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Musée des Beaux-Arts de Marseille

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Marseille, France

The Musée des beaux-arts de Marseille is one of the main museums in the city of Marseille, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. It occupies a wing of the Palais Longchamp, and displays a collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings from the 16th to 19th centuries.

The museum is one of five created by the Consulate in 1801 in the main cities of France. The basis for the collection was the seizure by revolutionaries of state property after the consular decree of 1 September 1800. Successive deposits of state property were made in 1814, 1817 and 1819, and throughout the rest of the 19th century. In 1856 the Borély collection was acquired by the museum. In 1869 the museum moved into the left wing of the Palais Longchamp. As of 2012 the museum was closed for renovations.

The museum is located in the right wing of the Palais Longchamp, built by the architect Henri-Jacques Espérandieu between 1862 and 1869 to commemorate the arrival in the city of waters of the Durance river through the Canal de Marseille. The building has been designated a Historical Monument. A colonnade connects the museum to the monumental central fountain of the chateau. The building has rich sculptural decoration, including the group of the Durance by Jules Cavelier and four wild animals by Antoine-Louis Barye at the entrance. On the stairs of the museum there are two paintings by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes: Marseille, gateway to the East and Marseilles, a Greek colony.

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