on November 11, 2009
The Musee des Beaux Arts in Montreal is a lovely museum with exhibits spread across two buildings linked by an underground throughway. There is a very good collection of Canadian art including First Nations artwork and they have collections of paintings from European masters right up to the early 20th century including works by Picasso and Rodin. They always have temporary visiting exhibits as well. The main permanent collections are free of charge with a charge for the temporary ones. They also have, thanks to a private contributor, a really interesting Napoleon exhibit. It only covers two rooms but the items were fascinating and included decorative items from the Napoleonic era in France such as mantel clocks, silverware and paintings. They had a marvellous bust of Empress Josephine and one of Napoleon as well as his death mask! They had one of his hats as well, one apparently used during the Russian campaign. There were some statutes and heroic battle paintings and they had some miniatures of both Napoleon and Josephine on display. There are other personal effects such as a writing desk and some clothing. The Empire gallery is new and is most definitely something worth seeing. The main entrance to the building is through the newer building on the south side of Sherbrooke Str but you can enter either side. There are lifts for people with accessibility problems and there's a coat check as well. They seemed to be ok for photos as long as you didn't use a flash. There is a bistro restaurant and a little cafe and the gift shop was quite good. Guy-Concordia metro station (we went to Peel and walked up to Sherbrooke), or bus 24 on Sherbrooke street West.
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