Museum of Art and History

Geneva, Switzerland

The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Museum of Art and History) is the largest art museum in Geneva. It was built by the architect Marc Camoletti between 1903 and 1910, and financed by a bequest from the banker Charles Galland (1816–1901).

The façade is decorated with sculptures by Paul Amlehn: an allegory of the arts, depicting painting, sculpture, drawing and architecture, is mounted on the triangular gable above the entrance, and two more allegories, of archaeology and applied art, can be seen in the left- and right-hand corners of the building respectively.

The fine art section has paintings from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, with works by the Italian, Dutch, French, English, Genevan and Swiss Schools. The best-known painting is The Miraculous Draught of Fishes (1444) by Konrad Witz, contained in Witz's St. Peter Altarpiece. Other major artists include Rembrandt, Cézanne, Modigliani, and the sculptor Rodin. The museum also has numerous works by Jean-Étienne Liotard, Ferdinand Hodler, Félix Vallotton and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.

The applied art section has collections of Byzantine art, icons, weapons from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, silverware and tinware, musical instruments and textiles. The complete interior furnishing and wood panelling from several rooms of the Lower Castle Zizers (late 17th century) have been built into the museum.

The archaeology section displays findings from European prehistory, ancient Egypt (with a mummy from the 9th century BC), the Kerma culture of Sudan, the Near East, ancient Greece, and Roman and pre-Roman Italy, as well as a numismatic cabinet.



Your name


Founded: 1903
Category: Museums in Switzerland


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Gabriela Alvarez Castro (5 months ago)
When in Geneva, you need to visit this museum. Permanent exhibition displays great pieces of art from different styles and periods in history. Temporary exhibitions are carefully selected and presented. Living in Geneva, I regularly visit the museum and each time I discover something new.
raimund nakissa (6 months ago)
The Art is incredible! Defently worth a visit. It has something for everyone. Old weapons, armor and a real guillotine as well as beautiful Art of landscape, people and angry women. Even Japanese Haiku.
Sarah Mulyo (7 months ago)
Loved it! Definitely would highly recommend. Both the permanent and temporary exhibitions were excellent. Truly one I'll remember forever. And to top it off, it's free! Just donate how much (or little or none) as you want and no judgements from the staff. It's by a park on a hill too so a very nice walk and area around. Definitely a must go for art lovers!
Odette Richer (9 months ago)
I loved the modern art collection at this museum. Some beautiful Monet pieces and many local/Swiss artists as well, capturing some of Geneva’s most scenic views. Stunning! They have temporary exhibitions and a large archeological floor too. The fact that the building itself is gorgeous doesn’t hurt. Highly recommend a visit here.
Vera-Ann Talamoa (10 months ago)
Everyone who works here is lovely. One of the gentlemen held food that I had so I could tour the museum. Their Egyptian exhibit is fantastic! And it's all free!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.

Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.