Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie de Besançon

The musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie (Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology) in the French city of Besançon is the oldest public museum in France. It was set up in 1694,[1] nearly a century before the Louvre became a public museum.

Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology of Besançon
Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie de Besançon
LocationBesançon, France
Visitors46,469 (2015)

Reorganized from 1967 to 1970 by Louis Miquel, a pupil of Le Corbusier, the museum is again the subject of a total renovation and an enlargement from October 2015. Three years later, the completely renovated museum was inaugurated on November 16, 2018 in the presence of the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, the Minister of Culture Franck Riester and the Mayor Jean-Louis Fousseret. Attendance is then on the rise with 105,459 visitors recorded at the end of 2019.

Collections edit

The collections of the musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie de Besançon are divided in three categories: archaeology, painting, and drawing cabinet.

Archaeology edit

Three-horned bull called the "Bull of Avrigney." Discovered in 1756. An example of Gallo-Roman religious art
Roman art gallery.
  • The Egyptian collection includes the mummies of Seramon, a royal scribe who lived in the end of the 21st Dynasty, and of Ankhpakhered, Amon's artist and son of a priest of the 26th Dynasty but also a series of statuettes representing gods, ushabtis, etc.
  • An important prehistoric collection includes objects of the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age.
  • The most important archaeology collection belongs to the Gallo-Roman period. It includes mosaics (mosaïque du Neptune and mosaïque de la Méduse found in the domus of the collège Lumière), other objects found during digs in the town, and the bronze statue of a bull with three horns from Avrigney.
  • The medieval collection includes statues, stone sarcophagus and other relics.

Drawing cabinet edit

Paintings edit

The collections shows the main tendencies and evolutions of European art from the 14th to 20th centuries:

Origin of the collections edit

19th c. paintings.
Covered courtyard by Louis Miquel.

The collections of the museum mostly originated in four gifts. In 1694, Abbot Boisot gave his collection (manuscripts, printed books, medals, eleven paintings and four busts coming from the Granvelle family) to the town's Benedictine monks, on the condition that the public had access to these collections twice a week. This bibliothèque-musée Boisot (Boisot Library-Museum) lasted for the whole of the 18th century. In 1819 Pierre-Adrien Pâris, the King's architect, added his collection (38 paintings and 183 drawings including those of Fragonard). Jean Gigoux gave the museum his collection in 1894 (over 3000 drawings and 460 paintings of Spanish, English, Northern and German schools), and finally George Besson and his wife gave the museum their collection in 1960 (112 paintings and 220 modern and contemporary drawings).

Building edit

Since 1843, the museum has been located in a former grain hall, in the center of the town. The building became too small following Besson's donation and was rebuilt from 1967 to 1970 by Louis Miquel, a student of Le Corbusier. The interior courtyard was covered with a concrete structure.

The museum was renovated from 2014 to 2018. It was inaugurated on 16 November 2018 by the French President Emmanuel Macron.

References edit

  1. ^ "Sights in Besançon, France". Lonely Planet.

External links edit

47°14′25″N 6°01′23″E / 47.2402°N 6.0231°E / 47.2402; 6.0231