Top 5 Art Museums In France

By • Feb 27th, 2014 • Category: Tourism

Art lovers who visit France have more than 100 museums to put on their itinerary. Paris alone has more than 40. Whether you are in Paris, Marseille in the northern part of France or by the beaches near Normandy, you can spend inordinate hours absorbing the culture of art.

La Pyramide du Louvre

Louvre, Paris – Flickr Commons License

1) The Louvre in Paris: Any list of art museums in France must begin with the Louvre. The facility itself is an example of art designed by I.M. Pei, the architect. Here is where you will find the mysterious Mona Lisa and the magnificent Venus de Milo. The inspiring Winged Victory will again be on display beginning in the summer of 2014 after undergoing an 18th month restoration process.

In addition to its permanent collections, the Louvre features temporary exhibitions that change every season. Inside the Louvre, you will also find one of the largest art bookstores in Europe. You can spend several days at this museum which also provides 15 restaurants and cafes varying the cuisine from formal sit-down dining to take-out.

2) Musee d’Orsay in Paris: Located in a former train station, this museum has collections from artists who did their work from 1848 to 1914. All mediums are represented. The collections found here include:

  • Oil paintings
  • Decorative arts
  • Sculptures
  • Architecture
  • Graphic arts
  • Photography.

3) Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris: This museum is in the heart of Paris and in the middle of the beautiful Tuileries Gardens. It could also be called heaven for fans of Claude Monet with one entire exhibition room dedicated to his collections of Water Lilies and paintings from his garden at Giverny. The works of other artists from the Impressionistic era are also found here. Bask in the works of Cezanne, Gaugin and Renoir. In addition to Impressionistic artists, works from the Modern Classicism era are also found here.

4) Cantini Museum in Marseille: This art museum started in the 17th century as a hotel. It was later acquired by the sculptor, Jules Cantini, and used as his private residence. When he died in 1916, he left it to the city of Marseille and it was then turned into a museum. It primarily features artists from the early 20th Century. It has been open since 1936 and features works of Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon and Henri Matisse. The works of Wassily Kandinksy and Jean Miro are also found here. Fans of surrealism and fauvism who visit Marseille will relish the exhibits found here.

5) Tapisserie de Bayeux in Normandy: Here is the place to view the intricate linen canvas embroidered with scenes of the adventures of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, and his conquest of England. It is believed the tapestry was constructed sometime around 1041 and includes scenes of the Viking ships and other battles of the Normans and Saxons. The tapestry was given the “Memory of the World” award by UNESCO in 2007. This award is given every two years to honor the preservation of documents and other historical items. It is an award of prestige accompanied by approximately $30,000.

In addition to the sources in the hyperlinks:

Author Bio: +DJL Lalique is the forum of David Weinstein, a lover of fine art and fine jewelry, especially the art of Rene Lalique.  David also writes about Lalique’s art work on his blog.

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