Letter from France: April 2012

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Whether you’re a novice or seasoned traveller, France will steal your heart. Each month, Frederic – our French correspondent – gives us the low-down on what to see and do across the channel

Special one day event

April 29
The first gourmet’s walking tour in Chablis vineyards
A few kilometres walking tour through Chablis vineyards will allow everyone to discover the vines landscapes of Burgundy and to appreciate local tasty food and few different Chablis wines. During the tour, five stops are scheduled and each time, a different course will be offered along with a glass of Chablis. For more info, email ot-chablis@chablis.net

Ending soon

Until April 16: New Frontier, Thomas Cole
An exhibition devoted to Thomas Cole, an American painter, 1801-1848, renowned for his large landscape works, with the presentation of five masterpieces including Landscape with figures: A scene from the “Last of the Mohicans”. This is the first step of a multi-annual partnership between The Louvre and three main American museums, called New Frontier – American Art Enters the Louvre.
Paris, Musée du Louvre

Until April 29: Ai Weiwei – Interlacing

The first major exhibition of the Chinese conceptual artist, showing photographs and videos that offer a critical overview of the everyday social realities in a urban setting mainly in China. These works caused him to be sent to prison in April, 2011. He is now on bail in Beijing.
Paris, Musée du Jeu de Paume

Until April 29: Berenice Abbott
A retrospective of the works of the succesful photographer Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), presenting 140 vintage prints including portraits of famous artists in Paris in the 1920s, images of Changing New York ( her project in the 1930’s) and a selection of experimental abstract photos produced for the M.I.T. in the 1950s.
Paris, Musée du Jeu de Paume

Running now:

Until May 12: Napoleon’s Wars: Louis Francois Lejeune, general and painter
A precious eyewitness account of the main battles of Napoleon through the works of an extremely accurate painter who happened to be a general who fought all over Europe and who later on wrote for posterity his memoirs.
Versailles, Les Yvelines-78, Château de Versailles

Until  May 13: The Rain
Expectation, desire, fear, hate, protection, need… are part of the emotions and feelings released from symbolic or ordinary objects coming from Asia, Africa, Americas and Oceania.
Paris, Musée du Quai Branly

Until May 13: Patagonia, Images of World’s End
A parallel between fiction and reality through various documents, pictures, maps of Patagonia from 16th century to nowadays.
Paris, Musée du Quai Branly

Until June 10: The Mayan jade masks
Seven tombs of Mayan dignitaries and almost all incredible jade masks already found and many others pieces like amazing carved stones and various potteries, are exposed for the first time out of Mexico, highlighting the main last Mexican archaeological discoveries.
Paris, Pinacotheque de Paris

Until June 18: Matisse
The Centre Pompidou presents around 60 works of Matisse displayed in pairs or in short series. The aim is to investigate a very special aspect of the artist’s work who tried all his life long to produce simultaneously the same motif by different techniques.
Paris, Centre Pompidou.

Until June 25: Arles, Record of the Rhône, 20 years of underwater excavations

A major archeological event, the bust of Caesar found underwater in 2007 in Arles is shown together with the only other identified statue identified as Julius Caesar from the Museo di Antichi in Turin. Numerous rare Roman artefacts are on display including statues, bronzes, jewels, amphorae, lamps… A jump of two thousand years in the past to the Roman time in Provence.
Paris, Musée du Louvre

Until June 25: Saint Anne, Leonardo da Vinci’s Ultimate Masterpiece
Working for more than 20 years on his painting “The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne”, Leonardo da Vinci left us not only many preparatory drawings, sketches and studies that are presented there, but also a considerable artistic inheritance that influenced the art from his time to nowadays artists like Degas, Max Ernst or Eugene Delacroix.
Paris, Musée du Louvre.

Until July 1: Degas and the Nude
An exhibition devoted to Edgar Degas’ Nudes.  Degas the famous painter of dancers and horses, worked throughout his life on nudes using all techniques from sculpture, painting, drawing and finally the most important feature of his work, his pastels, a technique in which he is forever, the great master.
Paris, Musée d’Orsay.

