Picasso’s Mougins home to become international art centre

picasso art centre

50 years after his death, the last home of legendary artist Pablo Picasso is being transformed by its current owner into an international art centre with an estimated price tag of €114 million.  

Painter, sculptor, designer and ceramist Pablo Picasso had an enormous influence on art in the 20th century. A long-time denizen of the south of France, the artist was prolific throughout his lifetime and never ceased to create, even in his later years.  

Now, a half century after his death, the owner of Picasso’s last home in Mougins, formerly known as Mas Notre-Dame-de-Vie, but now called Château de Vie, is undergoing a transformation even the great man himself would be astounded by.  

A global hub for artists and institutions

Current owner Rayo Withanage, the New Zealand billionaire who started Scepter, has laid bare his plans to convert the villa into a “global hub” where art will flourish through collaborations with “major artists and institutions from around the world”. 

Withanage, who bought the property complete with its 500-year-old olive groves and stunning orangery in a 2017 auction for €20 million, has pledged £100 million or €114 million to get the ball rolling on the project.  

“We invite the most iconic artists and creative institutions around the world to see the world as Picasso saw it, to work in his studio, and to consider the influence of his work,” he has said, adding that he envisions the villa to be a place where artists can work in-residence and that part of whatever proceeds are made from the sale of artworks will be donated to charities.  

Picasso’s time in Château de Vie coincided with some his happiest and most productive years. The house went to his wife Jacqueline Roque after his death in 1973. Jacqueline was bereft and reportedly left everything exactly as it had been the day he died, down to the place he last set down his reading glasses. She committed suicide in 1986. The villa then stood empty for 30 years.  


Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.