Learn about the history of art by browsing up to 70 rooms full of creative treasures that come from varying time periods and genres.
Housed in a phenomenal structure, the Lyon Museum of Fine Arts is the city’s hub for artistic works. Varied pieces from fascinating Egyptian antiquities to stylish postmodern displays hang in the galleries of this former Benedictine convent from the 1600s. Spend an afternoon browsing through some of Europe’s finest works of art in this impressive building.
The large museum is split into five main departments: Antiquities, Art Objects, Medals and Coins, Sculptures and 13th- to 21st-century Paintings. Take a guided tour in English of the entire museum on Saturdays or remain within your favorite department to study the works. The tour takes about 1 hour. Book in advance for groups by calling the museum. Alternatively, follow one of several 90-minute audio guided tours.
Browse Egyptian gems, such as the Coffin of Isetemkheb and the Gate from a Temple at Medamud. Peruse intriguing items from Persepolis, Greece and the Roman Empire. Explore the Medal Collections to see the Treasure of Terreaux and the Stater of Vercingetorix, which is a Celtic gold coin from 52 B.C. with a head of curls on one side and a galloping horse on the other.
Appreciate impressive paintings, such as Claude Monet’s Agitated Sea at Etretat and Pablo Picasso’s Woman Seated on the Beach. Marvel at Auguste Rodin’s sculpture The Temptation of St. Anthony. View high-definition photos of some of the highlights, such as works by Renoir and Pissarro, on the museum’s website.
The museum is closed on Tuesdays but otherwise open daily from morning until early evening. There is an entrance fee to see the collections as well as an additional amount for the exhibitions.
The Lyon Museum of Fine Arts is on the small peninsula between the two main rivers of La Saône and Le Rhône. Take the metro to the Hôtel de Ville-Louis Pradel stop in the center of the city and walk west for 3 minutes to reach the museum. The Lyon Opera and the Museum of Printing and Graphic Communication are nearby.