So many museums are overwhelming. The Bemberg is a delight, not only for its wonderfully eclectic collection of paintings, ceramics and furniture, but also for its setting: an historic building built for a wealthy family just off the Rue de Metz. Other reviewers have praised the architecture and lovely courtyard that shuts out the noise of the busy streets and creates a well of light and air for the mansion's rooms. The upper floors house a marvelous collection of Impressionist art, the highlight of which is the best group of Pierre Bonnard's work I have ever seen in one place. While the lower floors are so full that it's difficult to appreciate individual pieces, the paintings, sketches and sculptures above benefit from ample space and good lighting. And, because the Bemberg isn't well known outside of Toulouse, you're unlikely to feel crowded during your visit. Nearest Metro is Esquirol (not Trinite), which is also a good place to head for lunch. Crammed into the narrow streets and squares are dozens of small bistros and restaurants, offering French, Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese, Turkish food, among others--there's something for everyone!
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