Located in the « chic » district of the Champs-Elysées, the Petit Palais (facing his « elder brother » Grand Palais) is an interesting museum to discover, for both its rich collection and its fine architecture.
Built as a sumptuous official palace for the 1900 Great Exhibition in Paris, the building afterwards became a Museum dedicated to all kinds of artistic movements, from Ancient Greece to the beginning of the 20th century. In the entrance hall and all along the main galleries, you will admire the 1900 fresco paintings on the ceiling. The permanent collections (free entrance) are exposed on two floors, and offer an eclectic path among paintings, sculptures, furniture and domestic items.
For a complete visit, allow between 1,5 and 2 hours. During your visit, you will discover great figures of art history (Cézanne, Monet, Courbet, Picasso, Carpeaux), as well as all kinds of craftwork (glassware, jewels, pottery). The outstanding rooms dedicated to French monarchy furniture through time are particularly worth seeing.
On the lower level, you will find a collection of occidental and oriental Christian icons as well as Greco-Roman antiques. Finally, don’t fail to observe the fine architecture of the palace. The vaults, the ornaments and the stained-glass windows deserve special attention, just as the Museum beautiful stairs do.
At the end of your visit, go by the pretty garden of the Museum to give a walk among its exotic vegetation. To fully enjoy its peaceful atmosphere, have a drink on the terrace. Art is better absorbed in the shade of colonnades!