The Museum of Augustins at Toulouse

January 16, 2015 by
Filed under: France 

A Visit to the Museum of Augustins

The final part of my visit to the Museum of Augustins involved the Augustins Church. This Southern Gothic building was started in 1317. It suffered in the fire of Toulouse in 1463, after which the vaulted roof was completed and the external roofing applied. The convent was eventually consecrated in 1504. Unfortunately, in 1550 the belfry was struck by lightning, resulting in the loss of the spire and some upper floors, which have not been rebuilt. The church was first established as a museum in 1793 after the French Revolution in order to protect Toulousian masterpieces. It is one of the oldest museums in France, opening shortly after the Louvre in Paris.

Church  Interior looking eastward

Interior looking eastward








Interior looking westward

Interior looking westward














In addition to the regular display items, an exhibition of some works by Benjamin Constant (also known as Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant), was being held. Constant was born in Paris in 1845 died in 1902. The exhibition covered his earlier work, which was heavily influenced by his visit to Morocco in 1872. The contemporary description of this subject matter was ‘Oriental’.

Benjamin Constant later changed his focus to portrait painting, and a number of these are held in local government and national collections in the UK, where Constant enjoyed the sponsorship of the aristocracy, including Queen Alexandra, whose portrait he painted in 1901.

Christie’s past sales archive reveals that prices for the 24 of Benjamin Constant’s works sold by them between 1994 and 2014 vary widely, from “The Spanish Dancers” – sold in 2003 for £306, to “Harem Women” – sold in 2007 for $409,000.

La favorite d’emir

La favorite d’emir (1879) – on loan from the U.S. National Gallery of Art








La Caid marocain Tahamy (1883)

La Caid marocain Tahamy (1883)


At the Bazaar

At the Bazaar


Musee des Augustins at Toulouse


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