And if you opt to go on the free first Sunday of the month - you can expect what can only be called a 'mob scene' at the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, or any of the major venues. Indeed, the salons of the Louvre seemed more like packed rush hour metro stations than a museum on a couple of my visits.
So after a few weeks of this I decided to begin seeking out some of the lesser known museums of Paris in an effort to find a little breathing space and calm as I strolled thru the exhibits. And fortunately there are quite a few of these smaller museums scattered around the city which definitely offer a less "sardine-like" experience to the crowd weary visitor.
The Musée Zadkine occupies the house where the sculptor lived with his wife, the French artist Valentine Prax, until his death in 1967. And a visit to this small museum is the perfect antidote for anyone seeking a break from the throngs elsewhere.
Located at 100 bis Rue d'Assas, it is situated behind a quite unremarkable industrial building which belies the existence of anything artistic nearby. But just to the left of this building (if you're facing it) you will find a small - seemingly private - driveway. Follow this to the rear of the building and voilà - you arrive at a quaint two-story house (itself a rarity in apartment building dense Paris) with a small sculpture garden displaying several of Zakine's works.
The museum occupies the ground floor of the house and all of the work studio on the other side of the sculpture garden. And while small - the collection is excellent. In-fact, on display is Zadkine's Torse de Pomone - a wood sculpture and one of the most extraordinary and captivating examples of Cubism I've ever seen. It alone is worth a visit. And along with Zakine's work you will also find several pieces by his wife - as well as a rotating repertoire of visiting artists.
Sitting in the sculpture garden of this little gem, you would never know that a big, frenetic city is close by. A visit here is like entering another place and time. And in a sense - that is exactly what you've done. Admission to the house is €4 - or you could simply visit the studio portion and sculpture garden for free.
It's not to be missed.