Victor Hugo was born in Paris
in April 1826 and studied with the neoclassical painter Picot, then entered the Ecole des
Beaux Arts and from then on travelled extensively in Italy, although his home was always
The apartment was where his mother and father lived, and then Gustave Moreau himself lived
in this place after their deaths. And although the interior had been designed by his
father who was an architect, Gustave decided to completely refurbish it in 1895 also
adding to the building, as he had the idea of creating his own museum of his work and
The building was all paid for by Gustave himself and was finished in 1896 and was to the
design and layout he wanted for the museum.
But not only did he choose to remodel the apartment into a museum, but he also took on the
task of redoing some of his art into larger pieces, but unfortunately, Gustave Moreau died
two years later, at the age of 72, before all the works were hung.
When he died in the of April 1898, he left his house and workshop along with
approximately, 8000 pictures, water-colours, cartoons and drawings to the City of Paris,
in which to form the Musee Gustave Moreau.
The unenviable task of completing his project was left to Henri Rupp, with the museum
being opened to the public in the January of 1903. Containing over 6,000 of the
works by Gustave Moreau, it has become one of the most well organised museum collections
Gustave is buried in the Cimetiere de Montmartre in Paris.
The Musee Gustave Moreau even today, still has an exceptional way of being able to show
the life and work of this incredible painter, and the atmosphere within his apartment and
studio, which take up the top floors of the building.
Gustave's approach to painting and drawing was initially academic and then symbolist,
before it became surprisingly modern and even almost abstract in his last few years and
everywhere you go in this museum, you will find the disconcerting mythological, literary
and biblical themes that were so dear to him. And one of his first pictures is now
in the cathedral at Angouleme.
Gustave Moreau collected together some very cherished souvenirs, relating to his parents
for the display along with his collection of many books and unusual objects. And
nothing has really changed in a whole century within the place, which means that you can
get to see exactly how he lived and where he worked.
There are absolutely thousands of drawings, which are on display in cases with movable
panels and on the upper floor you can discover an extraordinary rotating display unit for
his watercolours, which was designed along the lines drawn up by Gustave Moreau himself.
The museum boasts several of Gustave Moreau's masterpieces, along with their preparatory
work to accompany them, such as The life of Humanity and The Apparition, plus other works
of varying sizes, all marked by the same unique characteristics of his art.
And if you look behind curtains, you will be able to view even more of his work, which has
been put behind to protect them from light damage.
But it doesn't just contain his works, there are also his own personal art collections
that are displayed as well, and as it did when it first opened, the museum still
captivates the many thousands of visitors who see the place each year.
Yet you can also get to see some of his paintings that are housed at The Louvre museum in Paris as well.
The museum is open every day of the week except on a Tuesday from 10am through to
5pm. Although on certain days it does not open until 11am, so it is advisable to
double-check the times before you arrive.
Address & Contact Details:
Musee Gustave Moreau
14 Rue de La Rochefoucauld
Telephone: 1 48 74 38 50