Picasso Museum, Paris, (Hotel Salé, 1659)
The Musée Picasso is an art gallery located in the Hôtel Salé in rue de Thorigny, in the Marais district of Paris, France, dedicated to the work of the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881–1973).
The hôtel particulier that house the collection was built between 1656 and 1659 for Pierre Aubert, seigneur de Fontenay, a tax farmer who became rich collecting the gabelle or salt tax (the name of the building means “salted”). The architect was Jean Boullier from Bourges, also known as Boullier de Bourges; sculpture was carried out by the brothers Gaspard and Balthazard Marsy and by Martin Desjardins.It is considered to be one of the finest historic houses in the Marais.
The mansion has changed hands several times by sale or inheritance. The occupants have included the Embassy of the Republic of Venice (1671), then François de Neufville, duc de Villeroi; it was expropriated by the State during the French Revolution; in 1815 it became a school, in which Balzac studied; before housing the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in 1829. It also housed the municipal École des Métiers d’Art. It was acquired by the City of Paris in 1964, and was granted historical monument status in 1968. The mansion was restored by Bernard Vitry and Bernard Fonquernie of the Monuments Historiques in 1974–1980.
The Hotel Salé was selected for the Musée Picasso after some contentious civic and national debate. A competition was held to determine who would design the facilities. The proposal from Roland Simounet was selected in 1976 from amongst the four that were submitted. Other proposals were submitted by Roland Castro and the GAU (Groupement pour l’Architecture et l’Urbanisme), Jean Monge, and Carlo Scarpa. For the most part, the interior of the mansion (which had undergone significant modifications) was restored to its former spacious state.