Petit Palais – Musée des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris

The Petit Palais is situated along the Avenue Winston Churchill, opposite the Grand Palais.

Petit Palais - Monumental porch
Monumental porch

The architect Charles Girault designed it for the Universal Exhibition of 1900.

Amazingly, the building should have been demolished once the fair was over!

Fortunately, it was converted in 1902 in order to accommodate the Palais des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris.

The museum then exhibited permanent painting collections that ranged from the Antiquity to the late 19th century.

The museum today presents both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Canvases by Rembrandt, Courbet, Fragonard, Rubens, Cézanne and Bonnard enlarged these collections over the decades.

The museum exhibits also art objects from the Greek and Roman Antiquity, Middle Ages and French Renaissance.

Finally, the extensive prints and drawings collections were enlarged with contemporary photography in the last decade!

Petit Palais’ lavish architecture

The Petit Palais boasts harmonious proportions and is a successful blend of modern and classical architecture!

Petit Palais
Petit Palais

The 130m long main facade is one of the building’s exceptional architectural features.

The monumental porch and wrought iron gate lead into the entrance rotunda, which is lit by four splendid stained glass windows.

Charles Girault commissioned the best artists for the interior decoration.

From 1903 to 1925, Albert Besnard, Injalbert, St-Marceaux, Cormon and Roll therefore produced the murals and sculptures in the public sections.

Maurice Denis decorated the cupola located above the staircase in the south-east wing of the museum.

Petit Palais - South corner
South corner of the Petit Palais

The Petit Palais was built on a trapezium-shaped floor-plan.

It therefore has four wings laid out around a semi circular garden.

An elegant vaulted portico painted by Paul Baudoin delineates this garden.

Jean Cardot sculpted the statue of Sir Winston Churchill that stands along the Avenue Churchill in 1998.

This spot will give you prime views of the building if you are short of time for a visit.

Directions: 8th District
Metro: Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau on Line 1
Coordinates Petit Palais: Lat 48.866084 – Long 2.314670

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