Vue du Vieux château et du château neuf de LavalVue du Vieux château et du château neuf de Laval
Museum of 'Art Naïf et des Arts Singuliers"Art without prejudice
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The Museum of Naïve Art

Some dismiss “naïve art” as childish – and just like kids, it’s true – it really is spontaneous!

The “Manas,” Musée d’Art Naïf et des Arts Singuliers, (Museum of Naive Art and Singular Arts) is located in the Château of Laval.

“Singular arts”

Recently, the Manas , added the term arts singuliers (“singular arts”) to its name.

The idea is to insist that the works in the collection are the fruit of genuinely unclassifiable artists. People with fertile imaginations who rely on humour and inventiveness, originality and raw emotions.

They are the antithesis of banality and conformism.

Henri Rousseau

The star of the Manas is Henri Rousseau. Primarily because the artist is a son of the Laval region and also because the museum houses three of his paintings.

The Manas was at the avant garde of naive art in France, when it opened fifty years ago. When Rousseau was young, the critics were harsh. “Admired by few and ridiculed by everyone” said the press. The rest is history.

A unique place

Today the Manas also support young creativity. The talents of tomorrow, at the fringes of art, establishing bridges between the different forms of art, without prejudices or ready-made ideas.
The Manas invites its visitors to appropriate a common heritage, to come and try to understand the works and the artistic gesture.

A Château and a museum

Before (or after) your dive into the world of naive art
Be sure to visit the Château de Laval, emblem of the city, which has served as the backdrop for this exceptional museum since 1967.
A fortress, preserved from medieval times, with its vaulted chapel and Roman capitals.
The circular keep, with its remarkable carpentry (from the 13th century), rises to 34 metres in height, and the ramparts are particularly impressive.
The promontory overlooks the Mayenne river, and the view is superb.

Séraphine de Senlis - BouquetSéraphine de Senlis - Bouquet
©Séraphine de Senlis - Bouquet

Did you know?
Among other things, the museum houses two works (Bouquet de mimosas, Branche de fruits) by Séraphine Louis, known as “Séraphine de Senlis,” the heroine of a film by Martin Provost.

Christophe C.

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