Planning a visit to the French Riviera? Want to soak up some culture on the way? The South of France is home to some of Europe’s very best art museums, featuring world-class collections from the world’s greatest artists. 
Here’s your friendly
South of France property surveyor’s guide to the top ten art museums to visit in the South of France.

Musée Picasso

Located in the coastal city of Antibes, the Chateau Grimaldi (named after the royal Grimaldi family, for whom it became a stronghold in 1608) is now the The Musée Picasso, home to some 245 artworks created by arguably the most famous artist of the 20th Century. Find Picasso’s works on the top floor – a former studio of the modern master – while the ground and first floors are dedicated to the works of other modern artists. 

Musée Matisse 

Nice holds one of the world’s largest collections of Henri Matisse. Entirely dedicated to the artist, find some of Matisse’s earliest works from the late 19th century, plus many of the intensely-coloured paintings he became famous for in later life. The Musée Matisse also houses some of the artist’s personal objects, making it a very intimate display. 

Musée Renoir 

Find the Musée Renoir in the town of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Cote d’Azur. It was the artist’s family home for the last years of his life, and still contains personal possessions, family photographs, as well as fourteen of his paintings and thirty sculptures. 

Musée National Marc Chagall 

The Musée National Marc Chagall houses the largest public collection of the works of Russian-French artist Marc Chagall. Home to 17 of Chagall’s paintings illustrating the books of Genesis and Exodus, which together make up the “biblical message”, the art museum also displays hundreds of supplementary works of both secular and religious inspiration. Located in Nice. 

Musée Jean Cocteau 

Divided into seven parts, the Musée Jean Cocteau hosts almost 1,000 artworks of the French poet, playwright, novelist, designer, filmmaker and visual artist Jean Cocteau. Housed in an iconic building designed by renowned architect Rudy Ricciotti, the Cocteau art museum is located on the waterfront of Menton in the Alpes-Maritimes department.  

Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins 

The Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins (Mougins Museum of Classical Art, or MACM) is located in Mougins, again in the Alpes-Maritimes department – about 15 minutes from the centre of Nice. Founded in 2011, this art museum features an impressive private collection of both classical works and modern pieces that have been inspired by those classics. Find Picasso, Renoir, Rodin, Dali, Modigliani, Grayson, and more inside.

Fondation Maeght  

A modern art museum on the Cline des Gardettes in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the Foundation Maeght contains one of the biggest collections of 20th century art in Europe. The permanent collection – only a part of which is open at any one time – includes works from important modern artists, including Georges Braque, Balthus, Pierre Bonnard, Sam Francis, Wassily Kandinsky, and more, while three temporary exhibitions are displayed throughout the year. 

Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain 

Also known as MAMAC, the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain is an art museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art, located in Nice. A huge collection of avant-garde works date from the late 1950s to today, and belong to various movements, including American Pop Art, the European New Realists and Arte Povera. 

Musée de La Castre

Best known for its film festival, Cannes is also home to the Musée de La Castre – an outstanding South of France art museum that boasts stunning exhibitions of ancient artworks from around the world, as well as landscape paintings by 19th century Provencal artists.

Musée de Beaux-Arts de Nice 

Built in 1878 by Russian Princess Elizaveta Vassilevna Kochubey, the Musée de Beaux-Arts de Nice houses paintings spanning the past four centuries from artists who lived and worked in the South of France, including Chéret, Alexis Mossa and Gustoav-Adolf Mossa, plus sculptures and ceramic works by names such as Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and Pablo Picasso. 

Charles Mackintosh – South of France Property Surveyor

That concludes our quick guide to the best art museums in the South of France. If you are considering moving to this stunning and culturally rich part of the world, South of France property surveyor Charles Mackintosh is at your service. Get in touch for more information.