See & Do

Musée Extérieur (Outdoor Museum)

A European art trail on the walls of Adelaide

Musée Extérieur is a curated, outdoor art trail that winds through the beautiful and surprising spaces of North Adelaide. 

The trail begins on King William Road, travels along and between the many nooks and crannies of historic Melbourne Street, along O’Connell Street and the Park Lands. 

At a time when travelling abroad is not possible, Musée Extérieur offers locals and visitors an exclusive, ephemeral experience: a slice of European art history revealed through Adelaide’s unique built, natural and cultural heritage. 

Get up close and personal with life-size reproductions of European Master paintings from as early as the 15th century, from the collections of the Thomas Henry Museum in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, France. 

Move and connect through place, time, and culture.

North Adelaide 
14 July to 14 December 2020

View downloadable map

The trail

The curators

Members of the local art-loving community who selected artworks and the locations for the trail speak about their chosen piece.

The artworks

Thomas HENRY (b. Cherbourg, 1766 – d. Cherbourg, 1836)
Portrait of a Woman
c. 1805 | Oil on canvas | 54.3 x 45.4 cm | Gift of Thomas Henry, 1835 | Thomas Henry Museum, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

Located at Women’s & Children’s Hospital, 72 King William Road

A picture of health; a young woman relaxes on the back of a chair, her inquisitive gaze directed out at the viewer. Painted in the early 19th century by Thomas Henry, the artist, collector and dealer for whom the Thomas Henry Museum is named.

Musée Extérieur
exhibition is an art trail featuring reproductions of original European oil masterpieces from the Thomas Henry Museum, in the City of Cherbourg-en-Contentin, France. The museum was the result of Henry’s generous gift to the city of 164 paintings from his private collection, including this artwork by the man himself, and a fitting beginning to a trail traversing the beautiful places of North Adelaide.

Artwork selected by Jill Newman, Arts in Health Manager, Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation.

"This is the first artwork on your trail, and we hope it shows the care and comfort that the Arts in Health program adds for the hospital community." - Jill Newman

Simon VOUET (b. Paris, 1590 – d. Paris, 1649)
Allegory of Peace
c. 1645 | Oil on canvas | 109.5 x 99 cm | Gift of Thomas Henry, 1835 | Thomas Henry Museum, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

Located at The David Roche Foundation, 241 Melbourne Street

Simon Vouet was one of the most influential French painters of his time, known for introducing the Italian Baroque to France. Vouet served as first painter for the Royal Palace. His paintings are held in some of the world’s most esteemed collections including the Louvre, Paris and Musée des Beaux Arts, Lyon.

Allegory of Peace from the Thomas Henry Museum of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin is one of many from Vouet’s ‘Allegory’ series and a brilliant example of the masterpieces Vouet created in his later years. The painting is filled with Baroque-inspired light, elegance and decorative styling.

The multiple-figured composition features a central female: Ceres the Roman Goddess of Agriculture offers wheat ‘the gift of the harvest’ to Neptune the God of the Sea, pictured riding seahorses and holding a trident in an outstretched hand. Cupid extends an olive branch, the universal symbol of peace, from above to Pluto, represented as a gold statue.

Artwork selected by Robert Reason, Museum Director of the David Roche Foundation.

"I selected the Allegory of Peace because really it’s a wonderful image of Gods and Goddesses, and of course David Roche’s collection here abounds with images of both, both in a sculptural form and in a painted form.” - Robert Reason

Claude-Joseph VERNET (b. Avignon, 1714 – d. Paris, 1789)
1750 | Oil on canvas | 32.5 x 40.8 cm | Gift of Thomas Henry, 1835 | Thomas Henry Museum, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

Located at Old Lion Apartments, smelting chimney, 9 Jerningham Street

From a young age Claude Joseph Vernet assisted his father, Antoine Vernet (1689 – 1753) in his painting studio, and his grand artistic ambition soon saw him studying marine and landscape painting in Rome, Italy.

Vernet possessed a talent for rendering the human figure within atmospheric scenarios with great pictorial realism and strength of conviction. The harmonious landscape shows an Italian township perched on a cliff-face. In the foreground is a domestic scene, where a central female figure in a red dress stands holding a basket of washing. 

She immediately draws the viewers eye into the 18th century Italian countryside where even the most mundane tasks are transformed into exquisite beauty and romanticism. 

Artwork selected by Sandy Verschoor, Lord Mayor of Adelaide.

"While we can’t travel overseas, Vernet’s Landscape perfectly captures the soft light of a summer’s day so realistically, it’s as if we are transported back in time to 18th century Italy. I encourage everyone to follow the trail – the artwork is mesmerising!” - Sandy Verschoor

Jan I BRUEGHEL (b. Anvers, 1575 – d. Anvers, 1632) and Hendrik VAN BALEN (b. Brussels, 1568 – d. Antwerp, 1625)
Allegory of the Earth
First quarter of the 17th century | Oil on panel | 55 x 96.3 cm | Gift of Thomas Henry, 1835 | Thomas Henry Museum, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

Located in the public car park at 34 Jerningham Street

This intimate Flemish painting offers a mythological representation of the rich spoils of nature. Ceres, Roman goddess of agriculture and harvesting, sits at the centre of a fanciful woodland, surrounded by the bounty of the land: fruits, vegetables and grain. 

