax

Pierre Aubert, Lord of Fontenay, made a fortune between 1632 and 1656 while he was in charge of collecting the royal tax on salt.

Quite unscrupulous, he indeed diverted part of the funds to finance his lifestyle and the construction of a mansion.

The Hôtel de Fontenay, one of the finest mansions in the Marais, was completed in 1659.

However, the origin of his owner’s quick and unorthodox access to wealth led people to nickname the mansion Hôtel Salé (salty).

But ill-gotten money never profits!

Pierre Aubert was summoned to trial for money embezzlement and his mansion seized in 1663; he died ruined!

However, the prime location of Hôtel Salé attracted many buyers.

Sadly, not only did it change hands several times over time, but it also had various uses.

It was indeed converted in dwellings, then housed various institutions and its layout was several times altered to fit these various purposes.

This lasted until the 1960s when the Marais was declared Secteur Protégé (protected area).

Many exceptional mansions, including the Hotel Salé, were then listed historical monuments.

Hôtel Salé becomes the home of the Picasso Museum

The Hôtel Salé is indeed considered one of the finest mansions in the Marais.

The City of Paris bought it in 1964 and restored it to its original splendour in the 1970-80s.

It also commissioned the architect Roland Simounet with the interior changes, in respect for its architecture, to accommodate the Picasso collections.

Giacometti especially created most of the furniture (chandeliers, benches, chairs and tables).

The Picasso Museum opened to the public on September 28, 1985.

Picasso Museum

Pablo Picasso died in 1973 and left a major work that included about 40,000 of his creations, but also those of his friends Braque, Miro, Matisse and Derain to name a few ...

His heirs freed themselves from the rights of succession by endowing paintings, sculptures, ceramics etc ... to the museum.

They also donated several pieces to the French State for the Louvre Museum.

However, those never reached the Louvre, as Picasso’s friends came together to start the Hôtel Salé's fabulous collection.

Picasso’s widow bequeathed more art works to the museum in 1990, and Picasso's personal archives were donated to the State in 1992.

The Picasso Museum thus became the repository for most of the artist’s works.

It was also enlarged and refurbished in recent years to triple the exhibition space.

The Picasso Museum reopened to the public on October 25, 2014 after 20 months of work.

It gathers and exhibits more than 500 works by Picasso that are spread on 4 floors and illustrate his different artistic phases.

A visit not to miss!

Directions: 3rd district – 5 rue de Thorigny
Coordinates: Lat 48.860146 - Long 2.362264

March 27 2020

Garde Republicaine, Paris’ emblematic Gendarmerie force

Garde Republicaine, Paris’ emblematic Gendarmerie force renowned for its Calvary regiment, is in charge of the security of the city and the public
Bust of the composer Lully and ex-voto in Notre Dame des Victoires Basilica

March 5 2020

Notre Dame des Victoires Basilica

Notre Dame des Victoires , a church Louis XIII dedicated to his victories over the Huguenots, but mostly to the Virgin in thanks for the birth of Louis XIV
Hotel Sale - Picasso Museum - Café à Royan - 1940 Cubism

February 19 2020

Hôtel Salé, home to the Picasso Museum

Hôtel Salé, one of the finest mansions in the Marais built with money collected from the salt tax, hence its name, is today home to the Picasso Museum
Passerelle Leopold-Sedar-Senghor with the Tuileries in the background

January 24 2020

Passerelle Leopold-Sedar-Senghor named after a Senegalese stateman

Passerelle Solférino was renamed Passerelle Leopold-Sedar-Senghor to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Senegalese politician’s birth

Sign up to our newsletter

Travel France Online will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates via our newsletter. By selecting the boxes on the form you confirm your acceptance to receive our newsletter.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at admin@travelfranceonline.com

We will treat your information with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy page