Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Malraux Museum in Le Havre

The Malraux Museum in Le Havre is the second museum in France for impressionist paintings, after the Orsay Museum in Paris. There is a strong link between Le Havre and impressionism. “Impression, sunrise”, painted by Monet in 1873 / 74, the title of which is at the origin of the term “impressionism”, represents the outer harbour of Le Havre.

The museum building

The museum is located in the harbour of Le Havre, which has still a lot of commercial (container carriers) and passenger traffic. You cannot miss it with Henri-Georges Adam’s monumental sculpture “Le Signal” on its side. The museum is easy to access with a free car park close by.

The museum opened in 1961 and was renovated in1999. The building is made of steel, glass and aluminium that give it a contemporary feel and transparency. Inside, it offers a vast open space with white walls and a soft natural light flowing through large openings. A ramp with a wooden floor leads to the mezzanine area, allowing wheelchair access.

The permanent collection

The museum benefited from major donations over the years:

• Eugène Boudin died in 1898. A year later, his brother Louis donated to Le Havre 60 canvases and 180 panels (studies and sketches). A total of 224 painted sketches by Eugène Boudin joined the collections of the museum in 1900.

Eugène Boudin: Lady in white on the beach of Trouville, oil on cardboard, 1869, donation Louis Boudin, 1900.

• The Charles-Auguste Marande Bequest: Marande was a wealthy Le Havre cotton merchant. He built a collection of works by Jongkind, Pissarro, Monet, Marquet, Camoin, Van Dongen, Delacroix, Decamps, Daubigny, Harpignies, Corot, Fantin-Latour, Vuillard and Roussel. He gifted the town with 63 paintings, 25 drawings and one sculpture.

Claude Monet: Les Nymphéas, oil on canvas, 1904, purchased from the artist by the city in 1911.

• The Hélène Senn-Foulds donation: Senn’s granddaughter, Hélène Senn-Foulds, donated to the Malraux museum 71 paintings, 130 graphic works and 5 sculptures from impressionist and fauvist painters.

Auguste Renoir: Portrait of Nini Lopez, oil on canvas, 1876, SENN Collection.

• Le Havre museum received a bequest from Raoul Dufy’s wife of thirty of Dufy’s paintings as well as thirty drawings, five watercolours, a tapestry, three ceramics and a bust of Dufy by Valorises.

The museum’s collection also counts paintings from European schools of paintings dating from the sixteen to the eighteen century: still life, religious paintings and landscapes. On the contemporary side, works by Dubuffet and Esteves are on show.

Practical details

Musée Malraux
2 boulevard Clemenceau
76600 LE HAVRE
Tel: 02 35 19 62 62


1 comment:

ChaumiereLesIris said...

The museum itself is lovely too - full of Normandy light.