1000 generous donors funded the Fenaille Museum’s construction. One of them was Maurice Fenaille, an oil industry pioneer and Rodin’s patron, who donated Hôtel de Jouéry which still houses the museum’s collection and gives it a unique atmosphere.
The Rodez city centre museum is world-famous because of its incredible collection of statue-menhirs. It’s deemed one of the best archaeological museums in France and houses a unique collection of 17 original pieces sculpted almost 5000 years ago. They are the oldest depictions of life-size man in Western Europe. The most famous, the “Lady of Saint-Sernin”, has been exhibited at the biggest European capitals.
These incredibly enigmatic pieces have a very contemporary feel. Pierre Soulages admits to a fascination with these prehistoric sculptures :
“It may be because of how I felt when I saw these pieces that I was led to look elsewhere and maybe even keep an eye out for these original moments whilst painting.” (Pierre Soulages)