The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is writing a new page in its history with the creation of the future Espace Riopelle, a pavilion dedicated to Jean Paul Riopelle integrated into the existing architectural complex.
The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is located in National Battlefields Park, also known as the Plains of Abraham. This urban park is one of the most marvellous in the world. It has 108 hectares of plains, wooded areas and gardens. A green oasis in the heart of the city, it is visited each year by thousands of residents and visitors. The back of the Musée provides a magnificent view of this space and the St. Lawrence River.
THE MUSÉE’S PAVILIONS
GÉRARD MORISSET PAVILION
Sculpted ceilings, columns topped with capitals and noble materials: this pavilion’s neo-classical architecture is imposing. Designed by the architect Wilfrid Lacroix, it was inaugurated in 1933. The low reliefs on its façade were created by the sculptor Émile Brunet. Until 1991, this was the Musée’s sole building.
CHARLES BAILLAIRGÉ PAVILION
For more than a century, this building served as the Québec City jail. It is the work of the Québec architect Charles Baillairgé. It is been a part of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec since 1991. Some of its cells have been preserved as a document of nineteenth-century prison conditions.
This transparent pavilion with its glass walls, granite facing and rooftop garden was inaugurated in 1991. The hub of the Musée, it is the central point connecting the other pavilions.
PIERRE LASSONDE PAVILION
The Pierre Lassonde pavilion, located on the marvellous Grande Allée, is the gateway to the Musée. It includes the ticket counter, cloakroom, boutique, café and auditorium, equipped with the latest technology. The building’s architecture is harmoniously tiered with generous exhibition spaces: six exhibition galleries for the display of post-1960 collections, two temporary exhibition galleries and three permanent exhibition galleries (contemporary art, Inuit artand decorative arts anddesign).
This pavilion is designed by the architectural firm OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), founded by Rem Koolhaas and whose head office is located in the Netherlands, and by the Montreal architects Provencher_Roy following an international architecture competition. The building is a powerful architectural statement covered entirely in glass, providing great transparency and bathed in natural light.
AN ART GARDEN AROUND THE MUSÉE
The magnificent Julie and Christian Lassonde Sculpture Garden, containing 24 works of art, borders the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. Among the works found there is a monumental sculpture in bronze by Jean-Paul Riopelle, La Tour (1969-1970, Michelucci foundry 1974). In 1969, Riopelle created in clay the components of his work La Joute, the most imposing sculptural grouping he made, three component parts of which are in the Musée’s collection (Le Hibou, Le Chien, L'Ours). La Tour, produced during a highly productive period of Riopelle’s career, is a key work in his oeuvre, demonstrating with eloquence and intensity the coherence and brilliance of his artistic ideas.
The works in the Julie and Christian Lassonde Sculpture Garden
Marcel BRAITSTEIN, Guerrier cosmique, around 1969
Charles DAUDELIN, Liberté, 1995
Charles DAUDELIN, La Cavalière, 1963 (enlarged, moulded and cast in 2000-1)
Charles DAUDELIN, Repos, 1949 (enlarged, molded and cast in 1989)
Michel DE BROIN, Tortoise (Cube), 2012
Michel DE BROIN, Tortoise (Tour), 2012
Michel DE BROIN, Tortoise (Tunnel), 2012
Kosso ELOUL, Toron, 1979
ÉTIENNE-MARTIN, Demeure III, 1960
Jacques HURTUBISE, Abstraction Z, 1960
Claude MILLETTE, 10 Pieds cubes rouges par seconde, 2013
Jean-Pierre MORIN, Trombe, 2008
Lewis PAGÉ, “Ne partez pas”, 1966
Jean-Paul RIOPELLE, La Tour, 1969-70, cast 1974
Jean-Paul RIOPELLE, La Victoire et le Sphinx, 1963
Henry SAXE, Jacks, 1977 and 2009 (pedestal)
Claude TOUSIGNANT, Palimpseste sur la pierre tombale de Mies van der Rohe, 1987