Galleries to visit | MAP of GALLERIES | Background information

Art collections
in regional art galleries

The region's artists and works of art
Throughout the centuries, Nord Pas-de-Calais has produced many significant artists, and has seen a remarkable range of creative buildings, paintings, sculptures and other masterpieces. This rich heritage is reflected in the collections of the region's galleries and museums.

An international dimension
Napoleon helped to add an international dimension to this regional creativity. He decreed that France's artistic treasures should not be hidden away in the houses of the aristocracy and the bishops and other church leaders. As the French Empire extended over the Continent, other countries' treasures were also siezed and brought back to Paris.

Education for the masses
The French Revolution led to the establishment of new public art collections "for the education of the masses", with new museums in Paris and major provincial towns like Lille, Arras, and Valenciennes.

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Jan Molenaer "Enfant jouant avec un chat" in the Musée des Beaux Arts, Dunkerque

Galleries to visit:
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille - reckoned the 2nd museum in France after the Louvre
Hospice Comptesse Museum, Lille - Flemish art collection
Musée d'Art Moderne, Lille (Villeneuve d'Ascq) - interesting modert art collection in a superb park setting
Roubaix Museum of Art & Industry - NEW for 2002
Tourcoing Fine Arts Museum, Metropolitan Lille - unusual mix of contemporary art & old masters
Benoît de Puydt Museum, Bailleul - collection of Flemish works of art 15th-19th centuries
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dunkerque
FRAC Contemporary Art Collection, Dunkerque
Drawings & Prints Museum, Gravelines
Bergues Municipal Museum - housed in a 17th century pawnshop!
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Valenciennes
Douai Chartreuse Museum - collection of mainly medieval religious art,housed in an old convent
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Cambrai
Matisse Museum, Le Cateau-Cambrésis - wide collection donated by the artist to his birthplace town
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Arras
Museum of Fine Arts & Lace, Calais - Rodin sculptures, modern art collection+ gallery an local lace industry
Musée Municipal, Berck

MAP of Galleries:
Map of Art Galleries in Nord Pas de Calais
Click on the map for more information
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Related background information
History of Flanders

Medieval Art
Les Mays
Flemish Art
18th-19th century French artists

Artists of Côte d'Opale

Modern Art




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