The Fine Arts Museum has occupied the six rooms on the first story of the Louis XII wing since 1869. As early as the French Revolution, voices rose in Blois as elsewhere in France to reclaim the creation of a museum where artists in particular could be trained. In 1810, an Imperial decree granted cities the ownership without usufruct of military barracks found within their jurisdiction. This is how the château, as a barracks, became municipal property.
In 1850, the town mayor, Pierre-Stanislas Maigreau-Blau, decided to create a museum in the François I wing. This is how he defended his project, « There is not a single cheif town of a department in France that does not have a museum…It would be superfluous to examine the benefits of this kind of an establishment…We know what a powerful encouragement they are for the arts and sciences, through the models and collections they offer for study ».
So it was that the army left the château little by little, and as they did, the spaces were filled with paintings, sculpture, and other art objects that were initially lent by private art collectors for temporary exhibitions and then gradually bequeathed to the city, complementing the collections sent by the State and the purchases on the art market that were to form the artistic heritage of the city.