Palais des Beaux Arts

Lille, France

The Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille (Lille Palace of Fine Arts) is a municipal museum dedicated to fine arts, modern art, and antiquities. It is one of the largest art museums in France.

It was one of the first museums built in France, established under the instructions of Napoleon I at the beginning of the 19th century as part of the popularisation of art. Jean-Antoine Chaptal's decree of 1801 selected fifteen French cities (among which Lille) to receive the works seized from churches and from the European territories occupied by the armies of Revolutionary France. The painters Louis Joseph Watteau and François Watteau, known as the 'Watteau of Lille', were heavily involved in the museum's beginnings - Louis Joseph Watteau made in 1795 the first inventory of the paintings confiscated during the Revolution, whilst his son François was deputy curator of the museum from 1808 to 1823.

The museum opened in 1809 and was initially housed in a church confiscated from the Récollets before being transferred to the city's town hall. In 1866, the 'musée Wicar', formed from the collection of Jean-Baptiste Wicar, was merged into the Palais des Beaux-Arts. Construction of the Palais's current Belle Époque-style building began in 1885 under the direction of Géry Legrand, mayor of Lille, and it was completed in 1892. The architects chosen to design the new building were Edouard Bérard (1843–1912) and Fernand Etienne-Charles Delmas (1852–1933) from Paris. The building is located on the place de la République, in the center of the city, facing the préfecture of Lille. It was renovated during the 1990s and reopened in 1997.

At the start of the 1990s, the building's poor state and the moving of Vauban's relief models of fortified towns to Lille forced the town to renovate the building. Work began in 1991, under the architects Jean-Marc Ibos and Myrto Vitart, and was completed in 1997. This allowed the creation of a new 700 m2 basement room for temporary exhibitions, as well as departments for the relief models and for 19th-century sculpture. Overall the museum covers 22000 m2 and held 72430 pieces as of 2015, one of the largest provincial collections of fine art. The collection includes works by Raphael, Donatello, Van Dyck, Tissot, Jordaens, Rembrandt, Goya, El Greco, David, Corot, Courbet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Delacroix, Rubens, Rodin, Claudel and Jean-Baptiste Chardin.

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Details

Founded: 1809
Category: Museums in France

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Annelotte Baarslag (5 months ago)
It was good, but the museum wasn't organized for me at all and I feel like I missed a big part of the art because there was no clear route or something like that...
Richard Pearce (5 months ago)
Fabulous selection of art in a beautiful space. Very quiet and imaginatively presented temporary collection. We had two hours, could have spent twice that there...
Gerben van Ophuizen (5 months ago)
Beautifully museum with a lot of great art. I liked especially the paintings from famous painters. They also have sculptures and on level -1 they have huge maquettes from a few places. Historical painters including Ruben, Monet, van Gogh, Brueghel and many others. Also the building itself is an eyecatcher. One tip for the museum: add English descriptions as well, or QR codes so that people can check it themselves. Now I had to use Google translate on some pieces (too much to do everything). There are some audio fragments which you can find on number on a special website. These include French af course, some Dutch (not all) and English (didn't check).
Steve Parry (5 months ago)
Good museum and art gallery with a very good collection, including works from Picasso, Goya, Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Rodin to name but a few
Peter Schmidt (12 months ago)
Brilliant space and some amazing art. The Goya Experience is well worth the trip while it's there.
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