It was in the year 1902 that the Dutuit brothers bequeathed their
collections of ancient and medieval objects, their French and Italian Renaissance pieces
and their collection of Dutch paintings along with rare manuscripts to the French State,
then the collection was supplemented by 18th century paintings, sculptures, tapestries and
objets d'art that were donated by Tuck.
The museum also owns a remarkable series of 19th century works, which were commissioned
and bought by the City of Paris during the century
along with major donations from people such as Courbet and Cézanne.
And within the works that are exhibited you will see them reflect the main painting
movements of the entire century along with some high quality objets d'art of pottery and
glass by Gallé but the collection encompasses works from the Egyptian era through to
virtually the present day.
Le Petit Palais is situated between the Champs-Elysees
and the Avenue Alexandre III and was officially opened to the public on 11 December 1902
and Auguste Dutuit also left funds for the further purchase of works, which has of course
been carried out.
The Musee du Petit-Palais was originally the bishops' palace and before the Palais des
Papes was constructed it was where the first two Avignon popes lived.
The Musée du Petit Palais has been open since 1976 and houses one of the most important
collections of Italian primitives outside of Italy.
There are numerous different halls that show and depict a different time line within the
world of art and any of these will not disappoint and probably the most famous artist of
Renaissance Florence, Sandro Botticelli, who produced the Virgin and Child, is among this
museum's famous masterpieces.
One particular hall contains works from the fourteenth century, which come mainly from
buildings constructed during Avignon's papal control and include statuettes from the tombs
of John XXII and Innocent VI along with the tomb of Cardinal Philippe de Cabassole.
Another hall starts to show the Italian painting collections which begin and are presented
in a chronological and geographical progression, and yet another hall looks on to the
Rhone, and is dedicated to the Florentine Renaissance.
The second floor is accessible by an attractive winding staircase, which probably dates
back to around the year 1460 and on this floor you will find exhibits from around the 14th
The last rooms of the Musee du Petit Palais are devoted to Avignonnais painting and
sculpture and are dominated by Enguerrand Quarton, who was author of the famous Pieta in The Louvre and the no less remarkable Coronation of
the Virgin, which is in the Villeneuve-lès-Avignon museum.
Over the years the museum has been closed at different time for renovations, and the last
time was for four years when it re-opened again in 2005, so it is always advisable to
check when it is open before planning your visit to this museum.
However, the museum is usually open every day of the week except a Monday from 10am
through to 5pm.
Address & Contact Details:
Musée du Petit Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill
Telephone: 1 42 65 12 73