Thursday, 30 June 2011

Avignon Museums

Avignon has a lot of museums for a small city.  We were able to hit four of them in one afternoon, thanks to the very walkable distances in the old town and a well-planned route. The Angladon Museum,  housed in an 18th century house, has paintings from the collection of collector Jacques Doucet, including works by Degas, Picasso, Cezanne, and Modigliani's famous Lady in the Pink Blouse below.  There happened to be a special exhibit of photos by Degas, Bonnard and Vuillard when we were there - most unusual as we never think of these artists as photographers.

The staircase in the Angladon

Nice case of Orientalia, including the two in the mirror
Just across the Place from the Angladon, is the Municipal Library housed in a section of the 14th century Ceccano Palace.  I was a little confused as the History Plaque indicated this is a Bibliotheque but the sign on the door says Mediatheque and there are no books to be seen.  I had to ask a lady coming out of another door marked Jeunesse with her young son whether this is indeed the Bibliotheque.  She confirmed that it is indeed the Bibliotheque but that one side is the Mediatheque and the other the Children's library.  For her, that is the library.  

The Calvet Museum is also in an 18th century museum.  See the beautiful entrance and the staircase below.

One of the more memorable works for me is the portrait of his mother by Georges Desvallieres.  He had captured all the loneliness of age in her eyes and expression.

Ah, a break at a cafe for some glace in the afternoon.  Trust the French to serve up even a few Euros' worth of ice cream in style.

The Vauland Museum we visited was disappointing and was remembered more as a break from the afternoon heat than for its contents.  Our last stop was the Petit Palais Museum just beside the Papal Palace.  The collection was housed in the bishop's palace where the first two popes stayed before the Papal Palace was constructed.  It was a rich collection of religious art and there were again many madonnas, not all of them noteworthy but the Botticelli below definitely stood out.

As usual I was distracted by the architecture and here is another spiral staircase.  One of my future posts will include all the spiral staircases I was able to collect on this trip - and there were many.

A panorama of Avignon from the Palace Garden - the Rhone and modern Avignon in the distance


  1. Lovely to wander Avignon's museums with you, rarecat. We have fond memories of the town and especially the small museums.

  2. Thanks again, Bill. I brought John's email on Avignon with me.