The renowned Fine Arts Museum of Rouen was established by Napoleon I but the present building dates back to the end of the 19th century and was entirely restored in 1994. It is one of the richest and most visited Fine Arts Museums in France after Paris.
Rouen’s Fine Arts Museum
The museum houses an extensive and varied collection of painting, sculpture, drawing and decorative art collections in 63 rooms dedicated to permanent exhibitions. Regular temporary exhibitions are often held.
The pride of the museum is its painting collection as every European schools is represented, from the 15th to the 21st centuries, including artists such as Perugino, Rubens, Nicolas Poussin, Eustache Le Sueur, Fragonard, Géricault, Delacroix, Corot, Sisley, Renoir, Pissaro, Degas, Monet and Modigliani. As for the impressionism collection, outside Paris, it is one of the richest in France.
The Fine Arts Museum of Rouen have some of Monet’s paintings depicting Rouen: La Cathédrale de Rouen (Monet, 1894), Vue Générale de Rouen (Monet, 1892), and Vue des bords de la Seine à Rouen (William Callow, 1855).
Some unexpected works of art can be found, such as a rare collection of Russian icons from the 16th century.
List of painters whose paintings are on display
15th and 16th centuries:
Renaissance paintings from Italy: Pietro Perugino, Paolo Veronese, Giampietrino, Jacopo Bassano, Lavinia Fontana, Palma il Giovane and Annibale Carracci.
Renaissance paintings from France, Flanders and Holland: Gérard David, Louis Bréa, François Clouet, Pieter Aertsen, Maarten de Vos, Abraham Bloemaert
Golden Age of Spain: Velasquez, Jusepe de Ribera et Francisco Herrera the Elder.
Italian paintings from: Caravaggio, Guercino, Bernardo Strozzi, Sisto Badalocchio, Daniele Crespi, Mattia Preti, Carlo Maratta, Giuseppe Recco, Michelangelo Cerquozzi, Luca Giordano.
French painters (particularly painters native from Normandy): Nicolas Poussin, Jean Jouvenet, Philippe de Champaigne, Simon Vouet, Pierre Mignard, Nicolas Régnier, Matthieu Le Nain, Claude Vignon, Jacques Blanchard, Jacques Stella, Sébastien Bourdon, Laurent de La Hyre, Eustache Le Sueur, Charles Le Brun, Noël Coypel, Joseph Parrocel, Charles de La Fosse, Nicolas de Largillière.
Dutch and Flemish paintings from: Peter Paul Rubens, Antony Van Dyck, Judith Leyster, Jan Lievens, Jan Van Goyen, Gabriel Metsu, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen, Nicolaes Berchem, Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts, Willem Kalf, Otto Marseus van Schrieck, Jan Davidsz de Heem, Thomas de Keyser, Leonard Bramer, David Teniers the Young, Matthias Stom.
One English painting from John Michael Wright.
French paintings from: Hyacinthe Rigaud, Alexandre-François Desportes, François Boucher, Jean-François de Troy, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Carle Van Loo, Charles-Joseph Natoire, Jean-Marc Nattier, Nicolas Lancret, Fragonard, Hubert Robert, Claude Joseph Vernet, Joseph-Marie Vien, François-André Vincent.
Italian paintings from: Francesco Guardi, Pietro Longhi, Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Gaspare Traversi
First half of the 19th century with paintings from: Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Jacques Louis David, Joseph-Désiré Court, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Louis-Léopold Boilly, Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Chassériau et Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Jean-François Millet, Théodore Géricault (a native of Rouen).
Second half of the 19th century with many impressionist paintings from: Claude Monet, Gustave Caillebotte, Johan Barthold Jongkind, Eugène Boudin, Edgar Degas, Henri Fantin-Latour, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Gustave Doré, Gustave Moreau, Alfred Sisley (10 paintings), Armand Guillaumin, Clémentine Ballot, Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Albert Lebourg, Félix Vallotton
Impressionist paintings from: Marchel Duchamp, Jacques Villon, Raoul Dufy, Jacques-Émile Blanche, Édouard Vuillard, Maximilien Luce, André Derain, Othon Friesz, Amedeo Modigliani, Frantisek Kupka, Maurice Denis, Albert Gleizes, Roger de La Fresnaye, Jean Metzinger, Jean Dubuffet, Vieira da Silva, Alfred Manessier.
Post-impressionist paintings from the School of Rouen: Robert Antoine Pinchon, Marcel Couchaux, Narcisse Guilbert, Maurice Louvrier.
For practical information about Rouen’s Fine Arts Museum, visit the official website.