Until July 8: La berline de Napoleon, the Mystery of Waterloo loot
The result of an incredible treasure hunt to bring together all the personal belongings of Emperor Napoleon, that have been looted on the night of Waterloo defeat, and which were scattered through Europe where they disappeared until recently. That includes all the personal medals of the Emperor, hidden in the cellars of the Moscow Historic Museum until 2000.
Paris, Musée de la Légion d’honneur.

Until July 15: Cima de Conegliano: a Master of the Venetian Renaissance
As a master Venetian painter, he was famous already in his time, late 15th and early 16th century, for his perfection in depicting human faces and expressions, as well as in wide-open landscapes with a great accuracy in details and a perfect light. He became a great master in a new technique, oil painting.
Paris, Musée du Luxembourg.

Until July 15: Artemisia
In the early 17th century, Artemisia Gentileschi was one of very few women-painters. This exhibition pays tribute to her masterpieces – and  also to the strong willpower she had in a world, where women were treated as second class.
Paris, Musée Maillol.

Until July 15: Lacquer Dreams, The Japan of Shibata Zeshin
Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891) the renowned master in  laquerware, lived at the junction of Edo Period and Meiji Period, and  created and developed new lacquer techniques that fitted with the extreme sensibility and delicacy of his drawing.
Paris, Musée Cernushi

Until July 23: The Twilight of the Pharaons, Masterpieces of the last Egyptian Dynasties
The best masterpieces from Pharaonic Egypt during ten centuries until the last dynasty, the Ptolemaic’s one, display inside the fabulous setting of the town house sheltering the Jacquemart-André Museum.
Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André.

Until July 30: Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Bivouac
An illustration of the current state of the work of the two designers, who last September appeared at the London Design Festival, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Metz, Moselle-57, Centre Pompidou-Metz.

Until July 30: Histoire de l’Atelier Brancusi
A reconstitution of the Paris workshop where Brancusi, a famous modern sculptor lived and worked.
Paris, Centre Pompidou.

Until 10 November 2013: Roulez Carosses!
A loan from the Palace of Versailles, to the museum of St Vaast Abbey in Arras, shows for the first time the best pieces of French royal and imperial horse-drawn carriages, plus a few paintings of important events during which they were used.
Arras, Pas-de-Calais – 59, Musée-Abbaye St Vaast,

New and permanent:

Museum Jean Cocteau-Collection Severin Wunderman, in Menton
The largest in the world and a must-to-see collection of the works of Jean Cocteau, given to the town of Menton, by the private collector Severin Wunderman.
Menton, Alpes Maritimes-06, Musée Jean Cocteau.

Alésia MuseoParc, Alise-Sainte -Reine
Right in the centre of the battlefield of Alesia that saw the final battle of Gauls’ War with Julius Caesar’s victory against Vercingetorix, stands the new circular building of the Alesia MuseoParc. Expect lots of interactive explanations and an amazing life-size reconstruction of the Caesar double fortifications to help you understand one of the biggest battle of Roman times.
Alise-Sainte-Reine, Côte-d’Or-21, MuséoParc d’Alésia.

Museum d’Ennery, Paris
Mrs Clemence d’Ennery offered to France in 1894 her fabulous collection of more than 7,000 Chinese and Japanese artworks under strict conditions including presentation of all these pieces inside her own house that she had designed as a personal orientalist museum. Closed for years owing to security reasons, the museum recently reopened. NB: Reservations required.
Paris, Musée d’Ennery.

Up Coming
From April 25 to October 21:
Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, International Garden Festival
This year, the theme of the 28th edition of the International Garden Festival is ‘Gardens of Delight, Gardens of Delirium‘. 21 amazing projects selected by the jury offer a wide overview of horticultural landscapes creation by designers from all over the world. A visit of the castle itself is not to be missed.
Loire-et-Cher  41, Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire.





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