Musée des Beaux-Arts

Top choice in Nancy

Lodged in a regal 18th-century edifice, Nancy's standout gallery occupies art lovers for hours. A wrought-iron staircase curls gracefully up to the 2nd floor, where a chronological spin begins with 14th- to 17th-century paintings by the likes of Perugino, Tintoretto and Jan van Hemessen. The 1st floor spotlights 17th- to 19th-century masterpieces of the Rubens, Monet, Picasso and Caravaggio ilk. A collection of Jean Prouvé furnishings, impressionist and modern art and a dazzling Daum crystal collection hide in the basement.

Highlights in the 1st- and 2nd-floor picture galleries include Mello da Gubbio's 14th-century altarpiece, Perugino's Renaissance Madonna and Child with two Angels (1505), Rubens' lucid, large-scale Transfiguration (1603), showing Jesus radiant on a mountain, and Caravaggio's dramatic chiaroscuro Annunciation (1607).

The basement Jean Prouvé Collection homes in on the pared-down aesthetic of Nancy-born architect and designer Jean Prouvé (1901–84), and displays a selection of Prouvé’s furniture, architectural elements, ironwork and graphic works. Here you will also find the peerless Daum Collection, which is displayed in a dark, spotlit gallery that shows off the glassware to great effect and is cleverly set against the backdrop of Nancy's late-medieval city walls. Trace Daum through the ages – from the sinuous, naturalistic forms of art nouveau to the clean colours and restrained lines of contemporary crystal.

The downstairs picture gallery wings you into the 19th and 20th centuries with an excellent portfolio of works, among them Eugène Delacroix' Battle of Nancy (1831), Monet's dreamy Étretat, Sunset (1883) and Picasso's Homme et femme (1971), one of his final portraits.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Nancy attractions

1. Place Stanislas

0.04 MILES

Nancy’s crowning glory is this grand neoclassical square and Unesco World Heritage Site. Designed by Emmanuel Héré in the 1750s, it was named after the…

2. Hôtel de Ville

0.07 MILES

Forming part of the place Stanislas ensemble, the grand 18th-century Hôtel de Ville spreads across the entire southern flank of the square.

3. Place de la Carrière

0.15 MILES

Adjoining place Stanislas – on the other side of Nancy’s own Arc de Triomphe, built in the mid-1750s to honour Louis XV – is this quiet square. Once a…

4. Place de l’Alliance

0.18 MILES

This lime-tree-fringed square, World Heritage material, is graced by a Baroque fountain by Bruges-born Louis Cyfflé (1724–1806), inspired by Bernini’s…

5. Vieille Ville

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A saunter through the charming old town takes in the silver-turreted, 14th-century Porte de la Craffe, Nancy’s oldest city gate, and place St-Epvre,…

7. Chambre de Commerce

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Built in 1908, the art nouveau Chambre de Commerce features wrought iron by Louis Majorelle.

8. Muséum-Aquarium de Nancy

0.29 MILES

Bang in the centre of town, this museum brings together a natural history museum and aquarium under one rather stylish art-deco roof. Its tanks swirl with…