Palais des Beaux-Arts
Fine Arts Museum
Place de la Republique
Tel: 00 33 (0)320 06 78 00
Guided Tours: 00 33 (0)320 06 78 17
Open: Monday 2pm-6pm, Wednesday to Sunday 10am-6pm.
Closed: Tuesday and bank holidays
The elegant fine arts museum was opened in 1977 by President Chirac after seven years of restoration
Lille’s Fine Arts museum is regarded highly in France as second only to the Louvre in Paris. The building itself is a superb example of 19th century architecture and all serious art lovers should grace her rooms to see a prestigious collection of more than 650 European paintings.
A superb staircase leads to masterpieces by Chardin, Rubens, van Dyck, Veronese, de Witte and Goya (in particular Youth and Age), the Medea of Delacroix, Courbet’s Apres Diner a Omans and forty drawings by Raphael. Check out the medieval and Renaissance section for Donatello’s bas-relief The Feast of Herod.
A fine collection of 17th and 18th century ceramics and cabinets can be seen as wella s totally restored works from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Red walls and floppy chairs conspire to keep you there and there is a lot to see so allow around two hours at least.
The Palais des Beaux-Arts is easy to reach from Lille’s railway stations. Walkable in ten to 15 minutes or catch the Metro and take line 1 to République.