Based on an astonishing investigation led by historian Annie Cohen-Solal, this exhibition aims to take a whole new look at one of the most famous artists in the world: Pablo Picasso.

pablo picasso l'étranger exhibition

The difficult beginnings of Picasso

Do you think you know everything about Picasso, the legendary artist of the 20th century? No work has aroused as much passion, debate, and controversy as his. But who is aware today of the obstacles that paved the way for the young artist, convinced of his genius, who arrived in Paris in 1900 without speaking a word of French? Why, in 1940, when he was celebrated all over the world, was his application for French naturalization refused? Why did his work remain invisible in the museums of his host country until 1947? These are some of the questions raised by the Picasso exhibition.

A status of foreigner in France

It is a question of showing, behind the myth of Picasso, the brakes to which his status of “étranger” (“foreigner”) intended him with the help of documents, archival films, photographs but also works of art brought together for the first time thanks to an important research work carried out by historian Annie Cohen-Solal.

6 years of researches

It took six years for Annie Cohen-Solal to carry out her research in untapped archive funds and discover the anomalies, discrepancies and scandals that awaited Picasso in France, from his arrival until 1945, a country then still particularly xenophobic. For forty years, the artist was considered an anarchist, a stranger: the police even prepared a case against him barely a year after his arrival. Picasso preferred to go into exile in the South in 1955, preferring the sunny days to the hatred of others with which he rubbed shoulders in Paris. The exhibition, which brings together loans from numerous French and foreign museums and private collections, reveals a hidden face of Picasso and establishes a new link between the archives and the artist’s works.

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