When the wealthy financier died in 1896 he bequeathed his mansion
and his entire collection of Asian art to the City of
Paris and the Musée Cernuschi was inaugurated in 1898, which makes this museum one of
the oldest museums in Paris. It is also the second largest Asian museum in France and the
fifth largest in Europe, and holds great significance for the works it contains.
The Musée Cernuschi had a complete refurbishment which lasted a few years and now that it
has opened its doors to the public once again, you can get to view a vast collection of
different objects that are on display and you can discover art from extremely early on,
right through to around the 14th century, with specific rooms that are dedicated to
specific time periods, plus the museum holds contemporary art and temporary exhibitions.
There are some incredible pieces of art from very early on and one of the masterpieces on
show is a bronze, known as The Tigress, which is an elaborate lidded jug that dates from
the Shang Dynasty and is in the form of a kneeling feline that has open jaws.
One of Henri Cernuschi's most unusual purchases was an ancient bronze basin, which is
dated back to between the years of 450 to 220 BC and up until now it still remains the
largest known Chinese basin from that period and is on display at the museum.
We are sure that you will have heard about the famous Silk Route, between China and the
Eastern Mediterranean, and The Musée Cernuschi also has this era depicted with items such
as small terracotta sculptures of merchants and camels laden with goods and one beautiful
figurine that illustrates this era of trade is known as The Barbarian Tribute Bearer,
which is made from glazed terracotta and painted in delicate colours.
This interesting museum is able to show a remarkable collection of old Chinese and Asian
art right through from Neolithic pottery, ivories, bronzes to funeral statuary, statues
and painted silks through to contemporary paintings, all under one roof.
The Museum is open for general non guided visits but also has visits at specific times of
the year dedicated to certain themes, plus there is a show organised for children every
Wednesday afternoon that starts at 2.30pm and is approximately an hour and a half
You can also pre arrange guided visits, tours for the disabled and guided tours for large
groups as well. There are also opportunities to see some calligraphy and oriental
painting demonstrations, but it is best to check when these are available, so as not to be
The museum is open from Tuesday through to Sunday from 10am until 5.30pm but is closed on
a Monday and on national holidays, but you will be pleased to know that photography is
Address & Contact Details:
Le Musée Cernuschi
7 Avenue Vélasquez
Telephone: 45 63 50 75