Musee National Gustave Moreau Overview

Musee National Gustave Moreau, one of France's most magnificent museums located in the heart of Paris, preserves and showcases the nation's impressive collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Art Nouveau artworks. Within its walls, you'll encounter exceptional masterpieces by celebrated artists like Gauguin, Degas, Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Matisse, and more. Delve into a world of artistic wonder as you behold renowned treasures, including the iconic Venus de Milo, Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People, and the striking Winged Victory of Samothrace. This esteemed institution provides an enriching experience, effortlessly guiding you through a global collection of artwork that solidifies its status as one of the world's finest art museums. Immerse yourself in the cultural richness and unparalleled beauty that await within the walls of this exceptional museum, nestled in the vibrant city of Paris.

Explore Musee National Gustave Moreau

Musee National Gustave Moreau, Paris
Ground Floor

The ground floor of the museum overlooks a garden and has 6 small rooms (A-F). These six rooms have over 400 paintings, hundreds of drawings and collections of art utilities belonging to Moreau on display. Room C, which is known to once serve as the dining hall with a fireplace, now displays the artwork copies made in Italy from various legendary artists. Rooms D-F display the most notable works of Moreau from different years of his life which include Lady Macbeth, Bathsheba, etc.

Musee National Gustave Moreau, Paris
1st Floor

The first floor of the apartment is the place where Moreau used to stay with his parents and includes all the memories of the Moreau family along with his paintings. After the death of his parents, Moreau modified it and gave it its recent structure, putting the memories of his loved ones in place. He transformed his former bedroom and devoted it to the loving memory of his friend Alexandrine Dureux who died very early. The floor mainly comprises a hallroom, a bedroom which was formerly his mother’s, the dining room, his own room transformed into a boudoir and the reception room.

2nd floor of Musee National Gustave Moreau
2nd Floor

After the death of his parents, Moreau decided to sacrifice the second floor and build workshops for display to the public. The workshop was personally designed by the young architect Albert Lafon on the special request of the artist. The main purpose of the transformation was to hang large canvases for the common people to discover and admire. It has a large studio room around which his various works are being exhibited.

3rd Floor of  Musee National Gustave Moreau
3rd Floor

Just like the 2nd floor, the third floor was also a part of Moreau’s plan of rue de Rochefoucauld, the large two workshops. This floor has two large rooms among which the first room is mainly dominated by Jupiter and Semele made for Leopold Goldschmidt in 1895. He later donated it to the museum in 1903. The second room on the other hand has The Abduction of Europe and Prometheus along with the Unicorns that were perhaps painted around 1885. This floor has in store some of the most magnificent and characteristic works of Moreau and also says a lot about his concepts, ideas and culture.

Collections of the Musee National Gustave Moreau

The Death of Germanicus by Nicolas Poussin
Copy after “The Death of Germanicus” by Nicolas Poussin

“The Death of Germanicus” is a painting of Nicolas Poussin made for Fransesco Barbarini. Before the purchase of the painting by the Minneapolis Institute of Art from the Barbarini family, it used to be displayed in the Barbarini palace gallery. Moreau, during his stay in Rome during the mid of 1859, made a full-size copy of the painting

Cardboard for the Painting “Tyrtee”

This is an unfinished painting of Moreau and one of the most notable ones. The painting was inspired by the poems and songs of Tyrtaeus whose translations Moreau had in his library. It is a cartoon painting and was a part of a preparatory study from one of the background details of one of the paintings displayed in the second floor.

Portrait of Gustav Moreau
Portrait of Gustav Moreau

Edgar Degas always considered Gustav Moreau to be his mentor. He painted his most notable works, “Portrait the Bellelli” Family during the time he encountered Moreau. Degas during 1861-1862 drew a portrait of Gustav Moreau where he sits on a chair, firm and determinant, with his hat lying on the ground.

The Daughters of Thespius
The Daughters of Thespius

This is a mythological painting by Moreau which he started working on from 1853 and completed around 1858. The painting shows Hercules and the Theban Princess Alcmane putting the lion of Cithaeron to death for the benefit of both sides. King Thespius, as a gesture of gratitude united his 50 daughters to Hercules who sits in the center with all the 50 girls around him in distinctive positions.

The Triumph of Alexander the Great
The Triumph of Alexander the Great

Moreau perhaps started to work on it in the year of 1873. This portrays the triumph of Alexander the Great over the North Indian Porus armies. In the painting, we see the mighty Alexander the Great sitting on a throne. It overlooks the Statue of Victory which evidently signifies the power of his reign.

History of Musee National Gustave Moreau

Musee National Gustave Moreau, Paris

The Musee National Gustave Moreau was earlier the residence of the Moreau family which consisted of Gustave Moreau and his parents. After the death of his parents, Moreau decided to transform it into a museum to showcase his art works. He sacrificed the second and third floors of his paternal residence into workshops to display to the public. The third floor used to serve him as his studio for his work. Along with his numerous paintings, he also put together several memories of his loved ones to showcase his parents and their lives. He also transformed his bedroom in the second floor into a boudoir in the loving remembrance of his beloved friend Alexandrine Dureux who died too soon. The museum was opened for the common public in 1903, years after his death except the 1st floor apartment that was opened only until 1992. The museum exhibits an excellent collection of all the paintings and sketches of Moreau from all through his years. Moreau was a biblical and mythological artist whose unorthodox style of perspective made him gain praises from critics all over the world.

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Musee National Gustave Moreau, Paris
  • Location:

14 Rue Catherine de La Rochefoucauld, 75009 Paris, France

  • Timings:

10am to 6pm, Tuesday closed

  • Best time to visit:

The museum is opened for the public at 10 am in the morning and closes at 6 pm. Therefore one should usually choose the early hours of the day to visit the museum. Besides, you should get your Musee National Gustave Moreau well in advance to avoid standing in the long queue for entry.

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    The Musee national Gustave Moreau is a residence turned museum that belongs to the symbolic French artist of all times, Gustave Moreau. It displays thousands of his notable artworks and souvenirs of all his life.

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