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Main collections

1 - Salon Valedau

Salon Valedau © Musée Fabre / Montpellier Agglomération

This small room presents works reflecting the tastes and personality of the Montepllier-born collector Antoine Valedau, an agent de change who bequeathed his collection of northern European paintings, Romantic drawings and art objects to the museum in 1836. The gift furthered Français-Xavier Fabre's dream of creating a truly great museum for the city of Montpellier. Printed interpretive sheets and interactive stations provide visitors with further information on the museum and its collections of northern European paintings.

2 - Cour Germaine Richier

Cour Germaine Richier © Musée Fabre / Montpellier Agglomération

The galleries on this floor are organised around the immense interior court created on the site of the former courtyard of the Hôtel du Chevalier de Massilian, first recorded in the 15th century, and remodelled in the 18th century. The court displays works of contemporary sculpture, and has been named after the Montpellier sculptor Germaine Richier (1902-1959). Monumental works are presented on a rotating basis.

3 - Rubens Gallery

Salle Rubens © Musée Fabre / Montpellier Agglomération

This large gallery, devoted to Flemish 17th-century art, is divided into three sections: works by Breughel the Younger evoke the early years of the century, following on from his father Jan Breughel the Elder. There is also an important group of works by Rubens and other artists of the northern European Baroque (Daniel Seghers, Cornelis De Heem, Huysmans...). A series of nine paintings by David Teniers evokes the northern school's predilection for so-called genre scenes, depicting aspects of everyday life.

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4 - Dou Gallery

Salle Ddou © Musée Fabre / Montpellier Agglomération

The first of three galleries devoted to Dutch art presents paintings from the period 1630-1650, which saw a flowering of genre and landscape painting, through the works of some of their greatest exponents. Masterpieces from the so-called Golden Century of Dutch art include scenes of everyday life by Gerrit Dou and Ter Borch, and landscapes by Potter, Ruisdael and Wouwerman.

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5 - Steen Gallery

Salle Steen © Musée Fabre / Montpellier Agglomération

Continuing on from Room 4, the Steen Gallery presents Dutch works from the period 1650-1660, the apogee of genre painting, with an exceptional group of pictures – unique in French public collections – by Steen, Mieris, Metsu and Van Ostade. The paintings were donated to the museum as part of the collection of Antoine Valedau.

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6 - The De Massilian foyer

Punctuated by lateral columns, this gallery corresponds to the original entrance foyer of the former Hôtel de Massilian, bought in 1826 by the City of Montpellier, for the creation of a museum to house the Fabre bequest.

7 - Hondius Gallery

Salle Hondius © Musée Fabre / Montpellier Agglomération

The gallery presents Dutch works from the last three decades of the 17th century, characterised by an enhanced sense of grandeur and ostentation. Hondius, Weenix, Van der Tempel and Wouwerman anticipate the advent of rocaille. The paintings illustrate their respective specialities: animal scenes, flower pieces, still-lives, landscapes and battles.

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8 - Berchem Gallery

Salle Berchem © Musée Fabre / Montpellier Agglomération

The gallery presents the Italianising tendency in 17th-century northern European painting. Asselijn, Berchem, Dujardin, Moucheron and the Van Bloemens combine northern realism and Italian idealism, with vast, luminous panoramas. Several works reflect the popular bamboccianti – picturesque scenes of "low" life in Italy.

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