In the elegant 17th-century Palais St-Pierre, formerly a Benedictine abbey, this museum houses one of France's largest art collections after that of the Louvre. Byzantine ivories, Etruscan statues, Egyptian artifacts, and top-notch sculptures (most notably Rodin's Walker) are all on display; however, paintings remain the highlight. Amid old master, Impressionist, and modern paintings are works by the tight-knit Lyon School, characterized by exquisitely rendered
flowers and overbearing religious sentimentality. Note Louis Janmot's Poem of the Soul, immaculately painted visions that are by turns heavenly, hellish, and downright spooky. A newer trove of treasures includes works by Manet, Monet, Degas, Bacon, Braque, and Picasso.
Sep 6, 2005
In the middle of the city in an attractive square and an oasis of peace. Allow a couple of hours to see all the collections and stop at the cafe on an outdoor terrace overlooking the gardens.