Rich and varied: two words that sum up the collection at the Nantes Museum of Fine Arts.
Here the visitor is offered a complete panorama of Western painting from the 13th to the 21st century. Contemporary (since 1970) and international works cover all the diversity of the current scene, in terms not only of painting but also of installations, video and photography.
The viewing itinerary is divided into major chronological segments that invite visitors to follow the evolution of the history of art and establish personal reference points. At the same time, this presentation is not inflexible: with a view to encouraging fresh approaches to the collection, works are regularly brought out of storage, thematic temporary exhibitions trigger dialogue between periods, and new works – purchases, long-term loans and gifts – make their appearance.
Conversely, works sometimes leave the museum to be shown in exhibitions elsewhere: one example is Charles Baudry's Charlotte Corday, lent to the Musée d'Orsay for its "Crime and Punishment" exhibition. And sometimes, of course, works are removed for restoration: the museum's task includes not only public outreach, but also the conservation of the shared heritage represented by the collection.