Past exhibitions

The Italian masters of the Museum of Brest

30 April 2014 – 4 January 2015


Italy in Brittany ? It may seem like a strange idea. Yet it’s through such a trip that the museum of fine arts invites you to embark on through its exhibition of the most beautiful 17th and 18th century Italian paintings housed in Brest.

Who knew that Brest held a first-rank collection of Italian paintings? The collection is often on loan – in 2013 and 2014 to the museum of fine arts, Quimper and to the museum of fine arts, Rennes for the exhibition De Véronese à Casanova, and recently displayed in Rome.

Having been recently restored, the collection is being studied through new sources that have broadened our understanding of the works. The collection is on display today in its entirety with a curatorial effort to provide rich textual explanations, audiovisual material and opportunities for interaction. For the purpose of the exhibition, the gallery of ancient paintings has been restored and modernized.

Anna Quinquaud : a sculptor in Africa

4 February 2014 – 17 May 2014


Anna Quinquaud (1890-1984), high sculptor of the first half of the twentieth century and recipient of the first Second Prix de Rome, enjoyed embarking on faraway, solitary adventures in Africa. While there, she committed herself to the exploration of the African continent, a subject which soon became a great source of inspiration. Like Anita Conti or Karen Blixen, Anna Quinquaud is part of a group of notable women who were ahead of their time, free to explore the world in pursuit of their passion. Her work pays homage to Africa’s beauty and its ancestral traditions.


The majority of the exhibition is made up of works conserved by the Museum of Fine Arts, Brest since the artist donated the collection in 1980. Since, the collection has been exhibited in Guéret, Gray, Mont-de-Marsan, Roubaix and La Rochelle. It is nationally recognized by the Minister of Culture and Communication. The exhibition, which is made up of more than 80 sculptures, drawings and documents, allows the public to truly discover this little-known artist and her extraordinary work.


© Direction Communication Brest métropole océane

Painters of Pont-Aven at the museum of Brest

29 may 2013 – 5 January 2014


The museum of Brest conserves a set of paintings, drawings, prints and unpublished sculptures by artists from the School of Pont Aven and Nabis. This exposure fed by works brought out of the reserves, shows the place which they hold in the new approaches of the art history.

The set so attempts to show the evolution of artists involved in the influence of Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard, by the theorizations of Maurice Denis and Paul Sérusier. It also reports on recent researches setting Emile Bernard, which the museum preserves 12 works, at the centre of the birth of aesthetics of Pont-Aven, previously assigned exclusively to Gauguin.

It shows what the synthetic forms encircled with an outline, a flat of pure colours, the atypical centrings of their works owe to Paul Sérusier, to Emile Bernard, to Georges Lacombe that the museum keeps a surprising monumental sculpture, also to Armand Seguin, to Charles Filiger without forgetting underestimated Henri-Gabriel Ibels known as the Nabi journalist and Maxime Maufra which occupied a place of choice. The route of the exhibition goes on by a cabinet of drawings with pastels of Claude-Émile Schuffenecker, studies of Henry Moret, a gouache of Jan Verkade and a portrait of Charles Filiger’s.

© Direction Communication Brest métropole océane

Ode to rain

17 April – 10 November 2013


The rain is the theme explored in this exhibition. It’s translation -often glorified- in Art and its significance in the history of Ideas. Fascinated by the atmospheric manifestations, where Man has no control, many artists who have confronted this challenge of representation. How difficult is it to realize that this element is immaterial and ephemeral.

From the 18th century to our days, the exhibition finds a new vision of the rain thought different forms. Painting, engraving, photography, literary extracts and objects resulting from popular arts associated in space so as to provide visitors in a poetic journey. Alfred Sisley, as much as Paul Sérusier, Henri-Gabriel Ibels or even Eugène Boudin were qualified by Corot, King of skies who have taken this theme to deliver a magnified picture.

These ancient works will be placed in perspective with a contemporary production from evanescent works of Geneviève Asse to the writings of Patrick Tosani about the rain.

La vague japoniste. Les peintres en Bretagne. 10 July - 4 November 2012
La vague japoniste. Les peintres en Bretagne. 10 July – 4 November 2012

La vague japoniste. Les peintres en Bretagne

10 July – 4 November 2012


This exhibition is presented in the context of the Bretagne-Japon 2012 event, and immerses us in the vogue for all things Japanese in the period when Japan was opening up to the western world.


The discovery of Japanese art by westerners, through the dissemination of ukiyo-e (literally “pictures of the floating world”) prints, led artists to renew the way they represented nature, transforming their compositions and intensifying the hues. Inspired by Japonism, some spent time in Brittany, where the sea became their favourite subject.


From impressionist echoes to the lessons of Pont-Aven, including the legacy of classical landscapes, the exhibition brings together the finest works of artists who showed Brittany from a perspective inspired by Japanese art (Georges Lacombe, Émile Bernard, Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis, Émile Jourdan, Jean-Francis Auburtin, Henri Rivière, Henry Moret, Maxime Maufra and René Quillivic), presented in juxtaposition with woodblock prints by Japanese artists (Hiroshige, Hokusai, Kuniyoshi).

Download the Visitor Guide of the exhibition in English
Public Vague-japonaise_English.pdf
Document Adobe Acrobat [230.0 KB]