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From Ingres to Polke Ingres

From Ingres to Polke

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Why you will love it?

The Petit Palais is one of the most amazing museums in Paris, with a permanent collection featuring the works of some of the most famous artists of all times (Rembrandt, Monet, Delacroix…). But when it joins forces with another fine arts museum, the Musée des Beaux Arts de Nantes, currently closed for renovations, it becomes truly unique. With 7 masterpieces of the Nantes Museum exposed among the many wonders of the Petit Palais’ own collection and waiting to be discovered without spending a penny, it is truly not to be missed. Enjoy! Parisianist.

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About this place

Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris
Line 1/13 - Champs-Elysées Clémenceau

Wednesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm
more less
Monday : Closed Tuesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Wednesday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Thursday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Friday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Saturday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm Sunday : 10:00 am - 18:00 pm
25 December 1 January

Our Insiders' Article


Nantes is the 6th largest city of France and located on the west coast. Its fine arts museum has a magnificent collection of western paintings stretching from the 13th to the 21st century. But the century old building is currently being upgraded for comfort and security reasons. This is why 7 of its most wonderful masterpieces are temporarily exposed at the Petit Palais in Paris among the other works of the Parisian museum’s permanent collection. Being a free museum, this is a unique opportunity to see paintings by Ingres, Polke, or Corot.

Ingres, Tissot & Polke

3 of the masterpieces will be hung in Hall 23:

Jean-Dominique Ingres’ Portrait of Madame de Senonnes. Ingres (1780-1867) was a student of David and made a living by painting fabulous portraits of rich family members. The Portrait of Madame de Senonnes is one of his most achieved portraits and a great example of the genre that brought him fame in the early 19th century.

James Tissot’s Portrait of Mme de Senonnes. Tissot (1836-1902) was highly influenced by Ingres and focused on painting the mundane society of the late 19th century. Although a good friend of Degas, he never joined the Impressionist movement. Tissot copied Ingres’ work but used only shades of grey as he worked from a photography of the original painting.

Sigmar Polke’ Untitled. Polke (1941-2010) was one of the two founders of a new German art movement that could be compared to American Pop Art. His untitled work exposed at the Petit Palais is a portrait of a woman which in some ways is quite similar to Ingres’ and Tissot’s works, yet very different in the style and florescent colors.

Parisianist Fun Fact: Ingres’ signature on the portrait is actually on the piece of paper stuck to the border of the mirror.

Vernet & Delaroche

The 4 other masterpieces are hung in Hall 24:

Horace Vernet’s The Ballad of Lenore. Vernet (1789-1863) was a talented French painter and a prestigious professor at the School of Fine Arts of Paris. The painting exposed was inspired by Gottfried Bürger’s poem written in 1774, a story of love between Lenore and Wilhelm who left to fight a war.

Paul Delaroche’s The Childhood of Pico Della Mirandola. Paul Delaroche (1797-1856) also was a professor at the School of Fine Arts of Paris. In this exposed painting, ordered in 1842 by a friend of the artist, Delaroche painted Pico Della Mirandola, a prodigal child which was believed could speak 22 languages and was condemned therefore by the Pope for heresy.

Corot & Gérôme

Jean-Baptiste Corot’s Democritus and the Abderitans. Corot (1796-1873) was a classic landscape painter. The painting exposed was inspired by Jean de la Fontaine’s fable, where Greek philosopher Democritus is in the woods meditating and studying as Hippocrates in the back seeks his good friend to judge his mental power.

Jean-Léon Gérôme’s The Prisonner. In this 1861 painting painted by Gérôme (1824-1904), a talented artist, a prisoner is taken aboard a small boat on the Nile River, with the lute player and the setting sun soothing this otherwise harsh scene. 

Belshazzar's Feast

Another new happening until January 11th 2015 is the presentation of Claude-Guy Hallé’s Belshazzar’s Feast (Le Festin de Balthazar), which has undergone major restorations. It was stored in a Parisian church for a long time and was so damaged that specialists could not determine the painter who painted this work of art. With a new frame and brilliantly restored with the help of the Frédéric de Sainte Opportune Foundation, the visitors are able to witness the beauty of this painting and discover preparation sketches which have enabled the specialists to determine the true artist, Hallé, a French painter who lived between 1652 and 1736.


It is truly a great opportunity for fine arts lovers who will not be able to go to Nantes in the future to witness the beauty of 7 of the museum’s masterpieces. And since they are exposed amidst the permanent collection of the Petit Palais, and that the entrance is free, there is no reason why any person should not take this unique chance to visit one of the most beautiful Parisian museums, for its collection and also for its magnificent 1900 architecture.

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