At Essential Sailing, we love the history, culture and cuisine of the places we visit almost as much as the sailing to get there. Our Captain’s Blog brings you a taste of what to expect from our luxury crewed sailing holidays around the French and Italian Riviera. In this blog we admire the finest art collection in the Musée Picasso
Sit back and be inspired.
Picasso once had a studio inside Antibes’ old, seafront Chateau Grimaldi. Today, the Musée Picasso houses one of the world’s finest collections of his works on the French Riviera.
The Grimaldi family ruled for centuries from this beautiful 13th to 16th century castle, constructed following the design of an ancient Roman fort. In 1928, the city of Antibes bought the castle to house its Museum of Art, History and Archaeology. When Pablo Picasso returned to his beloved Mediterranean in 1946, after spending the war years in Paris, he found that he had nowhere suitable to work so the Mayor of Antibes lent him a room in Château Grimaldi.
After the melancholy of the war, Piccaso’s work here took on a new dimension, reflecting the joie de vivre of the Mediterranean, bathed in sunny colours and incandescent light. He combined his bold new techniques with ancient themes and mythical images, creating such masterpieces as Le Centaur et le Navire, Ulysée et les Sirènes, Nu Couché au Lit Bleu and his famous Antipolis or La Joie de Vivre.
Although Picasso spent only six months working here, it was one of his most prolific phases. In gratitude, he donated the complete works of this period to the castle museum, together with a lively collection of tapestries, sculptures and over 150 ceramics designed at nearby Vallauris.
Most of his works can be found on the first floor of the castle Musée Picasso, while the ground floor contains photographs of the great master at work. Works by his contemporaries, including Léger, Ernst and Hartung, hang on the second floor in Picasso’s former studio, and the sunny terrace overhanging the Mediterranean French Riviera provides an amusing location for stone and bronze sculptures by Miró, Richier and Pagès, displayed among cacti, trees and flowers.