A significant cultural hub in northern France is Lille. Lille not only has a university, but it also has a symphony orchestra and other performing arts groups. A modern art museum and a 20th-century art museum are also located there. However, many visitors consider the city’s Palais des Beaux-Arts to be its most valuable asset. This building, called the “Grande Galerie,” is home to some of the most expensive works of art.
City’s Museum Society Transformed
Jules Lavoignet oversaw the original building of the Grande Galerie, which took place between 1864 and 1867. However, it took until 1871 for building to be finished, thanks in large part to Joseph Caudet, a well-known Lillois. The structure was initially meant to house Lille’s art society’s annual show, however it was later the city’s museum society transformed it into an art gallery. The gallery used to display artwork dating back to the Middle Ages and up until the end of the 19th century. Later, it grew to include pieces from every era of European art up to the present.
In addition to its permanent collection, the Palais des Beaux-Arts hosts a number of events every year. La Fête de la Lumieres, an annual festival with live music, dance, and theatrical acts, as well as more than 100 candles burning concurrently in various areas of the gallery, is one of the event’s highlights. Thousands of people come to this event each year to see actors perform plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Corporate conferences and meetings are held in the Palais des Beaux-Arts in addition to artistic activities.
The Palais des Beaux-Arts stands out as one of the most well-known art galleries in the world thanks to the more than 200 Claude Monet paintings that display on its walls.