The Musée Fabre was founded by François-Xavier Fabre, a Montpellier painter, in 1825. It is one of the main sights of Montpellier. The town of Montpellier was given thirty paintings in 1802 which formed the basis of a modest municipal museum under the Empire, moving between various temporary sites. In 1825, the town council accepted a large donation of works from Fabre and the museum was installed in the refurbished Hôtel de Massillian, officially opened on 3 December 1828. Fabre's generosity led others to follow his example, notably Antoine Valedau who donated his collection of Dutch and Flemish masters to the city. On the death of Fabre in 1837, a legacy of more than a hundred pictures and drawings completed the collection.

In 1864, Jules Bonnet-Mel, an art collector from Pézenas, bequeathed 400 drawings and 28 paintings. In 1868, Alfred Bruyas offered the works from his private gallery to the city. He is credited with having moved the museum collection into the modern era. In 1870, Jules Canonge, from Nîmes, gave a collection of more than 350 drawings. A legacy of Bruyas of more than 200 works completed his gift in 1877.

In 1968, Mme Sabatier d'Espeyran in accordance with the will of her husband, a diplomat and great bibliophile, gave to the city their hôtel particulier, built under the Third Republic along with its contents.

Around 2001, the Library moved out of the complex, freeing a sizeable area and offering the chance to carry out a major modernisation and enhancement of the building. This took four years and included a whole new wing. The building re-opened in 2007.

On display are ceramics from Greece and the rest of Europe. Furthermore, the museum has a large collection of paintings from the 17th until the 19th century, with a large representation of the luminophiles movement. There is also sculptures.

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Founded: 1825
Category: Museums in France

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User Reviews

Thibaud Fournier (13 months ago)
Always free on the first Sunday of the month, this museum has paintings from the middle age and Renaissance as well as more modern pieces. There's also expositions from living artists which are changing every 6 months.
Thomas Rambo (13 months ago)
Cute little museum in the heart of Montpellier. When I was there it was quite sleepy and quiet. Not many people but that was a good museum going experience for me. It's pretty small so don't expect too much but it has a lot of great art there to admire. Big enough to see some cool stuff but not too big that you feel like you're missing out on anything if you leave after an hour or so.
PAUL M (14 months ago)
Very interesting museum, would been a pleasant visit except for a negative experience with an awkward worker there. This was my only negative experience in entire Montpellier.
Adrian Lapuste (16 months ago)
Great museum with a lot of paintings and sculptures from different ages. Interesting for all kids and adults. A lot of work from Fabre as the name of the museum states but there are other renowned paintings like Matisse, Monet or Rubens and many more.
Davide Stasi (16 months ago)
Contemporary art is closed. Temporary exposición was just one wall, not even a room. Very different from they sell
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