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5 reasons to visit rodez and the soulages museum

As contemporary art fans, we love wandering through the rooms of the Soulages Museum in Rodez. If that's your thing too, you'll enjoy discovering the works of this immense Aveyronnais artist, who has international renown. And yes ! Pierre Soulages is originally from Rodez. And... we're very proud of it ! So here are our tips for fully enjoying this unique place.


The Soulages Museum settled in the heart of Rodez in May 2014. This ultra-modern building is now one of the most visited places in Occitanie. Since its opening, the museum has an average of 130,000 to 150,000 visitors per year. Here are, according to us, the 5 reasons that can inspire you to push the doors of this timeless place.

A significant variety of artworks

In 2005, Pierre Soulages and his wife Colette decided to donate a huge collection of 500 signed works to the Grand Rodez community of municipalities. This exceptional gift includes 250 works and 250 documents. This donation represents the largest ever given in France by an artist during his lifetime.

In the various rooms of the museum, you can discover nearly 100 paintings on paper, including the famous precious Broux de noix. These are our favorite works !

The museum also holds a selection of paintings on canvas designed from 1946 to 1986. These works, partially or entirely covered in black, play with transparency. We could spend hours contemplating these amazing paintings.

Soulages worked on the famous stained glass windows of the abbey church from 1986 until 1994. In total, the Abbey Church of Sainte Foy includes 104 stained glass windows created by this great artist. The museum holds the preparatory cartoons for the windows of Conques. Our little tip ! Before visiting the abbey of Conques, go to Rodez to discover the gigantic work of Pierre Soulages.

A prestigious building and a work of art in its own right

The building is a work of art in itself. When passing by, you will be amazed by this extraordinary architecture in ochre, rust, and black colors. Its lines are clean. Believe us... it's a pure marvel! In 2017, the RCR firm received the Pritzker Prize, the highest distinction in the field of architecture.

The museum is located on the north side of the Foirail Garden. It is a kind of link between old Rodez and new neighborhoods. An original way to connect the two parts of the city.

The Soulages Museum is designed as a sequence of parallelepipedic volumes whose cladding is made of Corten steel. By oxidizing, this material creates a protective patina whose nuances of steel recall the work of Pierre Soulages.

Exhibition rooms in the image of the artist

We are always amazed by the 1700 m2 of permanent exhibition halls. The works of Pierre Soulages are showcased in a remarkable way. The light that penetrates the building allows us to admire the works of this great artist.

The rooms follow one another and are not alike. We go through bright, dark, high-ceilinged, or low-ceilinged rooms. This alternation of brightness offers different atmospheres, allowing the works to be highlighted each time. 

We hope we have convinced you to visit this exceptional museum !