The Museum of Fine Arts, Rennes

posted in: Brittany, Home | 12

The Museum of Fine Arts is in the centre of Rennes, alongside the River Vilaine, and a wonderful way of spending a few hours in the City.


The building and the exhibits are all of a very high quality but a few things in particular caught my eye.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Rennes

The department of Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek, and Roman artifacts is beautiful, and wonderfully displayed – there is space and time to linger and inspect just enough high quality items. I had forgotten just how fine hieroglyphics are. There are mummified bodies, and animals, and a beautiful lid from a canopic jar – used to store internal organs from mummified bodies. The Etruscan artifacts, particularly an urn, were elegant.

Lid from canopic jar
Lid from canopic jar
Etruscan urn
Etruscan urn

Museum of Fine Arts, Rennes

The fine paintings include an extraordinary Georges de la TourThe New Born, dating from the 1640s. The catch light in the eye of the woman on the left is amazing – his entire depiction of light is extraordinary. And just look at the hands.


Detail from 'The New Born', Georges de la Tour Detail from 'The New Born', Georges de la Tour

I loved this portrait of a woman by Adriaen Thomasz Key (c.1544-c.90). I thought it was wonderfully realistic – she could be alive today – and came from a time when not all portraits set out to depict the truth.

Portrait of a Woman, Adriaen Thomasz Key (c.1544-c.90)

Pictures of Breton life and landscape were numerous, and interesting.

Alexandre Sege, 'The Pines of Pledeliac', 1874
Alexandre Sege, ‘The Pines of Pledeliac’, 1874
Charles Cottet, 'Women of Plougastel at the Pardon of Sainte Anne of Palud', 1903
Charles Cottet, ‘Women of Plougastel at the Pardon of Sainte Anne of Palud’, 1903

And as we left I loved this light display.

Light display, Museum of Fine Arts, Rennes

Leaving the Museum of Fine Arts, Rennes.

12 Responses

    • Candy Blackham

      The entire painting is extraordinary – I felt as though I could reach out and touch actual people. And it is sympathetic, empathetic, gentle, magical…

    • Candy Blackham

      Thank you! It was a wonderful collection and something not to be missed in Rennes. The City itself was a marvellous ‘City Break’ and could easily occupy 2-3 days.

      • Candy Blackham

        I am sure you will enjoy Rennes. We ate at Leon le Cochon one night and the ‘Ribs de Cochon’ just melted – delicious. Not fine dining but good food. Will you be touring in Brittany?

      • sunnydaysinseattle

        Thank you so much Candy for the food recommendation! We will be there for one day in March, then going to St. Malo and Mont Saint Michel. I am so glad to have your blog. It looks like there are so much to see over there. So I will have to make another trip.

  1. Candy Blackham

    Thank you. I knew of Georges de la Tour, and had seen reproductions of his paintings but this was the first time I saw a real painting, and it was quite wonderful. I couldn’t understand how he had made the painting – close up it ‘disappeared’ – extraordinary. It is a marvellous museum.

  2. Laura Bloomsbury

    some great captures Candy – love the first two especially and appreciate your art background info and links – Georges de la Tour could be a much more modern painter than mid 17th century

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