Musée des Augustins

Toulouse, France

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.

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Details

Founded: 1795
Category: Museums in France

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Julian Worker (2 years ago)
Fantastic collection with the highlight being the display of capitals in a modern setting. A great selection of gargoyles too. Do not miss this place.
Mike Applin (2 years ago)
Closed for major renovations when I got there- not expected to be open again for some time so make sure you research ahead before going.
Honore Loiseau (3 years ago)
The historical building in itself is worth visiting.Beautiful museum and amazing inner garden.It is very interesting and it won't disappoint you.
Abdulkadir Eryildirim (3 years ago)
While this museum is relatively small one, it contains amazing paintings and sculpture. i am particularly impressed by the very large painting of entrance of Fatih The Conqueror (the famous Ottoman Sultan) into Istanbul. while it does not reflect the reality, it is amazing. the paintings are really worth to see. how detailed, how fascinating..France had many talent in the era of Renaissance. The museum is in the city center. it has large area, thus a relaxing place as well.
Erin Morris (3 years ago)
This thirteenth-century convent has been transformed into an impressive museum, housing paintings from the Renaissance to Impressionism (in galleries currently closed) – and, perhaps most importantly, a wonderful collection of Romanesque sculptures, rescued from other nearby religious foundations. With its beautiful and serene cloisters, it is surely one of the most important cultural sites in Toulouse, and very much worth a visit.
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