Art in the castle

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Art in a Loire Valley castle : le Château du Rivau

A Loire Valley castle like no other !

A furnished castle between collections of ancient and contemporary art

A true medieval castle with its keep, moat and drawbridge, Château du Rivau was also remodelled during the Renaissance period. As soon as you enter into the castle – topped by the coat of arms of the Beauvau family and their motto – you climb the spiral staircase, where you can see 15th-century graffitis. The vast rooms of the castle exude a majestic atmosphere. Everything contributes to this impression : monumental Gothic fireplaces, walls painted as seen in Tuscany, sumptuous Brussels tapestries, cushions in front of the mullioned windows… The Gothic and Renaissance furniture will also delight enthusiasts. The castle presents a collection of art works from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The sound scenography brings the interior of this magical, fairytale castle to life. Visitors won’t believe their ears : the castle’s entire soundscape comes alive at the time of the lords, the tournaments, the feasts and the musicians. A rider enters the cobbled courtyard, a groom meets him there, a two-horse carriage, hooves, cobblestones, metal wheels, boots… The atmosphere of the castle is a veritable theatrical promenade.

A special feature of Le Rivau is that the rooms are furnished in the manner of a cabinet of curiosities, combining art and antique furniture with contemporary works, thus blending periods and styles. New contemporary works are exhibited every year. Patricia Laigneau, Curator of the exhibition and owner of the Château du Rivau, has a clear artistic approach. She puts the spotlight on women artists, playfulness and irony, and works on the imaginary and the marvellous to make us dream through the works of art.

Temporary exhibitions of art in the castle

A new temporary exhibition is added to the permanent tour every year. With enchantment as a common thread, conducive to invention and creation, le Château du Rivau invites the artists of our time to a contemporary reinterpretation of a medieval castle. Their creatures slip wittily into the midst of famous figures from French history, turning this poetic castle into the realm of fairy tales.


In 2024, the theme of the exhibition is Effervescences at the Château du Rivau. You can visit it every day between April 1st and November 11th 2024. The exhibition is included in your admission ticket.

Eugenio Merino, Celebrating destruction, 2015

Sculptures in the Fairy Tales gardens

Sculptures by contemporary artists interact with the botanical art work that are the garden’s plants, much to the delight of visitors. They make walkers lose their mind as they are projected into an artistic and dreamlike universe.