Due to the size of its permanent collections, the Palais des Beaux-Arts of Lille is considered to be the second largest general-interest museum in France, just after the Louvre.
The building, completed between 1885 and 1892, is typical of the monumental architecture of the late 19th century.
Fully renovated in 1997, its 22,000 m² house prestigious collections of European painting (Rubens, Van Dyck, Goya, Delacroix…), a few key examples of 19th century French painting (David's Belisarius, Courbet's L’après-dînée à Ornans, Puvis de Chavannes' The Slumber, …), a large collection of drawings (including 40 sheets by Raphaël), a sculpture gallery (Carpeaux, Rodin, Claudel, Bartholdi…) and 17th and 18th centuries ceramics.
Also worthy of note is the presentation of relief maps of fifteen fortified towns in Northern France and Belgium (18th century models used by the French Kings during wars).
The museum is open on Monday from 2pm to 6pm, Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Closed on Tuesday.
Metro line 1 - stop: République Beaux-Arts