Picasso et la Préhistoire

Picasso and Prehistory

Until 12/06/2023
Paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics and engraved pebbles... The "Picasso and Prehistory" exhibition, presented as a complement to the "Arts and Prehistory" exhibition, reveals how Prehistory has nourished the Spanish artist's work.

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Born in 1881, two years after the discovery of the first prehistoric paintings in Spain in the Altamira cave, Pablo Picasso was, like his contemporaries, fascinated by this original Paleolithic cave art, endowed with a remarkable realism and modernity.

This aestheticism was part of an artistic revival marked by cubist and surrealist experiments, of which Picasso was one of the leading figures.

Did the artist visit the prehistoric sites revealed at the beginning of the 20th century, admire the sublime frescoes decorating the Lascaux or Chauvet caves, the Venus of Lespugue discovered in 1922… ? There is no formal evidence but the effervescence of this period is reflected in some of the artist's works, of which some 40 are on display, creations that date from the inter-war period and which are presented exclusively. The exhibition also allows us to discover, for the very first time, a collection of animal skulls and bones previously kept in the artist's studios.

Artistic resonances

Picasso seems to perpetuate in his paintings, engravings, sculptures and drawings, the gestures of the past, like so many resonances with the creations of the first artists. He detours natural objects such as stones that he transforms into skulls or beach pebbles that he enriches with different engraved faces. He gives us his very personal version of a modern day goddess with the "Gas Venus " created in 1945 from a gas burner.

A fascinating artistic exploration to be discovered in addition to the exhibition Arts and Prehistory presented at the Musée de l'Homme until 22 May 2023.

The exhibition is part of the "Picasso Celebration 1973-2023".

More exhibitions in Paris Region.

You will enjoy discovering the Lascaux cave in virtual-reality at the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine.

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Community facilities

Access and contact

17 Place du Trocadéro
75016 Paris 16ème

Days and opening hours

From 08/02 to 12/06/2023 between 11 am and 7 pm except on May 1st. Closed on Tuesday. Last entry at 6.15pm Closed on the morning of 25 June.


  • Full price: 13 €, Reduced price: 10 €.
    Free entry for children < 25 years.
    The admission ticket gives access to the permanent collection and the temporary exhibitions.


Spoken languages

  • French
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Musée de l'Homme
17 Place du Trocadéro
75016 Paris 16ème

  • Copyright image:
  • RMN – Grand Palais