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The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon is one of the oldest museums in France. It is also one of the most impressive not only in terms of its huge collections ranging from Egyptian art to the 20C but also because of the historical interest of the museum building itself – the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy.
Two periods merit particular attention: the late 18C (corresponding to the foundation of the Museum) and Burgundian art of the 15C.
Paintings share the limelight with sculptures , drawings and the decorative arts. The works are characterised by a local specificity and an encyclopaedic range, both rooted in the history of the Museum and both nurtured by its policy of acquisitions.
The old great hall, which became the Salles des Gardes (Guard Room), bears witness to the pomp and splendour of the Burgundian Court. The tombs of the dukes, originally in the Chartreuse de Champmol (the burial place of the ducal family) were installed here in 1827 by Févret de Saint-Mémim, considered as the Museum’s second founder. From the same source come the two large sculpted altarpieces characteristic of the international Gothic style. The more famous of the two has kept its panels painted by Melchior Broederlam. The Salle du Chapitre (Chapter House) contains souvenirs of the Sainte-Chapelle and the Toison d’Or (Golden Fleece), the order of chivalry created by Philippe le Bon in 1430. Lastly, the Museum possesses a large collection of works by Flemish, Swiss and German Primitives.
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