Modernity 1850 - 1914

The rooms 37 - 42 on the second floor of the Jesuit college mark a clean break with the previous section and explore the emergence of the modern world in painting. Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), the first hero of this aesthetic revolution, devoted himself to an artifice-free description of the real world, with a triumphant expression of a deep and truthful humanity. His friendship with the collector and art patron Alfred Bruyas has given the Musée Fabre a considerable collection of paintings, including 'The Meeting' and 'The Bathers'. The Montpellier painter Frederic Bazille (1841-1870) continued this exploration of the real world and set the foundations for a new style of painting; Impressionism.

Following investigations at the end of the 19th century where Symbolism restored the spiritual and mystery to painting (Carrière) the early 20th century avant-garde artists consecrated the brutal and dynamic use of colour (Matisse, Van Dongen, Delaunay, Dufy, Chabaud). It was used with a highly modern sensitivity and the violent contrasts reflected the upheavals of the First World War.

Courbet Room

Salle Courbet

This room marks a change from the vaulted rooms on the first floor. Modern and brightly lit, it...

Artworks of trail

Courbet/Bazille Salon

Salon Courbet-Bazille

This small room allows visitors to enjoy video documentaries on Gustave Courbet and Realism, and Frederic Bazille and...

Artworks of trail

Bazille Gallery

Salle Bazille

The Bazille Gallery is the first of a series of rooms retaining their original French-style ceilings (part...

Artworks of trail

Castelnau Gallery

Salle Castelnau

This light-filled gallery leads to the contemporary building constructed over the Bourdon Court, housing paintings from the...

Artworks of trail

Cabinet Canonge

Cabinet Canonge

This multi-purpose space retains two monumental columns from the old Collège des Jésuites. Works by masters of...

Artworks of trail

Modern Room

Salle des Modernes

This room is enriched with exceptional pieces from the National Museum of Modern Art which demonstrate the importance...

Artworks of trail