Studying abroad in Grenoble, France has led me to some pretty magical places — and by that, I mean every art museum I could come across. This includes one of the richest pieces of history in the city: Le Musée de Grenoble (The Museum of Grenoble). It’s located off the “Notre-Dame - Musée” tram B stop in the center of the city. I went there multiple times during my study abroad program, from first visiting it with a group of friends to doing my homework next to 50-foot-tall paintings. It was a great place to hang out and an experience that I’ll never forget.

The wide corridor that connects all the exhibits (the openings on the walls) together

    When you walk inside, there is the front desk where you will receive your ticket. For anyone under 26 years of age, entry to the museum is free, and some other exceptions apply as well. The gift shop is located to the left of the front desk while the exhibits are to the right. Before entering the exhibits, a security guard checks the bags that you have on you, but do not worry if you have food or water on you — there are lockers that you can put your stuff in (you may need to obtain a free plastic coin from the front desk to use on the locker). Bathrooms are located near here as well. You may take one of their pop-up chairs to use while exploring the museum, and photos are allowed.

    The museum is arranged in chronological order with different countries, time periods, and styles represented. Starting from the beginning of the exhibits, one can see the massive impact that religion and Christianity had on artists due to the amount and size of the paintings with references to heaven, Jesus, and the crucifixion. As you continue on, different subjects start to appear such as landscapes/nature, architecture, animals, war, and human statues. However, my favorite style of painting to see was the still-lifes (referred to as “nature morte”), which usually featured a close-up of food, utensils, and other decor on a table. Before going to Grenoble, I had never done art, but the museum inspired me to purchase a sketchbook at the gift shop and draw recreations of the still-life paintings.

“Fleurs, fruits, vases, et autres objets” - Osias Beert, 17th century

    During my program, the free temporary exhibit featured Cy Twombly, an American artist from Lexington, Virginia who specialized in abstract expressionism. The collection was titled “Œuvres sur papier” or “Works on paper,” as it mainly contained Twombly’s scribbled drawings and words on off-white paper from 1973 to 1977. Critics and the general population have been confused by his methods and meanings behind his paintings, but lots of his inspiration comes from classical poets and myths.

“Aristaeus Mourning the Loss of his Bees” - Cy Twombly, 1973

    Overall, Le Musée de Grenoble is a wonderful place to take in the art, walk around the exhibits, or simply enjoy the calming atmosphere. In my opinion, this was one of my favorite museums even though it’s not as popular as some of the other French museums I went to. They also have an online database featuring the works they have in person, located on their website. This is a must-see spot for art and culture, and if you have the chance, I highly recommend going here during your experience in Grenoble.


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