Musée Réattu is an art museum in Arles, housing paintings, including works by Arles-born painter Jacques Réattu, drawings by Picasso, as well as sculptures and a large collection of photographs.
The museum is housed in the former Grand Priory of the Order of Malta, built in the late 15th century. The building was acquired in 27 parts between 1796 and 1827 by Jacques Réattu, who lived and worked there. Upon his death in 1833, Réattu's daughter Élisabeth Grange inherited the building and her father's collections. The Museum was officially created in 1868, initially featuring the collections and the works of Jacques Réattu. In the 1950s, at the time of the renovations of the building, modern art began entering the collections. Initiated by Lucien Clergue and Jean-Maurice Rouquette in 1965, the foundation of the department of photography was the first of its kind in an arts museum in France. In 1971, Pablo Picasso donated 57 of his recent drawings to the Musée Réattu.
The museum owns 800 paintings and drawings by Jacques Réattu. Twelve exhibition rooms are dedicated to his own works, his collections (mainly 17th century paintings), as well as works by friends, relatives and collaborators, like The Couturiers workshop painted by his uncle Antoine Raspal in the 1780s. Three rooms are dedicated to Picasso and one room to photography. The collections also include contemporary sculptures by César, Richier, Bourdelle, Zadkine and modern paintings by Dufy, Vlaminck and Prassinos, among others.
The collection of photographs comprised over 4,000 works in 2001. Initial gifts by photographers including Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Man Ray, Peter Beard, Werner Bischof, Izis, William Klein and Jean Dieuzaide, as well as by collectors, were followed from 1970 onwards by photographs donated by the artists attending the Rencontres d'Arles.References:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.