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Calvet Museum in Avignon
Avignon and surrounding
Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions
Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions

The small French town of Avignon is known all over the world as the second residence of the popes. Due to that, many churches, religious and architectural sights have been preserved here, reminding of almost seventy years of the papal reign.

The pontifices lived in the luxurious Palace of the Popes, which is the landmark of Avignon and one of the largest castles in France. The Avignon cardinals, the second clerics in the town after the popes, lived in less monumental residences.

One of them is the most beautiful residence of Livree de Cambrai, built in the 18th century in the French-Italian style for Cardinal Pierre d’Ailly. Over time, the building was sold to other people who decided to rebuild and expand it. Since then, it was called the Villeneuve-Martignan mansion. After 1802, it was used to store the art collection of Esprit Calvet, and in 1833, the premises were taken by the state to establish a museum. Now the building is recognized as a historical landmark of France.

Esprit Calvet was a famous French physician, collector, and philanthropist who, during the reign of Napoleon I in 1810, left his vast library, a cabinet of curiosities, archaeological finds, 12,000 old coins, and several paintings to the state.

Now the Calvet Museum is considered the main museum of the town. It is located in the old street named after Joseph Vernet, not far from the town hall; it is a 7-minute walk from the Palace of the Popes.

Among the treasures of the Calvet Museum are a unique collection of paintings, exquisite sculptures, works of applied art, tapestries, ancient Chinese porcelain, and ceramics – a total of about 28,000 exhibits from the 16th-20th centuries. Here, you can see the works of such artists as Edouard Manet, Georges Seurat, Paul Cezanne, Joseph Vernet, Chaim Soutine, Maurice De Vlaminck, and others.

The entrance fee is € 6. Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays, except Tuesday.

The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions, including contemporary art ones, as well as musical evenings. The museum is equipped with special tactile displays for the visually impaired.

Address: 63 Rue Joseph Vernet

Published by

Diane Mikheeva

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