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Cinnaminson, New Jersey
February 14, 2004
The museum is located inside of the old abbey Saint-Denis. To get to the museum, walk down the street following the arrow pointing in the direction of the museum from the cathedral. If you find yourself right next to the Grand Theater, you went too far. Retrace your steps a couple of buildings along the right side of the street, and you will see an entrance to the museum.
The ticket which is called Pass decouverte gives access not only to the Museum of Fine Arts, but also to Musee Saint Remi, Musee de la Reddition ("museum of the surrender"), College de Jesuites, Planetarium and Chapelle Foujita. The pass works for 1 month. Unless you are spending more than a day in Reims, you will probably are going to visit only the Museum of Fine Arts and Saint-Remi Museum.
The permanent collection of paintings is on the second floor. Here you can see paintings by Cranach (both the father and the son), Teniers, Jordaens, Le Brun, Millet, Rousseau, Courbet, Corot, Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, Matisse, Dufy, Gauguin. The jewel of the collection, in my opinion, is David’s "Death of Marat." There are also statues by Rodin and his contemporaries and a great collection of French porcelain on the first floor, including Galle’s Art Nouveau vases.
From journal Sightseeing in Reims
February 24, 2002
On the second floor the Cranach portraits are all in one room. Another room has the Life of Christ in Peinture Toile which is painting on cloth. The placement of pictures in this museum is attractive. One room though, where they have the Dutch paintings has a portable stand in the middle of the room holding paintings which was distracting. I found corners of the museum very photogenic. There was one with a case of Daum and Galle vases backed by some oil paintings. Another was a case of pastoral figureines after the manner of Boucher which were made in Strasbourg. I really loved a Philippe de Champagne portrait of the Habart children which is very reminiscent of Van Dyke's children of Charles I.
There is a beautiful little Renoir, maybe 2 inches by 4 inches, called "Le lecture du role", Pizarro's "L'Avenue L'Opera" with that hazy yellow look he often has, and a horribly gruesome "Death of Marat" by Louis David. Just our luck their Gaugan is on loan to the Chicago Art Institute. This is a nice small museum, just enough to keep your interest without being too much.
From journal Chantilly Lace and a Pretty Face