Allegory of the Earth is the result of a collaboration between two artists, Brueghel and Van Balen. It is likely that Brueghel was responsible for the layout and composition of the figures. Van Balen, who was renowned for his fine detailing, would have painted the landscape, foliage, and animals.

Marguerite GÉRARD (b. Grasse, 1761 – d. Paris, 1837)
Reading a letter
1817 | Oil on canvas | 56 x 46.5 cm | Gift of Thomas Henry, 1835 | Thomas Henry Museum, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

located at the car park substation, 52 Jerningham Street

Female artist Marguerite Gérard led a fascinating life and career, and despite facing many challenges was extremely successful. Born in Grasse, she was the youngest of seven children to Marie Gilette and perfumer Claude Gérard. After her mother’s death in 1775, aged 14, Gérard moved in with her sister, miniature portraitist Marie-Anne Fragonard and her sister’s husband, renowned Rococo artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard at the Louvre. 

It was this move that sparked her artistic journey and enduring interest in the Dutch Golden Age. As a result, Gérard established herself as a genre painter working from scenes of everyday life. A quintessential example of the intimate, modestly sized genre scenes that she was best known for, Reading a letter is an idealistic picture of warm domestic serenity.

Guillaume FOUACE (b. Reville, 1837 – d. Paris, 1895)
The Lenten Luncheon
1889 | Oil on canvas | 77.5 x 148.5 cm | Accession, 2009 | Thomas Henry Museum, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

Located at Melbourne Street Fine Wine Cellars, 93 Melbourne Street

Celebrated French artist, Guillaume Fouace was born into humble beginnings on his family farm in Reville, France. His unique natural talent for life-like drawing was noticed by the Cherbourg municipality, who granted him a scholarship to study in Paris. 

He soon ascended to greatness, exhibiting frequently at the Salon in Paris and Dijon, and winning multiple awards. Fouace became recognised as a master painter of still life. 

The Lenten Luncheon was presented at the 1889 Salon (Paris) and is a luminescent example of the still life paintings, which often featured shell fish and carafes of wine, for which Fouace was renowned.

Anonymous, after Jan Brueghel the Younger
The barber surgeon’s shop
17th – 18th century | Oil on panel | 68.5 x 103.8 cm | Bequest of Amand Le Veel, 1905 | Thomas Henry Museum, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

Located at Tynte Street residential wall, 62 Lefevre Tce (near Glover Playground)

This whimsical painting is a larger copy of the original miniature oil on copper by Jan Brueghel the Younger. This parodic painting depicts the monkey surgeon and his assistants trimming the beard, head and ear fur and curling the moustaches of their feline customers. 

The head barber wears glasses on his nose and the instruments of his craft are buckled around his waist. A cat, with its paw bandaged, awaits medical attention and care. 

This picture echoes a time when surgical procedures were entrusted to barbers rather than trained medical professionals. It is a true satire on contemporary 17th century European daily life.

Émile DORRÉE (b. Paris, 1883 – d. Urville-Hague, 1959)
Tuileries Garden
1957 | Oil on canvas | 107 x 114 cm | Bequest of Mrs T. Hullen, 1972 | Thomas Henry Museum, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

Located at 99 O'Connell Street

French painter, Émile Dorrée’s Tuileries Garden is the most modern painting included in the North Adelaide art trail collection. 

Dorrée had an art studio in Cherbourg, France, from which he tutored emerging artists. This is a mid-20th century example in the French Impressionist tradition. It shows a vibrant, bustling Parisian afternoon at the park, “where couples of all ages rub shoulders.” Louise Hallet, Curator of Thomas Henry Museum, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin.

Jan MASSYS (b. Anvers, c.1509 – d. Antwerp 1575)
Merry Company
1562 | Oil on panel | 76.5 x 110 cm | Gift of Thomas Henry, 1835 | Thomas Henry Museum, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

Located at The Archer Hotel, facing 88 O’Connell

Painted in Massys’ later years, at the height of his career and demonstrating his distinct style. Merry Company is a Renaissance genre scene, presenting satirical figures grouped, somewhat awkwardly, in posed happiness. 

The artist painted many versions of Merry Company, often representing themes of human temptation, weakness and inequality.

Filippino LIPPI (b. Prato, 1457 – d. Florence, 1504)
The Entombment
c. 1480 | Tempera on panel | 95.5 x 66 cm | Gift of Thomas Henry, 1835 | Thomas Henry Museum, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

Located at Lincoln College, South corner facing the Women's and Children's Hospital

Italian Renaissance painter and son of monk and painter, Fra Filippo Lippi (c.1406 – 1469), Filippino Lippi entered Botticelli's studio in 1475. Botticelli himself was a pupil of Filippino's father. Filippino quickly rose to success, receiving numerous commissions to decorate chapels. 

This work depicting the biblical scene of Christ's entombment would have been one of a series of panels from the ‘Passion of the Christ’ story. The composition of the figures resemble a cross: Jesus Christ in the center, supported by his mother Mary on the left, and Mary Magdalene with red hair to the right. His disciple Joseph cradles his head from behind. All characters are represented with a golden halo.