Behind the Hotel du Ville is Bordeaux's Museum of Fine Art. The area in front of the museum is interesting with a 30 foot tall, gaping mouth of a crocodile finely decorated. While the building is nice, the entirety of the collection is in one wing. It is always nice to see a Caravaggio and even the small El Greco was nice. But one would think a city the size of Bordeaux would have a more meaningful fine art collection. But the admission was free when I said I was from the US.
The Musee des Beaux Arts is located in a cramped wing of the Hotel de Ville which was rebuilt in the 19C museum style after a destructive fire in that century. (We did not take a picture of the exterior). There are some Old Masters distributed after the Revolution and plus a fine collection of Dutch Masters (from LaCaze, a local collector) plus a large fine group of 19C French works collected thereafter. Modern works continue to pile up. There aree Madonna and Clid with Sts. by Perugino and a Holy Family by Veronese and many others.
The museum collection keeps growing but the museum does not and the modern works are crowded in with too many fine works per wall, like some 19C Parisian Salon competition. Probably the best work in the Museum is Delacroix' "Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi" (1826). There are several Corot's and even early works by native son Redon. They are very crowded as the pictures show but the collection is quite varied and contains works of recent great artists.
The Museum of Beaux Arts houses works of art from the 17th to the 20th century and is one of only "French Museums created by Napoleon Bonaparte. The musuem is conveniently located very close to the The Cathedral of St. Andre and has a very nice collection of works of arts from some of the world's most important artists of our time like Titan, Van Dyck and Ruebens.
Operating hours are from 11 am to 6 pm every day including weekends and closed on Tuesdays and holidays
Entrance fee: 5 euros with a reduced fee of 2.50 euros for students
The fine arts museum of Bordeaux is rated as one of the top 10 in France. Although small it does have a very good representation of art periods from the 1300's (paintings on wood) to more modern artistic styles.
Suggest allowing at least 2 hours to fully enjoy.
Painting shown above is quite a gory piece. There are works by Rubens and Picasso on display.
Web site below is in French