Things to do in Avignon – Visit the Petit Palais Museum

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Next door to the Palais des Papes, you’ll find the Musée du Petit Palais. This ‘Little Palace’, built for Cardinal Bérenger Fredol in the early 14th century, serves as a museum devoted to Christian art of the Middle Ages.

Housed for a time in the Louvre, the museum’s unique collection of artwork which stems from works amassed by Italian collector Giampietro Campana and purchased, in part, by Napoleon III, consists of Italian Gothic and Renaissance paintings and works from the Avignon School, among which are frescoes, altarpieces, triptychs, statues and funerary art, as well as fragments of architectural elements from various royal and ecclesiastical residences, churches, and monasteries in the area.

Gallery with Low Beamed Ceiling Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

In the various rooms of the palace – some featuring low-beamed ceilings, decorative windows, stone bench seats

Fireplace Musee du Petit Palais Avignon Franceand fireplaces –

Courtyard Musee du Petit Palais Avignon Franceand even in the courtyard, which serves as a sculpture garden of sorts, you’ll see such works as:

Gallery Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

A collection of stone capitals from the cathedral,

Stone Capital with Mask Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

decorated with foliage tendrils, figures, and masks;

Stone Angel Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

Stone statues, created as funerary art, depicting angels and saints.  These include:

Effigies (some just mere fragments) of various church officials, such as:

Effigy of Pope Urban V Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

A 14th-century recumbent Pope Urban V,

Head of Cardinal Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

The head of Cardinal Guillaume d’Agreteuille,

Chapel Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

and a collection of sculptural works created for the tomb of Cardinal Jean de La Grange. Housed in the former chapel – a beautiful room with walls painted blue, rib-vaulted ceilings adorned with a keystone medallion featuring the arms of Monseigneur Dominique Marini – these include:Effigy of Cardinal La Grange Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

A 15th-century recumbent effigy of the Cardinal,

Transi Tomb Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

And a macabre 18th c. transi tomb, also known as a cadaver tomb.

Paintings in the collection include:

Crucifix Fragment Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

Crucifix (fragment) – School of Berlinghieri, 13th century;

Painting of the Lords Supper Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

La Cène (The Lord’s Supper) – Workshop of the Master of the Madeleine, 13th century;

Virgin and Child with Saints John and Margaret Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

The Virgin of the Annunciation and Saint John the Evangelist Bartolo di Fredi;

The Crucifixion and Virgin of Mercy Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

The Crucifixion and The Virgin of Mercy – Niccolò da Foligno, 15th century;

The Annunciation and Saint Blaise Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

The Annunciation and Saint Blaise – Niccolò da Foligno, 15th century;

The Virgin of Humility with Angels Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

The Virgin of Humility with Angels – Emilie, 15th century;

Virgin and Child by Caporali Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

The Virgin and ChildBartolomeo Caporali, 15th century; 

The Annunciation with Saints by Rosselli Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

The Virgin of the Annunciation and Saint John the Evangelist – Bartolo di Fredi;

The Nativity Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

The Nativity – Giovanni Francesco da Rimini, 15th century;

Saints Augustine Nicholas Lucy and Catherine Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

Saints Augustine, Nicholas, Lucy, and Catherine of Siena – Carlo Crivelli, 15th century;

The Navicella after Giotto Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

The “Navicella”, after Giotto – Antoniazzo Romano, 15th century;

Detail from Theseus and the Minotaur Musee du Petit Palais Avignon France

Theseus and the Minotaur (detail) – Master of the Cassoni Campana, 15th century.

Getting there:

Musée du Petit Palais is located in Place du Palais des Papes, adjacent to the Palace of the Popes.

Ticket info:

Adult Admission = 6.00€
Child Admission (Ages 12 – 18) = 3.00€
Child Admission (Ages 11 & Under) = Free

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