The love story between Aix-en-Provence and art goes back to the 17th and 18th centuries, when members of parliament invested considerable sums in patronage. At that time, each private mansion was home to remarkable collections. The Museum of Aix-en-Provence, which in 1949 took the name of the painter François-Marius Granet, one of its most generous benefactors, has been testifying to this exceptional artistic flowering since the 19th century. Today, the Granet Museum houses more than 12,000 works and masterpieces in its collections, making it one of the richest establishments in the region and one of the most prestigious in France. It attracts many visitors, children and adults alike, who come with family, as a couple or in a group.
Collections of paintings
Housed in the buildings of the former Priory of Malta, the Granet Museum houses several thousand paintings, oil paintings, engravings and drawings.
The collection French, Northern European and Italian painting of the 14th-18th centuries offers a selection of paintings covering the highlights of this particularly rich period, while recalling the different stages of a man’s life. Art lovers will notably be able to contemplate Self-Portrait, a work by Rembrandt.
The collection French 19th Century Painting, Granet, Ingres, Provençal Painting, focuses on a period that witnessed several major artistic movements, from Neoclassicism to Impressionism, from Orientalism to Romanticism. We can even admire Portrait of a young boy by David, or a portrait of Granet painted by his friend Ingres. Several paintings by famous painters, such as L’Engalière and Loubon, showcase the Provençal school.
Paul Cézanne in the spotlight
The Granet Museum could not skip Paul Cézanne, the local boy. He was particularly fond of the Sainte-Victoire, a mountain with white cliffs of limestone rock rising to an altitude of more than 1,000 meters, from which he painted dozens of pictures. Ten major paintings of the painter are presented in a room dedicated to him. The museum also houses Portrait of Emile Zola, the only well-known portrait painted by the artist.
From Cézanne to Giacometti
Philippe Meyer’s donation to the State has enabled the Granet Museum to offer a panorama of 20th-century art, where the works of the greatest and most prestigious artists are on display. No less than 73 major works of art await you in the rooms, created by the greatest names in painting: Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Fernand Léger, Balthus, Giorgio Morandi, Paul Klee, Bram van Velde, Tal Coat, Nicolas de Staël, etc.
As a Museum of Fine Arts, the Granet Museum must also have its own sculpture gallery. On the first floor, visitors can discover works by Jean-Pancrace Chastel, Truphème, Ramus or Ferrat. Many great men of Provence have their bust exhibited in the museum, including Mirabeau. You can also admire bas-reliefs, such as the marble one made for the de Gueidan family.
Occupied since prehistoric times, the region of Aix-en-Provence has notably welcomed Celto-Ligurian peoples, some of whom settled in the north of the city where they founded the oppidum of Entremont. They prospered there until the arrival of the Romans, who gave the city its name. Aix-en-Provence was formerly called Aquae Sextiae, or the waters of Sextius, the Roman consul.
Celto-Ligurian sculptures bear witness to the singularity of this very ancient culture, and its richness and complexity are being rediscovered.
Granet 20th site
The Jean and Suzanne Planque Foundation has deposited major works collected by Jean Planque in the museum. In order to show visitors a selection of the 300 paintings, drawings and sculptures, it was necessary to find another location. The Granet Museum therefore expanded to a new site. The Chapel of the White Penitents now welcomes visitors to its 700 m² site, which allows them to discover the works of the greatest names: Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh, Bonnard, Braque, Picasso, etc.
Exhibitions and events
Temporary exhibitions and events play a major role in the dynamism of the Granet Museum. La Nocturne étudiante (Student Night), for example, in March, allows all students to attend presentations of works and musical impromptus, while discovering the collections for free.
Would you like to find out about the schedule of upcoming events? You can visit the museum’s website to find out about the current and upcoming exhibitions.
- Visiting time: 1 to 2 hours
- Opening days: Open from Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25.
- Schedule: from 12:00 p.m. to 6 pm and from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the summer season.
- Address: Place Saint-Jean de Malte 13100 Aix-en-Provence
- Access: The Granet Museum is located in the heart of the Mazarin district, about 200 meters south of Cours Mirabeau. You can easily park at the nearby Carnot parking lot.
- Accessibility: National Tourism & Handicap labelled facility