Rich in its historical and architectural past and its exceptional collection, the Museum of Fine Arts in Tours is one of the most important in France. Open onto a French garden and under the shade of a cedar classified "Remarkable tree of France", the museum knows how to combine the charm of a palace and the beauty of a collection.
The oldest collection of the museum consists of works seized in 1794 from the homes of emigrants, churches and convents, in particular the great abbeys of Marmoutier, Bourgueil and La Riche, as well as paintings and an exceptional furniture from the Chateau de Chanteloup, Richelieu. Among the most famous are Blanchard, Boucher, Boulogne, Houël, La Fosse, Lamy, Le Sueur, Parrocel, Restout.
From 1801 the museum benefited from the sending, by the Muséum Central, future Louvre, of thirty paintings including a series of reception pieces from the Royal Academy of Painting (Nattier, Restout,, Houasse, Dumont le Romain) thus making up a highlights of the Tours collection. It was at this time that the museum received the Ex-voto by Rubens and the masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance, namely the two panels by Andrea Mantegna, Christ in the Garden of Olives and The Resurrection, panels by the predella of the altarpiece of San Zeno in Verona.
During the 19th century, the city of Tours acquired two large batches of paintings where the 18th century. French and Italian are well represented. State deposits, bequests and donations enrich the museum throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. works by Lorenzo Veneziano, Rembrandt, Champaigne, Corneille, Coypel, Ingres, Largillière, Lemoyne, Perronneau, Hubert Robert, Van Loo, Vernet….
Thus, the collection of 18th century French painting is one of the most important in France and the richest collection of Italian painting in the Center Region.
In 1963 the museum received the Octave Linet bequest, supplemented by recent acquisitions, thus constituting an exceptional collection of Italian Primitives, the richest in France after the Louvre museum. (Lorenzo Veneziano, Naddo Ceccarelli, Niccolo di Tommaso, Lippo Vanni, Lippo d'Andrea, Cecco di Pietro, Giovanni di Paolo, Antonio Vivarini ...)
The nineteenth century is represented by the neoclassical school (Suvée, Taillasson), romanticism (Vinchon), Orientalism (Belly, Chassériau, Delacroix), realism (Bastien-Lepage, Cazin, Gervex) until impressionism (Monet, Degas) and in sculpture with Barye, Bourdelle, David d'Angers, Rodin ...
The collection of 20th century works includes the names of Geneviève Asse, Bozzolini, Briggs, Calder, Davidson, Debré, Maurice Denis, Gaumont, Monory, Peinado, Seguin, Zao Wou-ki.
Source : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours.