La Fondation Calvet is an art foundation in Avignon, named for Esprit Calvet, who left his collections and library to it in 1810. The foundation maintains several museums and a two libraries, with support from the town. The original legacies of paintings, archaeological items, coins and medals, and medieval sculpture have been added to by many other legacies, and a significant deposit of works of art from the Louvre. The archaeological collections and medieval sculpture are now housed separately in the 'Musée Lapidaire' - once the chapel of the Jesuit College. The main museum is in an 18th-century city mansion, to which modern buildings have been added; the Library bequeathed by Calvet, and the important collection of over 12,000 coins and medals, have moved to a different location in the city.

In Avignon there are six museums:

  • Bibliothèque Calvet, the main library, housed since 1986 in part of what was once a cardinal's palace, the Livrée Ceccano
  • Musée Calvet, the main art gallery, housed in an 18th-century city mansion (a hôtel particulier), the Hôtel de Villeneuve-Martignan
  • Médaillier Calvet, a collection of coins and medals
  • Musée Lapidaire, a collection of sculptures and archeological finds, housed in what was once the chapel of a Jesuit college
  • Museum et Bibliothèque Requien, a natural history museum
  • Musée du Petit Palais, a collection of medieval and renaissance paintings
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Category: Museums in France

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Giulia Rizzardi (20 months ago)
I liked the museum, even though I'm not a great expert in modern art. I strongly recommend the Flemish section. Plus: the entrance is free.
Adriana del Pilar Sánchez Vargas (21 months ago)
Beautiful museum, great surprise to have found it
Andy Fairgrieve (2 years ago)
Lovely museum with a very relaxed feel. Some very interesting work from some big names and some superb work from artists I was unaware of.
Nicholas Stevens (2 years ago)
Very interesting and varied collection with everything from Egyptian artifacts and Greek sculpture to more modern 20th century paintings. Worth taking and hour or two over. The Dutch masters were my favourites, so full of life.
David P (2 years ago)
This is one of the museums that are now free in Avignon as of spring this year. It has a nice eclectic collection of statues, paintings and Egyptian pieces. The paintings often have good descriptions (in French) giving you some contextual background. The second floor has some real gems and the courtyard and golden accented main gate is quite lovely. Worth a visit.
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