Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins, France

The Mougins Museum of Classical Art is an art museum located in Mougins, France. Established by Christian Levett, a British businessman and collector, it opened in April 2011. Levett decided to put the objects on display because his collection was mounting up in storage and he realised that many of them were of interest to the public.

Although the majority of objects on display are antiquities, the museum embraces a concept of displaying ancient, neo-classical, modern and contemporary art side by side to show the pervasive and lasting influence of the ancient world. Thus works by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Damien Hirst and others are included in the museum.

The MACM is spread over four floors chronologically from the crypt to the second floor as follows: The Egyptian Gallery, in the crypt, depicts the theme of the afterlife with funerary masks, numerous other ancient artefacts and two sarcophagi, punctuated with works from Chagall, Calder and Cocteau. The People and Personalities Gallery on the ground floor presents busts and statues of historical figures from ancient Greece and Rome, their influence highlighted by sculptures of Sosno, Arman, Quinn and Hirst. The Gods and Goddesses Gallery, on the first floor displays Greek and Roman bronze and marble statues, heads and busts, pottery, glass and silverware, an extensive collection of coins and an antique jewellery display case. Neo-classical and modern artists such as Rubens, Rodin, Klein, Warhol, Picasso, Modigliani, Braque and Dali are integrated. The Armoury on the second floor displays the largest private collection of Greek and Roman arms and armour in the world.

The Egyptian gallery is devoted to the theme of the Hereafter. Reliefs of tombs, masks and funerary panels, statues of gods and goddesses from the Old Kingdom in the Ptolemaic period meet modern works by Alexander Calder and Jean Cocteau.

The gallery of celebrities and the art of portraiture, on the ground floor, presents some of the greatest historical Greek and Roman figures. Socrates, Alexander the Great, Adrien and Auguste alongside Alessandro Turchi, Giovanni Paolo Panini, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.

The gallery of gods and goddesses and social customs, on the first floor, reveals a showcase dedicated to Venus. Greek and Roman jewelery, gold coins, silver and glass dishes, ancient and modern statues symbolize various aspects of everyday life in ancient times.

The armory gallery on the second floor contains the largest private collection of Greco-Roman arms and armor in the world. Armor, battle and parade helmets, statuettes and antique busts are presented alongside works by Salvador Dalί, Alessandro Turchi, Jane Rickard and Elisabeth Frink.

Discover, in the heart of the old village of Mougins, how the beauty of the ancient world has influenced neoclassical, modern and contemporary art.The museum’s large and diverse collection of antiquities includes Roman, Greek and Egyptian sculpture, vases, coins, and jewellery, and also the world’s largest private collection of ancient arms and armour.These ancient artworks are interspersed with a hundred classically inspired paintings, drawings, and sculptures by artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Dufy, Cézanne, Rodin, Dali, Andy Warhol, Marc Quinn, Antony Gormley, and Damien Hirst.The founder of the museum is Christian Levett, a British investment manager with a passion for ancient art. In 2008 he decided to place his collection on display for the benefit of the public in a museum in Mougins, where he has a family home.

The MACM guidebook, edited by Merrony gives a detailed description and photos of the collection. It features articles by experts such as John Boardman on Greek Art and Peter Clayton on Ancient Egypt.

The collection at the MACM is an evolving permanent exhibition. “Picasso a Mougins” exhibition This year commemorates the 40th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death at Notre-Dame-de-Vie in Mougins. The last twelve years of his life here are celebrated in the temporary exhibition ‘PICASSO A MOUGINS’, organised by the City of Mougins and the Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins. The focus of the exhibition includes a splendid linoleum cut, L’Homme barbu, produced at the home of the great master in 1962, several of his renowned Vollard Suite drawings, complemented by an extraordinary biographical display of photographs by his confidant and renowned photographer, Lucien Clergue. These capture different aspects of Picasso’s last years of work and leisure time with his great friends and iconic personalities in his famous residence here in Mougins.

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