Letter from France: August 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

Ending soon
Until August 19: Victor Hugo, Arcs-en-Ciel au Noir (Dark Side of Rainbows)
In the Parisian Victor Hugo’s house, an exhibition of 80 black and white drawings chosen by Annie Le Brun from the unique collection of drawings by Victor Hugo himself. Some of them are presented to public for the first time.
Paris, Maison de Victor Hugo (Victor Hugo’s House in Paris)

'Misia at her dressing table' by Vallotton

Until September 9: Misia, Queen of Paris
From Belle Epoque to the Roaring Twenties, Misia Godebska was strongly connected to a group of important artists from Art deco and Symbolism movements and supported them largely. This exhibition presents various portraits of Misia by these famous artists, mixed with documents testifying of her influence on the Parisian Art Scene.
Partis, Musée d’Orsay

Until September 9: Les Séductions du Palais (Attractions of Palate)
Mainly issued from collections of the National Museum of China and also from the Guimet Museum in Paris, various artefacts show the parallel evolution of cooking and crockery all along the Chinese history, giving the world one of the finest ‘cuisine’ and in the same time so many pieces of art to be used for cooking and consuming food.
Paris, Musée du Quai Branly

Until September 9: Modigliani, Soutine, the Adventure of Montparnasse

Jonas Netter was one of the most important collectors of the 20th century, who discovered Modigliani and Soutine, buying dozens of their works as from Utrillo and others painters of Montparnasse group. This fabulous collection, protected by Jonas Netter’s heirs, is now presented to public for the first time in 70 years.
Paris, Pinacothèque

Running now
Until September 16: Marc Jacobs Louis Vuitton exhibition
The Decorative Arts Museum presents an exhibition celebrating the work of two men who have changed the face of fashion and style in their times – Louis Vuitton and March Jacobs.
Paris,  Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Until October 14: Bodies and Shadows, Caravaggio and his European Caravaggism
For the first time, an exhibition is organised as a diptych by two museums belonging to distant cities. The Musée Fabre in Montpellier holds works by Caravaggio and Southern European followers inspired by his technique and style, whereas the Musée des Augustins in Toulouse presents Northern Caravaggism mainly Dutch and Flemish.
*Haute Garonne 31, Toulouse, Musée des Augustins
*Herault 34, Montpellier, Musée Fabre


Until 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

Phares Lighthouses

Until November 4: Phares-Lighthouses

A deep dive in the mythical world of lighthouses through the ages, a discovery of their history and architecture feats, and a good way to find out about the men who served them.
Paris, Musée de la Marine


Until November 11: Deauville by Yul Brynner
Deauville pays tribute on Deauville Boardwalk to the famous actor Yul Brynner with an outside exhibition of 40 Yul Brynner’s intimate portraits of stars, behind-the-scenes photographs and city life photographs to discover his extreme talent as a photographer. Yul Brynner was strongly linked to Deauville, where he used to live in summertime during his 20 last years.
Deauville, Calvados – 14, Deauville Boardwalk

Keith Haring's revolution between pop and modern art

Until November 30: Keith Haring’s revolution between pop and modern Art

This exhibition of the works of Keith Haring is nestled inside the historical Chateau de Pommard – the birth place of Pommard, one of the best  Burgundy wines. Visits includes the castle itself, a wine museum, fabulous cellars and a final tasting.
Côte-d’Or – 21, Château de Pommard

Rodin, the Flesh and the Marble

Until 3 March 2013: Rodin, the Flesh and the Marble
Partially in renovation, the Rodin’s museum exhibits 50 marble sculptures by Rodin, highlighting the extreme quality of the sculptor’s work, especially the Rodin’s virtuosity to give life to marble bodies.
Paris, Musée Rodin

Until 2 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 along with numerous artefacts belonging to their use, plus a few paintings of important events during which they were used.
Arras, Pas-de-Calais – 59, Musée-Abbaye St Vaast

Up coming
From September 14 to January 14 (2013): Canaletto-Guardi, the two masters of Venice
A huge presentation of main works of 18th century painters Canaletto and Guardi masters of the Veduta artistic movement, displaying the reality of charming and elegant Venice, or giving life to an imaginary Venice, the so-called ‘capprici’. By a special permission from Her Majesty the Queen, the Jacquemart-André Museum was granted a loan of eight masterpieces by Canaletto, leaving for the first time the British Crown’s collections of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.
Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André

From September 19 to February 10 (2013): Canaletto in Venice
Another major exhibition of the Venice famous painter, Canaletto.
Paris, Musée Maillol

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

Alésia MuseoParc, Alise-Sainte -Reine, Côte d’Or

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. Inside, you’ll find lots of interactive explanations, a realistic and astonishing movie of the battle on a seven metre screen, and outside, an amazing life-size reconstruction of the Caesar double fortifications to help visitors to 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 for security reasons, the museum recently reopened offering to jump back to the time when the irruption of Far East Asian Art influenced European collectors and artists. (NB: advanced reservations are mandatory)
Paris, Musée d’Ennery

Museum Lalique, Wingen-sur-Moser, Alsace

In the small village where during 90 years were produced a large part of the creations of René Lalique, a great artist of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, hundred o fhis works are displayed highlighting his incredible genius as jeweller and glassmaker. This very modern museum, hidden on the flank of a small green valley, is a perfect case for Lalique’s jewels, perfume bottles, tableware, vases, lights, crystal and drawings.
Wingen-sur Moser, Bas Rhin-67, Alsace, Musée Lalique


Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi, Tarn

Inside the fabulous Palais de la Berbie, the former palace of Bishops of Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage, the hugest collection of pieces of art by Toulouse-Lautrec is now displayed in a new scenography offering a new reading of each facet of the artist’s work, including youth works as well as portraits of Montmartre people and scenes from the world of brothel.
Albi, Tarn-81, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec
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