The Musée des Augustins is a fine arts museum in Toulouse which conserves a collection of sculpture and paintings from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. The paintings are from throughout France, the sculptures representing Occitan culture of the region with a particularly rich assemblage of Romanesque sculpture.
The building in which the museum is sited was built in 1309 in the Gothic style and prior to the French Revolution housed Toulouse's Augustinian convent. The convent was secularized in 1793 and first opened to the public as a museum in 1795, making it one of the oldest museums in France after the Louvre.
The French schools of the 15th to 18th centuries are represented in the painting collection by Philippe de Champaigne, Louise Moillon, Valentin de Boulogne, Sébastien Bourdon etc, as well as painters from Toulouse and its region, such as Nicolas Tournier. Many French 19th- and 20th-century painting are also represented, with works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Ingres, Delacroix and Manet. The painting collection also includes works by Spanish, Dutch and Italian artists. The Italian holdings span from the 14th to the 18th century with works by Neri di Bicci, Lorenzo Monaco, Pietro Perugino, Jacopo Zucchi, Guido Reni, Guercino, Bernardo Strozzi, Baciccio, Carlo Maratta, Crespi, Francesco Solimena, Guardi. Flemish and Dutch painting is represented with paintings by Cornelis van Haarlem, Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens, Jan van Goyen, Aelbert Cuyp, Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Cornelis van Poelenburgh while for Spain the museum notably displays one painting by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
The museum's sculpture collection is in large part due to the rescue activities of antiquaries and museum curators such as Alexandre du Mège who managed to extricate sculpture from the frequent destruction of religious buildings that marked the 19th century. It is particularly strong in 12th-century Romanesque sculpture from the city's three main religious buildings - the priory of Notre-Dame de la Daurade, the basilica of Saint-Sernin and the cathedral of Saint-Étienne. It also includes many 14th and 15th century locally-produced sculptures and eight 16th century terracotta figures from the chapelle de Rieux, built around 1340 in the couvent des Cordeliers, as well as gargoyles from the same convent. It also houses 19th century sculpture, with plaster works by Alexandre Falguière and his pupil Antonin Mercié, as well as works by Rodin and a bronze by Camille Claudel.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.