Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Three great European artist's museums

1. Musée Gustave Moreau, Paris
Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau (1826-1898) converted this space - pictured - to show off his fantastic work, an example of which was used recently on the cover of Roberto Bolaño's gargantuan novel 2666. The artist's apartment and Grand Tour souvenirs are preserved as he wanted, while paintings fold out of wall-mounted holders.
14 rue de la Rochefoucauld, 9th; closed Tuesdays. €5.

2. Sir John Soane Museum, London
On a grander yet not less intimate scale, architect Soane (1753-1837) modelled this incredible venue to house his collection of books, sculpture and drawings for 'amateurs and students'. An act of parliament preserved the space after his death as close as possible to his intentions.
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2; open Tuesday-Saturday. Free.

3. Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen
The name Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) may not ring any bells but his grand sculptures can be found in many of Europe's major cities. Denmark's oldest gallery, above, was specifically designed to house the oeuvre he bequeathed to the state - the sculptor's grave is in the central courtyard.
2 Bertel Thordvaldsens Plads, Slotsholmen; closed Mondays. 40kr.

If you happen to read this and can recommend other great artist's museums around the world in the comments below, please do!

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