The Goya Museum launched a fundraising appeal to acquire the 16th-century predella (painting along the frame at the bottom of an altarpiece) by Master of Alcira. This was a great opportunity for us to go back to the Goya Museum and see this masterpiece, and look around this “Museum of France” which cannot fail to impress visitors on a sightseeing tour of Castres and the surrounding area.
The “Friends of the museums of Castres” association wanted to acquire this predella to enhance its collection of Spanish Renaissance pieces. The Goya Museum, one of the 1216 accredited "Museums of France", is a museum of Hispanic art, boasting an extensive collection of Spanish art from Antiquity to the 20th century. The predella is made up of five painted panels depicting a series of characters from the history of martyrs.
“Another church painting!” you might well say. Some people do feel that the museum’s collection features too many gloomy Biblical scenes: Francisco Pacheco (The Last Judgement, Christ Attended to By Angels), Zurbaran, etc. Others find the temporary exhibitions more interesting than the permanent collections, or that the museum is a misnomer as it only actually has three Goya paintings. On the other hand, a number of you think this museum in the Tarn is charming and well worth a visit.
Aside from the Goya paintings, the Goya museum is worth a visit for its collection of Spanish art: Ribera (Saint Augustin), El Greco (Saint Francis of Assisi and Brother Leo), Velasquez’s painting of King Philip IV in hunting attire, and even a painting by Picasso from 1971! It is also notable for its collection of Spanish art (particularly the Siglo de Oro) as interpreted by other artists, such as the painting of the Young Beggar after Murillo by Fantin-Latour (better known for his group portraits). We happen to know that the basement of the building, designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, one of the architects of Versailles, is brimming with loans from the Louvre: paintings waiting to be restored - or exhibited properly, like the 21 etchings of Juan Miro’s Gaudi series, some of which were discreetly exhibited for a few weeks.
But you don’t come to Tarn just to see Goya paintings. There’s a wealth of things to do and see in the Occitanie region! Set out from our guesthouse and after spending half a day hiking around the Sidobre, go on an evening tour of the Goya Museum then round off your day with a meal at our convivial restaurant, at the farmers’ market or one of Castres’ many restaurants: a great idea for a holiday that combines nature, culture and gastronomic delights.