Beaulieu country estate – Collection of Naïve Art
On the heights of Lausanne, the “Campagne” or Country Estate of Beaulieu is one of the most majestic private 18th century buildings in the city, as well as one of the most unique. In 1766, the estate was acquired by the pastor Gabriel-Jean-Henry Mingard, who was also the son-in-law of the mayor of Amsterdam. At the time, the castle had only its western wing, which was built between 1763 and 1766 by the Lausanne architect Rodolphe de Crousaz in a strictly neoclassical style, and a farm.
From 1767 to 1773, Mingard hid the farm by adjoining it with another building that was just one room deep and had a façade that was copied from the first house. He then connected the two façades with a third, imposing building with a Mansard roof and lots of ornamentation, which was also just a single room deep. The pastor’s undertaking therefore had a spectacular three-part façade that was nearly 50 metres long, a size that was unmatched in all of Lausanne at the time and gave as much prominence to the palace as to the theatrical décor.
Since 1976, the Beaulieu castle has housed the Collection de l’Art Brut (Collection of Naïve Art), which has been built up since the original donation of the personal collection of the French artist Jean Dubuffet. The Collection de l'Art Brut is a historic reference point for the entire world.
Each year, nearly 35,000 visitors, many of whom come from Japan, discover the works in this museum, which now contains 30,000 pieces of art. The artists are mainly European, but the Collection de l’Art Brut also includes works by people from North America, South America, Africa and Asia.