These Hallowed Halls

Top 7 French Museums

France has produced some of the most influential painters, sculptors, dramatists, writers, and philosophers in history, so it’s no surprise that France boasts some of the most incredible museum collections in the world. While some may be well known, you’ll be surprised by the breadth of arts represented in Panrimo’s top 7 French museums!

7.) Institut Lumière

Dedicated to the Lumière brothers, who helped create cinema as it’s known today, the Institut Lumière honors French contributions to filmmaking, though with a particular focus on the innovations and techniques of the Lumière brothers.

6.) Foundation Maeght

Founded by Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, this museum features collections of avant-garde works by artists such as Giacometti, Chagall, Braque, Miró, Matisse, and Barbara Hepworth.

5.) Musée Toulouse-Lautrec

Dedicated to the French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, this museum has collected many of his works, including the Belle Epoque works he created in Paris and is most famous for today.

4.) Musée Historique Lorrain

This museum shines a light on the entire province of Lorrain, featuring collections of works throughout the ages, including engravings and paintings by local masters, as well as exhibits on Jewish history in Eastern France, antique furniture, and wrought iron.

3.) Centre Pompidou

This building has been the called “the most avant-garde in the world.” Immediately iconic, it’s exterior is a system of tubes and scaffolding, appearing the be in construction still, though that’s the point. A bastion of 20th century art, it’s impossible to enumerate just how much is in here.

2.) Musée d’Orsay

Devoted to 19th century art, the Musée d’Orsay is housed inside a former train station, with glass canopies and wrought iron decorating the entire exterior, making for one of the most striking buildings in Paris.

1.) Musée du Louvre

A list of French museums would be incomplete without the Louvre. Although it may seem like an obvious choice, it’s for good reason; the sheer number of priceless works that suddenly appear, as if from nowhere, is incredible. And of course, it’s impossible not to mention the Mona Lisa’s presence as well. The Louvre frequently crops up in pop culture, appearing in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code prominently.