Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

The Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon (Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon) is a municipal museum of fine arts in the French city of Lyon. It is housed near place des Terreaux in a former Benedictine convent of the 17th and 18th centuries. It has been restored from 1988 to 1998 and despite these important restoration works it remained open to visitors. Its collections range from ancient Egypt antiquities to the Modern art period and make the museum one of the most important in Europe.

The paintings department has European paintings of 14th to mid 20th century paintings. They are arranged chronologically and by major schools in 35 rooms.

At the heart of the abbey's former cloister is now a municipal garden, right in the centre of the town, on the peninsula. It is decorated with several 19th century's statues. The main part of the collection is displayed in two divided sections : at the ground floor for Medieval and Renaissance sculptures and in the old baroque refectory, which has been renovated, for 19th century and early 20th century sculptures.

Ancient Egypt is the main theme of the museum's antiquities department, due to the historic importance of egyptology in Lyon, animated by men like Victor Loret, whose family gave over 1000 objects to the museum in 1954. From 1895, the musée du Louvre provided nearly 400 objects (unguent vases, funerary figurines etc.) to form the foundation of the department; other objects (canopic vases, jewellery, material from Antinopolis) were later added to complement this initial donation, and were augmented in 1936 by objects from the artisans' village of Deir el-Medina.

The highlights of the collection are its display of sarcophaguses and the gates of Ptolemy III and Ptolemy IV from the temple of Medamud dug by the Lyons archaeologist Alexandre Varille in 1939. The rest of the objects throw light on everyday life in ancient Egypt.

The collection has 600 works displayed in 9 rooms, in a thematic and chronological sequence.

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