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The MUCEM art gallery in Marseille | © So_P/Flickr
The MUCEM art gallery in Marseille | © So_P/Flickr

The 10 Best Art Galleries in Provence

Picture of Alex Ledsom
Updated: 4 May 2017

Provence has many museums celebrating the painters who made the region their home, as well as showcasing its phenomenal architecture and seaside locations. Check out our list of the Top 10 around Marseille, Cannes, Nice, St Tropez and Aix-en-Provence.


MUCEM – Marseille

The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations is the new cultural centrepiece of Marseille’s tourist industry. And it’s astonishingly beautiful. Situated next to the old Fort St Jean (which has itself had a monumental makeover), it is the pride of the newly regenerated area by the docks. There’s now a very chic and massive shopping mall along the road and many new restaurants and bars are opening up.

The entire MUCEM centre| © Patrick Gaudin/Flickr

The entire MUCEM centre| © Patrick Gaudin/Flickr

You can find everything here – modern art, street art and the old classics. Check the programme for details. But perhaps the biggest draw is the building and the location. Eat at one of the restaurants, check out the view from the roof, and enjoy the modern architecture and views over the port and city.

Opening hours: 11am to 6pm in winter (November to April), 11am to 6pm in early summer (May to June), 10am to 7pm in late summer (July and August), and 11am to 7pm in Autumn (September to October).

The MUCEM in Marseille | © Vasse antoine/Flickr

The MUCEM in Marseille | © Vasse antoine/Flickr

Musée Granet – Aix-en-Provence

The Musée Granet houses a large permanent collection by Cézanne, including lots of his sculptures, etchings and paintings. It also runs temporary exhibitions on various subjects. It’s a small museum (which is reflected in the low ticket price) but it’s well worth a look. There’s also a second permanent annex in Place Jean-Boyer, which is included in the price.

Opening hours: 12pm to 5.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Mondays.

Musée Granet,

From Cezanne to Giacometti #aixenprovence #france #art #giacometti #museegranet #frankofon #goodlife #culture

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Hôtel de Caumont – Aix-en-Provence

This grand house was built in the 16th century and used to house the Conservatoire in Aix, before it moved to a fancy new purpose-built building elsewhere. After extensive renovation it opened as a private art museum and gallery. It has a permanent exhibition on Cézanne – whose home town was Aix – but also runs interesting exhibitions on everything from Marilyn Monroe to the Italian Masters.

Opening hours: 10am to 6pm, daily.

Le countdown. #sandoraghi #7117

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Musée Matisse – Nice

The Musée Matisse is a wonderful place to get to know the life and work of one of France’s most loved painters. The villa was built in the 17th century and was his home from 1917 to when he died in 1954. It has many of his paintings, as well as sketches and personal objects, and provides a great overview of the man and his life.

Opening hours: Mon, Wed–Sun (closed Tues). 10am–6pm (June 23–Oct 15). 11am–6pm (Jan 2–Jan 22/Oct 16–Dec 31). Closed January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, and December 25.

164 Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez, Nice, +33 (0)4 93 81 08 08

Музей Матисса в Ницце

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Musée Masséna – Nice

This former house belonged to French aristocrat Victor Masséna, who used it as a winter retreat after its construction in 1898. It was donated to the city upon his death by his son. It was heavily restored in 2008 and opened as a Museum and Art Gallery.

Opening hours: Mon, Wed–Sun (closed Tues), 10am–6pm. (June 23–Oct 15), 11am-6pm. (Jan 2–Jan 22/Oct 16–Dec 31). Closed January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, December 25.

65 Rue de France/35 Promenade des Anglais, Nice, + 33 (0)4 93 91 19 10

Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall – Nice

Marc Chagall (1887-1985) was a Nice resident who painted the Old Testament, and this museum houses 40 of his works. Picasso admired Chagall’s work, stating that “when Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter who truly understands what colour is”. The museum is free for EU citizens under the age of 26.

Opening hours: Mon, Wed–Sun (closed Tues). 10am–5pm (Nov–Apr). 11am–6pm (May–Oct). Closed January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, and December 25.

36 Avenue Dr Ménard, 06000 Nice, +33 (0)4 93 53 87 20

Ни одна репродукция не передаст реальности!!

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Musée des Beaux-Arts – Nice

This museum has such a wide selection of art spanning the 15th to 20th centuries that it’s been the target of various art heists over the years. Built in 1878 for a Ukrainian Princess, it’s well worth the hike up the very steep hill. It has everything from French and Italian Masters to post-Impressionist paintings.

Opening hours: Tues–Sun (closed Mon). 10am–6pm (June 23–Oct 15). 11am–6pm (Jan 2–Jan 22/Oct 16–Dec 31). Closed January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, and December 25.

33 Avenue des Baumettes, Nice, +33 (0)4 92 15 28 28

MAMAC (Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain) – Nice

This museum houses lots of contemporary American and European art from the 1960s and beyond, including Pop Art and New Realist work. You’ll find work by Andy Warhol and Niki de Saint Phalle. Don’t miss the terrace, which has a great view across the city.

Opening hours: Tues–Sun (closed Mon). 10am–6pm (June 23–Oct 15). 11am–6pm (Jan 2–Jan 22/Oct 16–Dec 31). Closed January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, and December 25.

Place Yves Klein, Nice + 33 (0)4 97 13 42 01

//Ernest Pignon Ernest #wildstreet

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A €10 ticket will allow unlimited admission into many of the museums in Nice over a 24-hour period. A €24 ticket will do the same over a seven-day period. The pass includes the MAMAC, the Matisse, the Beaux-Arts and the Masséna, as well as several smaller museums around the city, such as the Photography Museum.

La Malmaison – Cannes

Situated on La Croisette, one of the most famous promenades in the south of France, this used to be the Grand Hotel before it was knocked down and rebuilt. La Malmaison, the art gallery, is in the only part that remains: the old seaside pavilion and former tea room. It had a huge makeover in 1983 after it was bought by the city, and now houses the Centre of Modern Contemporary Art. It hosts two exhibitions a year, showcasing the masters like Matisse and Picasso and more modern 20th-century work.

Opening hours: Tues to Sunday (10am to 1pm, 2pm to 6pm). Closed Mondays.

C O L O R

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Le Musée de l’Annonciade – St Tropez

The Annonciade Museum was built by Penitent monks in the 16th century who helped to rescue prisoners-of-war when they returned to town. It became an art gallery in the mid 20th century, celebrating the town’s love of avant-garde art. In particular, it showcases a lot of work by Paul Signac, who first came to paint in St Tropez in 1892 and invited a lot of his friends to paint here. It considers itself the first modern art museum in France.

Opening hours: 10am to 1pm. 2pm to 6pm. Tuesday – Sunday. Closed Monday. €6/€4. Under 12s free.