Quimper : musée départemental Breton!

And let me give you the one two combination of museums of Quimper. This for me is the first , for the tradition, history and folklore of Bretagne and especially the dept 29 of Finistére. Again, I have come here several times and a favorite city, yet I find myself surprise not to have written about these jewels before in detail. Therefore, here is my take on the musée départemental Breton de Quimper! One of the best museum I have gone in, and have done my share. An example of what the deep France can do better than Paris.

Quimper musee departemental breton front aug19

The musée départemental Breton de Quimper,or the Departemental Breton Museum. It was created in 1846 by the Archaeological Society of Finistère, and installed in the former palace of the bishops of Cornouaille, near the Saint-Corentin Cathedral (see post). It presents archeology and the arts (sculpture, costumes, furniture, earthenware, stained glass, painting, etc.) from the department 29 of Finistère. A new thing that we took advantage of is that on weekends from October to May is free admission for all. It has wonderful treasures of Brittany inside, with a beautiful stairs and ceilings in neo gothic style. All is divided in themes, from pre history and antiquity, to popular Breton arts, furniture, ceramics, as faience of Quimper!! Many tables have hand touch exhibits whre you can actually touch the ancient vase ,pots, utensil etc. A magnificent room of Breton fashion , a must to see alone.

Quimper musee dept breton courtyard jan11

It occupies the former palace of the Cornouaille bishops, a building adjoining the cathedral built from the 16C to the 20C. The oldest part is the Tower of Rohan, built in 1507 for Bishop Claude de Rohan, in the Renaissance style of the reign of Louis XII. It contains a spiral staircase, which ends with a carved wooden ceiling in the shape of a palm tree. The decor of the perimeter of this oak covering is entirely carved: scrolls, foliage and real or imaginary animals (lion, pig, fox, etc.) as well as enigmatic characters (wild man, acrobat, etc.). Restored between 1990 and 2001, the rooms are arranged in a chronological and thematic distribution divided into four sections: archeology and ancient arts from Prehistory to the 18C; costumes and their representations by artists from 19-20C; wood carving and furniture from the 15C to 20C; and Quimper ceramics from the 18C to 20C.

Quimper musee dept breton tour rohan inside jan11

The tour of the permanent collections begins with an evocation of Prehistory and Protohistory through some major pieces such as the gold torso or belt) of Irvillac from the Bronze Age, and the gold necklace of Tréglonou from the Iron Age which are among the most important examples of protohistoric silverware discovered in France. The following section, organized around the monumental pavement of the thermal baths of a Gallo-Roman villa, is devoted to the lifestyle of the inhabitants of the Gallo-Roman city of the tribe of Osismes, Gallic people whose territory roughly covered that of the current Finistère: monumental profane and religious sculpture such as the so-called four gods stele, Hercules, Neptune of Douarnenez or domestic, protective deities of the hearth, Gallic and Gallo-Roman ceramics, toilet accessories, gold coins from Osisms, Gallo-Roman monetary treasure, etc.

quimper musee dept breton furnitures feb13

quimper musee dept breton tombs feb13

The following rooms on the ground floor are dedicated to the arts of the Middle Ages and Roman capitals 12C; and the tombstone of Grallon de Kervastar 14C; bas-reliefs with angels 15C, etc., Renaissance such as the mausoleum lying of the knight Troïlus of Mondragon, around 1550; Holy Trinity with Angels musicians early 16C, etc. , and classical and baroque periods such as the set of church sculpture; mausoleum of Yves Le Bervet du Parc by the sculptor Roland Doré 17C etc. Two large stained glass windows from the 16C bear witness to the double influence of Italian and Germanic   on stained glass art during the Breton Renaissance of the 16C and 17C. A display case is reserved for the monetary treasury of Saint-Pol-de-Léon, a set of 14C gold coins presented with the terracotta money boxes in which it has come down to us. The art of goldsmithing is represented by pieces from the 15C like a book-reliquary, 16C of Quimper silver and vermeil cup, and 17-18C such as wedding cups, etc.

quimper musee dept breton sculptures feb13

On the second level, the four rooms of the former bishop’s suite 18C have retained their original paneling and parquet. They are dedicated to costumes from Finistère in the 19-20C. Thirty models present a selection of clothing styles from the Pays Bigouden, Pays de Quimper, Pays de Fouesnant, Douarnenez, etc. and their ornamentation like embroidery, lace, jewelry, etc. This section also contains a collection of works by sculptors and painters, observers of costumes and traditions from Finistère to the 19-20C such as sculptures, and paintings , etc.  Two other rooms, one of which located in the Rohan tower is decorated with 18C frescoes, retracing the evolution of furniture and woodcarving from the 15C to the 20C: sculptures of facades of medieval houses, Renaissance table, chests and fronts of chests, linen press, wedding cupboards, dresser, closed bed, etc. The section also includes examples of modern Breton furniture developed in the interwar period.

quimper musee dept breton women fashion feb13

On the third level, the section devoted to Quimper earthenware offers a collection whose constitution began in the middle of the 19C and has never stopped since: luxury earthenware from the 18C, pottery and popular earthenware from the 18C ,19C and 20C, diversity of learned styles after 1870, botanical decorations and invention of decorations with Breton characters. A set of display cases is devoted to the renewal of ceramic art in Quimper during the period between the two world wars.

quimper musee dept breton custumes feb13

quimper musee dept breton men fashion feb13

The earthenware rooms overlook the space where the temporary exhibitions regularly are organized by the museum are held. This is a must to see museum in France and of course Bretagne. You will learn much of the history and customs of this region and go home with great fulfillment. Hope you enjoy it as we did.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must are

The official Breton departamental museum in French: Breton museum of Quimper

The city of Quimper on the Breton departamental museum in French: City of Quimper on the Breton museum

The tourist office of Quimper on the Breton departamental museum in English: Tourist office of Quimper on the Breton museum

And there you go folks a superb museum that must be visited to know the history of Bretagne more so than France. This is a wonderful site in a very lively and pretty district of Quimper. You all come to see the Musée Départemental Breton ok.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

6 Comments to “Quimper : musée départemental Breton!”

  1. Dit-on ‘Quimpère’ ou ‘Quimpé’?


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