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Musée de la Faïence de Nevers

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For its distinctive style of decorative china, the faïence from Nevers takes its place in the history books along with Delft, Tuscany, or Rouen. Now housed in an impressive new home, the Abbaye de Notre Dame, four hundred years of history unfold

Faience Museum Nevers Burgundy, Vasques Dindon Faience Museum Nevers Vierge a la pomme Faience Museum Nevers Burgundy Plat Venus

Vasques Dindon
Italian inspired, dating back to 1680s, this bowl for washing your hands gets its name from the three enormous legs resembling those of a turkey.

Vierge à la Pomme Dated 1636 a highly acclaimed religious figure by Denis Lefebvre, much copied in the 19thC.

Plat Venus
Nevers is famous for the cobalt blue faïence. Made around 1645 this plate shows Venus, taking Cupid by the hand, accompanied by Mercury.

Faïence is glazed earthenware china which has been produced since the 16thC in Burgundy. It was everyday ware, with decoration depicting the fashion and events of the time - the history of art, the economy, scenes of life and religion each telling their own story on plates, ornaments, plaques and bottles. The china has graced the tables of everyone from nobility to farm workers for four centuries and is still in production today.

Arts of the Fire

Now after ten years in the making, the town of Nevers in Burgundy has given its significant collection of these decorative pieces a home in a fitting setting - the restored Abbaye Notre Dame and L'Hôtel Roussignhol, forming the new Musée de la Faïence de Nevers. Planned as a centre for decorative arts, apart from the faïence, an impressive enamelled glassware collection numbering 290 pieces from the 17th and 18thC along with statues and paintings from the 16th to 20thC are also on view.

Faience Museum Nevers Burgundy Faience Museum Nevers Burgundy Faience Museum Nevers Burgundy

ancient and modern come together

Combining the stunning architectural features of the ancient Benedictine Abbaye Notre Dame  and the 19thC Hôtel Roussignhol with contemporary materials, the architect of the museum, Benoît Crépet, has created a showcase to exhibit these decorative arts. Wood, stone and metal combine in harmonious colours and textures to make the building a place where you will want to linger before taking time in the formal gardens. This is a museum for today - you can see how faïence evolved over the years, how it was manufactured and the uses it was put to through multimedia presentations. There are workshops and an active events programme is planned.

Opening times

Open Tuesday to Sunday April-Sept from 10.00-18.00; Oct-Mar, Tuesday-Friday from 13.00-17.30; Saturday and Sunday from 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.30.
Entry 6 euros

Musée de la Faïence
16 Rue St Genest
58000 Nevers
tel: 00 33 (0)386 68 44 60

See also: Artisans of Faïence