The one-storey house is flanked on the left by a wing that J.-H. Fabre had built for his study. A good way to isolate himself from the living areas reserved for the household.
Open the door and enter the house on the ground floor via the entrance hall, with its fully restored floors, walls and period furniture. The entrance serves as an introduction to your visit, giving you an inside look at the life of J.-H. Fabre. Conveniently located under the staircase is a reference space where you can browse through a variety of publications on the naturalist's life and work.
From the ceiling and "butterfly floor" to the curtains and floral tapestry, everything is faithful to the rustic spirit of the Fabre family's late 19th-century life. Every piece of furniture is still here: from the dining table and the glass-fronted bookcase to the games table and the harmonium on which J.-H. Fabre composed music to go with his poems.
Herbarium and watercolours room
When art serves science... More than a hundred of the 650 watercolours painted by J.-H. Fabre are reproduced on the walls of this room. In the display case, you can see a sample of his sheets, precious evidence of the region's floristic history, from the more than 13,000 plates comprising 82 herbarium bundles bequeathed by the naturalist. More than 12,000 of these plates have been restored. They are currently being digitised by the Muséum and are freely available online.
Newly opened to the public, the walls of the former kitchen display a chronology of key moments in the life of J.-H. Fabre. In addition to these milestones are portraits of illustrious figures and awards he received. To complete this installation are his textbooks and works for the general public, as well as archived letters, giving a glimpse of the scientist whose rigour was widely acknowledged by his peers, but who was also an excellent teacher. Discover his correspondence with Charles Darwin and Louis Pasteur, to name but a few! There is also a terminal where you can leaf through a graphic novel, specially produced by the Museum, that tells the story of J.-H. Fabre's life.
Like a miniature natural history museum, this room was dedicated to research, study and writing. At the centre of the room, on the imposing table, is a whole range of instruments: magnifying glass, microscope, scales, etc. Large display cabinets house an extraordinary collection of 1,300 objects and specimens. Don't miss the small table at the far end on which the scientist wrote most of his entomological memoirs, the Souvenirs entomologiques.
The "cinema" room showcases the legacy of J.-H. Fabre's work in science, literature and film. Starting with Henri Diamant-Berger's 1951 film Monsieur Fabre, a biography brought to the screen by Pierre Fresnay. For the record, the actor who would come to be known as Patrick Dewaere played the role of one of the naturalist's children. A terminal also features filmed interviews with researchers, testifying to the relevance of J.-H. Fabre's work to their own research. At the back of the room, a projection area shows Évolution de la cigale (4m 44s) on a loop, an educational film made in 1912 by J.-H. Fabre and his son Paul-Henri for Pathé Productions.