5 French destinations for art lovers

Monet's Garden, photo by Juergen Kurlvink on Flickr

A few things people associate with France: lovely cuisine, glamorous beaches, great taste in fashion, wine, and…art. Art is something that you can’t escape while visiting France, because it can be found virtually everywhere. From public art in small villages to sprawling galleries, artist’s ateliers and museums dedicated to the work of some famous resident artists, France is rife with sites of pilgrimage to the art lover. Huge museums like the Louvre are a must-see for any tourist, and someone who likes art will be able to spend days on end examining the treasure trove of paintings and sculptures. But there are other destinations as well, which might not appeal to a general public, but will certainly delight those who admire art. Here are 5 French destinations for art lovers that will make them glow with delight.

Claude Monet’s Garden, Giverny, Eure department

The village of Giverny will forever be known as the place where famous impressionist painter Claude Monet created some of this best work. Monet first say the village while traveling by train, and fell in love with it through the train window. The artist bought a house in Giverny as soon as he could afford it, and planted the beautiful gardens that appear in many of his paintings. Monet used his sense of aesthetics to create a lush and vibrant garden that you will recognize from paintings like the Water Lilies or the Rose-Way at Giverny.

Musée Delacroix, Paris

Antibes, photo by Sebastien Bertrand

19th century painter Eugène Delacroix is one of the greatest Romantic artists France has ever had, and his work has served as an inspiration for later art schools like the Impressionists and Symbolists. Although some of this best known works like Liberty Leading the People (perhaps the best representation of Marianne, the symbol of France) are located in the Louvre, the Musée Delacroix is located in the former apartment of the painter, and contains memorabilia as well as works from every phase of his career.

Musée Picasso, Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes department

The Picasso Museum located in Chateau Grimaldi in Antibes is the first museum in the world dedicated entirely to the work of the famous artist. The museum opened during Picasso’s lifetime, and the artist personally donated some works tot he collection: “The Goat” and “La Joie de Vivre”, and after his death many more paintings were bequested to the gallery.  The museum displays almost 250 works in various mediums.

Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, Albi, Tarn department

Matisse Museum, photo by Deb Collins pn Flickr

The picturesque town of Albi is home to the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, dedicated to the work of one of the best painters, illustrators and printmakers in France, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The museum is located in the old Berbie Palace, a beautiful brick palace built in the 13th century. Fans of Toulouse-Lautrec can see a great past of the artist’s work: thousands of paintings, prints, drawings and lithographs make up the largest collection of his works in the world.

Musée Matisse, Nice

The Musée Matisse in Nice hosts the largest collextion of Matisse’s work in the world, tracing the evolution of his art from his early career until his death. The museum is located in a beautiful 17th century villa, which is the perfect setting to view the almost 70 paintings and gouaches and hundreds of drawings, prints, sculptures and photos, so naturally this is one of the top 5 French destinations for art lovers.

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