Where’s Picasso?

Le Pigeon aux Petit Pois

It’s getting harder to see Picasso in Paris by the minute. The Picasso Museum, one of my favorites, is closed for renovations—something I read about in the 2010 Rick Steves’ Paris before leaving for Paris. Plus, I learned that during the renovation work last summer, a red sketchbook with 33 Picasso drawings was stolen. So there are fewer Picassos available in the world for us to admire.
Looking for other Picassos in Paris, I found a recommendation in Frommer’s to see Picasso’s “Dove with Green Peas”, saying it was not to be missed at the Modern Art Museum.” But wait, this was the painting that was stolen last month. In May, 2010 the Modern Art Museum was burgled by a lone masked thief who sheared off a gate padlock and broken a window to get into the gallery. The stolen works, part of the museum’s permanent collection, were “Dove With Green Peas” by Picasso, “La Pastorale” by Matisse, “Olive Tree Near l’Estaque” by Georges Braque, “Woman With a Fan” by Amedeo Modigliani and “Still Life With Chandeliers” by Fernand Léger.

Tete d'homme moustachu

This week the Modern Art Museum reopened so we went for a visit—surely they must have additional Picassos lying about somewhere.
The museum’s permanent collection is free to the public—a wonderful treat; admission to the visiting collection is 9E. We entered a cavernous gallery with a painting at the very end of the room and as we approached we noticed that the guard was dozing. I’m not sure if this had anything to do with the theft. But who could blame the poor guard, sitting quietly iby himself all day long in an empty room?

We strolled through the Paris School in Gallery 8 with Pierre Bonnard, Raoul Dufy, and Amedeo Modigliani. We passed through the Decorative Arts gallery overlooking the Seine with furniture and decorative arts from the 1930s. At the end of our museum tour, we came to a single Picasso, a painting in grays, browns and blacks called “Tete d’homme Moustachu.” I guess the burglar forgot this one or perhaps wasn’t crazy about the colors.

We plan to continue our Picasso search later during our visit at the Orsay.

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