Discover one of Avignon's best kept secrets - Musée Calvet is the home of fine art and sculpture in Avignon, featuring works by Châlons, Mignard and Levieux in a divine private setting.
Featuring exquisite exhibits of fine art, modern art and sculptures dating from the 15th to 20th century, as well as permanent collections of Egyptian artefacts, the Musée Calvet is worth visiting to get your fix of culture in Avignon.
Tucked away behind a gilded iron gate off an unassuming road, bustling with restaurants and local shops, you will encounter a quintessential 18th-century French private mansion. Once home to the prominent, local Villeneuve-Martignan family, the building now houses the paintings and sculptures which make up the collection at the Musée Calvet.
This unique setting only adds to the charm of the collection, which are well organised yet diverse in subject matter and style. Though the mansion setting means that the gallery is relatively small compared to built-for-purpose galleries; the high ceilings, marble floors, and sweeping staircases all bathe the mansion in natural Provencal sunshine which only adds to the whimsical and unique display. Every inch of wall space is used creatively, so there is never a moment of boredom as you wander from room to room.
After you ascend the marble staircase, traipsing below twinkling chandeliers, you will find yourself at the Vernet collection, with examples of father and son Antoine and Joseph Vernet's works. The artistic dynasty called Avignon their home, and the local pride in their success can be seen in this collection's celebration of their work. Not to mention the fact that the gallery can be found at 65 Rue 'Joseph Vernet'.
It is evident that the Musée Calvet has great respect for its hometown, and eagle-eyed visitors will even notice the Avignon Coat of Arms displayed above the majestic entrance gate, as well as spotting the numerous impressions of local landmarks such as the Palais des Papes and the Pont Saint-Bénézet as they pass through the halls of the gallery.
For those interested in the local art-history of Avignon, or those simply seeking a quiet moment away from the busy streets of the city centre, the Musée Calvet should be at the top of your list.
65 Rue Joseph Vernet, 84000 Avignon