The Hospice Comtesse Museum is home to a wide range of art and historical objects dating from the 16th to the 20th century. Not all of the collected works are exhibited, but they are used for study, published, displayed temporarily, or loaned for exhibitions.
For researchers and museum and cultural professionals, if you would like to know the terms and conditions for consulting or lending the museum's works, go to the Loan of works and photo rights section
This collection illustrates above all the religious painting of the 17th to 19th centuries in Northern France through the presence of works by Arnould de Vuez, official painter of the Hospice Comtesse Museum. This collection also features portraits of personalities, historical figures, and genre scenes. Lille and Flemish artists are well represented, including Louis and François Watteau, painters of Lille life.
The graphic collection consists of original drawings, prints, engravings and plans that trace the development of the city of Lille and the construction of its main monuments over three centuries, from the 17th to the 20th century. It also highlights the collections amassed by Lille's scholars in the 19th century and by the region's artists who loved their city, its inhabitants and its unique identity.
This collection brings together more than 55,000 items featuring a variety of processes, media and formats, as well as a large number of old postcards. It covers a period from 1845 to 1970 and mainly illustrates the history of Lille and the Nord Pas-de-Calais region. The largest part of the collection was donated in 1972 from the Lille workshop of Jean and René Pasquero, which was active between 1907 and 1969. Its 17,000 items are a precious record of commercial, industrial, military, and social activity.
Carved wood collection
The vast majority of this collection comes from existing collections from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, and from loans from the hospitals of Lille (CHR). This collection covers a period from the 15th to the 19th century and includes many civil and religious architectural items, pieces of furniture, religious and secular sculptures and signs. It tells of the lavish decorations and motifs that adorned the interiors of Lille.
The Hospice Comtesse Museum's collection of furniture reflects many influences and is marked by the imprint of both the former Netherlands and France, to which Lille returned in 1667. It contains some fine examples of expertise: Credence cupboards (ribbanks), sideboards, dressing tables, etc. and bears witness to the tastes of the societies that succeeded one another from the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century.
Collection of old musical instruments
In 1957, the collection of old musical instruments assembled by Joseph and Pierre Hel, violin makers who lived in Lille from 1865 to 1937, was purchased by the city of Lille. This collection is mainly composed of violin making from the 17th to the beginning of the 20th century, with a fine collection of bowed instruments - bass viol, viola d'amore, violin - and plucked instruments - guitar, cistrum, and mandolin.
This collection covers a period from the 13th to the 20th century. The oldest pieces come from archaeological excavations in the region. It is made up of utilitarian and decorative glazed earthenware pieces, beautiful earthenware from various centres of production, ceramics with a religious theme, and tiles from houses in Old Lille that were condemned to demolition.
Art and ethnography collection
This collection brings together objects from a variety of periods, and with different uses, testifying to the life of Lille and its region, as well as a fine collection of regional goldsmiths' and silversmiths' work, reflecting the fact that Lille was the third largest production centre in France from the 18th century onwards. The majority of these objects come from donations and acquisitions made to the museum since its establishment, and also from existing collections built up in the 19th century.
This collection is a reminder of the last great Lille factory of the 18th century, that of Guillaume Werniers. It contains a number of remarkably lustrous tapestries, evidence of forgotten skills and expertise. They express the influence of an art that blends Flemish and French influences.
The majority of the collection comes from existing collections built up in the 19th century and from donations and purchases. This collection covers a period from the 16th to the 20th century. It is extremely diverse, consisting of civilian and religious clothing, flags, lace and various composite objects including dolls, accessories and, above all, a collection of puppets from the Louis De Budt theatre in Lille.