Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris was published on the occasion of the first full retrospective of Picasso’s oeuvre ever to be held in San Francisco, featuring more than 150 masterpieces by the artist from the permanent collection of the Musée National Picasso, Paris. The Musée Picasso, which opened in 1985 in the 17th-century Hôtel Salé in the Marais district, serves as the repository for nearly 3,600 pieces from the artist’s personal collection that passed to the French government following his death in 1973. Ranging from informal sketchbooks to finished masterpieces, this unique collection of “Picasso’s Picassos” provides ample proof of the artist’s assertion that “I am the greatest collector of Picassos in the world.”
Picasso is widely acknowledged as the most gifted and influential artist of the 20th century. This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition and publication display paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints drawn from every phase of the artist’s extraordinary career, including masterpieces of Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Offering insight into Picasso’s innovative working processes, these works provide eloquent testimony to his role as a protean figure who not only created and contributed to new art forms and movements but also forever transformed the very definition of art itself.