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Musée Rolin, Autun

The Musée Rolin in Autun displays a fascinating variety of religious artifacts from ancient Roman times to the Renaissance. Conveniently located next to Autun Cathedral, it is housed in an elegant Renaissance hotel built by Nicholas Rolin, chancellor of Philippe le Bon.

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What to See at Musée Rolin

Among the many Gallo-Roman artifacts in the Musée Rolin are exquisitely preserved mosaics and mosaic fragments, numerous tombstones with portraits of the deceased, votive figurines of gods and goddesses, and even some of the molds used to make the figurines.

Representing the Early Christian era is a large sarcophagus carved with Christian symbols, a mold used to make glass chalices, some marble slabs with inscriptions, an ampoule featuring St. Menas, and other small artworks.

The highlight for many visitors is the Romanesque section, featuring many sculptures carved by Gislebertus for the cathedral. The star attraction is a carving from the north portal known as the Temptation of Eve. Carved by Gislebertus at the same time as his magnificent tympanum, it is a unique and sensuous depiction of Eve at the moment of her fall.

Also notable are surviving fragments from a sculpture group created for a tomb monument of Lazarus in the 1170s, including statues of Mary, Martha and St. Andrew. A wooden model provides a good idea of what the elaborate monument looked like when it stood in the choir of the cathedral, housing the relics of Lazarus.

Other rooms in the museum contain an extensive collection of sculptures, paintings and other artifacts from the Gothic and Renaissance periods. One of the major highlights is a beautiful polychrome sculpture of the Virgin of Autun.

Please see our Musée Rolin Photo Gallery for a virtual tour of many notable artifacts.

Quick Facts on Musée Rolin

Site Information
Names:Musée Rolin
Country:France
Categories:museums
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:46.945800° N, 4.299420° E
Address:5 rue des Bancs, 71400 Autun, France
Autun, France
Phone:03 85 52 09 76
Email:autun-museerolin@wanadoo.fr
Website:www.musees-bourgogne.org
Hours:Apr-Sep: 9:30am-noon, 1:30-8pm; Oct-Mar: 10-noon, 2:30-5pm.

Closed Tuesdays.
Lodging:View hotels near Musée Rolin
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Personal visit (June 4, 2008).
  2. Autun, Musée Rolin - Musées de Bourgogne
  3. The Rough Guide to France 9 (April 2005), 618.

More Information

Roman mosaic of the Greek philosopher Metrodorus (2nd-3rd cent.). © Holly Hayes
The Musée Rolin's star attraction: Temptation of Eve by Gislebertus. © Holly Hayes
Mary of Bethany, from the Lazarus tomb sculpture group. © Holly Hayes
The beautiful Virgin of Autun. © Holly Hayes
Gallo-Roman gods and goddesses. © Holly Hayes
The Last Supper. © Holly Hayes

Map of Musée Rolin, Autun

Below is a location map and aerial view of Musée Rolin. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.