The Must-Visit Art Galleries in Haute-Savoie, France

Stroll through the medieval streets of Annecy, Haute-Savoie, France, and discover some tucked-away art galleries
Stroll through the medieval streets of Annecy, Haute-Savoie, France, and discover some tucked-away art galleries | © incamerastock / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Oonagh Gannon
17 September 2020

There are many reasons to visit the Rhône-Alpes region of France: skiing in the famous resort of Megève, sailing on Lake Annecy or adventure sports in the Alps. After all of this exhilaration, unwind with a trip around the area’s art galleries. We profile the region’s must-visit destinations from Megève to Chambéry that showcase artworks by national and international artists.

Ski Resort
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Situated among the small shops and cafes of the centre of Megève, the Galerie des Neiges showcases stunning photographic works of the region’s natural landscape – from Charles Xelot’s forests to Alexis Reynaud’s skiers. In addition, the gallery exhibits works of street art, pop art and graphic art. Julie Mimram’s arresting portraits of female icons such as Kate Moss and Marylin Monroe feature alongside Yann Sciberras, known for his live performances and exhibitions in the Paris subway.

Art Gallery
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Tucked away in the medieval streets of Annecy, Au-delà des Apparences is a small gallery showcasing a hand-picked selection of paintings and sculptures. Owner Christian Gueux’s philosophy is based on the emotions and thoughts that a work of art evokes (au-delà). Always on the lookout for new talent, Gueux carefully selects his exhibits by visiting artists’ studios, showcasing the Renaissance-inspired paintings of Martine Bligny and monumental glass sculptures.

Art Gallery
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Alpage I is one of 14 galleries scattered around France, the USA and Singapore under the umbrella name Galeries Bartoux. The Bartoux family is keen to encourage the promotion of modern and contemporary art in the public arena. Their branch in the centre of Megève, bordering the Glapet, exhibits a collection of paintings and sculptures by the likes of Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol. A staff of specialists is on hand to welcomes visitors, always ready to share their in-depth knowledge of the works on display.

Art Gallery
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Situated at the foot of the mountains 4 kilometres (2.5mi) from Megève, Galerie Temps des Arts is an integrated part of the village of Praz-sur-Arly, best known for hot-air ballooning. A past exhibition included a partnership with the Lions Club, featuring the work of some 20 artists to raise money for handicapped children in France to go on a skiing holiday. From portraits made of jigsaw puzzle pieces by Claudio Perina to the New York landscapes by Yong-Man Kwon, wander around the gallery, and end your stay with a cup of Dammann Frères tea.

Art Gallery
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The Galerie Mario Colonel in Chamonix specializes in photography, showcasing breathtaking images of Mont Blanc and the Alps alongside creative works depicting mountains across the globe. The gallery comprises an exhibition area and a wide selection of affordable posters, calendars and framed prints of Mario Colonel’s work. For mountain and photography enthusiasts, Colonel organises trips to discover mountainous regions across different parts of the world.

Art Gallery
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After travelling the world with his camera, native artist Olivier Tops finally settled in Megève and opened a gallery to showcase his work. Characterised by large-scale paintings in primary colours and photographs from his travels printed on giant canvasses, Tops’ work is highly recognisable. He also pioneered ‘nail shading’, a technique using thousands of nails placed on a canvas with precision to create shadow images.

Art Gallery
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After a visit to the medieval Château des Ducs de Savoie in Chambéry, contemporary art lovers will be pleasantly surprised to find the Galerie Ruffieux-Bril on one of the oldest streets leading down from the castle. Art curators Jean-Loup Ruffieux and Emanuelle Bril have juxtaposed the ancient with the modern in their 14th-century gallery, showcasing artists from the region and beyond. Their temporary exhibitions often bring together two or three artists and kick off with well-attended opening events. The first temporary exhibition in 2012 showcased the works of Polish-born artist Adrianna Wojcik Muffet-Jeandat, who, based in Megève, continues to display her portraits and landscapes here. Other names to look out for in the gallery are Rudolf Reumann, known for his engravings on plexiglass, and William Laperrière, a specialist in wood sculptures.

Art Gallery
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The Galerie d’Art Perbet is situated in Annecy’s ‘Little Venice’, a stone’s throw away from the river Thiou that runs through the old town. Jocelyne Perbet’s busy gallery displays the works of internationally renowned artists, ranging from paintings that pay an amusing tribute to women with a fuller figure by Jeanne Lorioz to 3D pop art sculptures by Gerstein or the works of Thalie, blending digital art with painting. The gallery has a second address in Annecy – Nouvelle Espace – on the Faubourg des Annonciades, where Perbet showcases more young artists, organising brunch parties to open the temporary exhibitions. A full agenda of events is available on the gallery’s website.
These recommendations were updated on September 17, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.