France is a beautiful country and particularly appreciated for its art. Obviously, you immediately think of Paris when you want to see some French art. However, you will find out that a lot of other cities are less known but just as interesting for their cultural heritage. Indeed, there are many forms of art such as architecture, paintings, sculptures, music, or theater. Read on to get to know about the top 6 best cities for art in France!
#1 Best cities for art in France: Paris
Paris is without a doubt one of the best cities for art in the world and the best one in France. First of all, the architecture is gorgeous and envied by many other capital cities. People come from all over the world to see monuments like the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur, or the Arc de Triomphe. Regarding museums, of course, you should not miss the Louvre which is the largest art museum in the world in terms of space. This museum contains more than 380,000 items. There are a lot of items from ancient times, such as the Greek, Etruscan and Roman collections. You will also find there many beautiful paintings among other things.
The Musée d’Orsay is also a must-see in Paris, especially if you are an art-lover! You will find this museum on the Left Bank of the Seine. The museum mainly displays French art from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, photographs, furniture, and sculptures. The Musée d’Orsay has the biggest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art in the world. You will be able to admire masterpieces by Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and more. And of course, there are a lot of performances that you can enjoy in the French capital, such as ballets or operas.
Nice is a beautiful city in the French Riviera, at the foot of the Alps and on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Nice is even nicknamed Nice La Belle which means “Nice the Beautiful”. There are many things worth seeing in Nice, but regarding the art, you should focus on two museums. They are the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée Matisse. The latter is devoted to the work of French painter Henri Matisse, displaying an extensive collection of his art. He was part of multiple movements such as Fauvism, Modernism, and Post-Impressionism. The Musée des Beaux-Arts houses items from the past four centuries. The works are mainly from artists who lived in the Riviera.
Aix-en-Provence is in the southeast of France and holds two important musical events every year. The Aix-en-Provence Festival is dedicated to opera and takes place during the summer in late June and July. Concerts take place outdoors, in different venues around the city. The other event is called Musique dans la Rue and corresponds to the national annual music celebration Fête de la musique, in June. For a week, classical, jazz, and other types of concerts are held in the streets and courtyards. There are also various museums such as the Tapestry Museum, or the Musée Granet which houses paintings and sculptures.
#4: Best cities for art in France: Avignon
Avignon is also in the southeast of France and is a city that is very rich culturally. There are many landmarks and museums to see. One of them is the Musée du Petit Palais which has a beautiful collection of Renaissance paintings. Another great opportunity to see art in the city is the Avignon Festival. It takes place every year since 1947 and consists of theatrical events, dance performances, concerts, and even movie projections.
Antibes is a pretty coastal city that you will be glad to visit to admire the art, but also just to enjoy the scenery and the beach. The must-see museum in Antibes is the Picasso Museum. It houses one of the world’s largest Picasso collections. Indeed, you will be able to admire 24 paintings, 44 drawings, dozens of pieces of ceramics, and more. Another major attraction in Antibes is called Jazz à Juan. This annual jazz festival is very special to Antibes as New Orleans is a sister city. Carnival festivities include local as well as New Orleans jazz bands.
#6 Best cities for art in France: Strasbourg
Strasbourg is a big city in the East of France, in the region of Alsace. If you particularly appreciate architecture, you just have to go to Strasbourg! The Cathedral is very impressive! You will also see the charming medieval black and white timber-framed buildings. In addition to the general aspect of the city, there are also 11 principal museums and 11 university museums. Some of the best museums include the Musée des Beaux-Arts. It owns paintings by Francisco de Goya and Sandro Botticelli amongst others.
There is also the Musée de l’Œuvre Notre Dame right next to the Cathedral. This building blends both Gothic and Reinassance styles, and houses an extensive collection of medieval and Renaissance upper-Rhenish art. You will be able to find sculptures and stained glass for example. However, if you are more into modern art, you should go and see the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, one of the largest of its kind in France.
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