Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum), Tours

Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum), Tours (must see)

Two bizarre anomalies will greet a visitor to the Museum of Fine Arts. First, squarely in front of the museum is an enormous cedar. The size and reputed age of the tree are astounding. It is said to have been planted by Napoleon. That would put its age at about 200 years.

The second jarring showpiece is a stuffed elephant. It stands, peering ahead in a bewildered way. It was a show elephant of Barnum & Bailey Circus. While visiting Tours in 1902, the elephant went out of control and was killed. His name was "Fritz". Fritz may have been in musth (raised testosterone levels), a dangerous time with male elephants.

Since 1910 the museum is located in the former archbishop's palace. It is close to the Cathedral of St. Gatien. The museum has more than 12,000 works of art in its collection, but only 1,000 are on display.

The museum has two paintings by Andrea Mantegna from the pedella of the altarpiece of San Zeno of Verona. Other masterpieces include paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt, Le Sueur and Philppe de Champaigne. Exhibited in rooms filled with period furniture, they evoke the ambience of the 18th century.

Paintings of the 19th century are represented in the schools of art, including neoclassical, romantic, orientalism (Chasseriau, Delacroix), realism (Bastien-Lepage, Cazin, Gervex) impressionism and symbolism (Monet, Degas, Henri Martin, Le Sidaner). Twentieth century artists are Asse, Calder, Davidson, Debre, Denis and Zao Wouki.

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Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum) on Map

Sight Name: Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum)
Sight Location: Tours, France (See walking tours in Tours)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Tours, France

Create Your Own Walk in Tours

Create Your Own Walk in Tours

Creating your own self-guided walk in Tours is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Tours Old Town Walk

Tours Old Town Walk

Having successfully preserved much of its historic heritage, Tours is particularly famous for its original medieval district – Vieux Tours. The bulk of it is concentrated around three squares: Place du Grand Marché, Place Plumereau and Place de Chateauneuf.

A stroll through the Old Town, day or night, offers many delights, and is best started at Place Plumereau. Lined with wood-framed,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

The French city of Tours is forever linked to the Battle of Tours, a pivotal event in European history. Taking place in 732 AD, this momentous encounter saw the Frankish leader Charles Martel, a devout Christian, successfully repel a substantial army of Spanish Moors, thus effectively halting the Muslim advance and ensuring the preservation of Christianity throughout Western Europe.

Had it...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Tours Introduction Walking Tour

Tours Introduction Walking Tour

The Roman Emperor Augustus named the city Caesarodunum (Hill of Caesar). But it was always Tours. Caesar left the Tours Ampitheatre, the largest amphitheater of the Empire. It's good to be Caesar.

Tours is located on the River Loire. It stands between Orleans and the Atlantic shore. It is famous for the Battle of Tours in 732 CE when Spanish Moors led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi was...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles