Letter from France: April 2014

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Cavalry charge DeauvilleSPECIAL EVENTS

April 18 to 20: Books and Music Festival “London in Deauville”

For three days three days, Deauville will host its 11th Books and Music Festival which, this year, is a window on the London creative scene. Many writers, musicians, singers and creators from the UK, in parallel with French artists and authors, are invited to present their contemporary vision of their artistic world. The hundred or so invited artists will offer the public around fifty events totally free of charge including concerts, art performances or musical lecture.

Deauville, 14-Calvados.   www.deauville.fr

May 4 and 5: The last cavalry charge in Deauville

As an introduction to the 7th World Horse Games that will be hosted by the Normandy region from August 24th to September 7th, Deauville invites all horse lovers to come for a week-end of events centred on the “Garde Républicaine” the last Cavalry Mounted Regiment of the French army. Among them,  the mounted fanfare will offer concerts and parades. But the most marking event will be the charge at full gallop with swords drawn of the full regiment on the long sandy beach of Deauville, at 17.00 on Saturday, followed later on, that night by a great equestrian show.

Deauville, 14-Calvados.  www.deauville.fr

Roman Games NimesMay 17 and 18: The Great Roman Games in the Arena of Nimes

For the 5th year the well-preserved Roman amphitheatre of Nimes hosts the Great Roman Games, with gladiator fights, chariot races before an amazing historical reconstruction of the battle of Phillipi that saw the victory of Augustus and Antony’s legions against the armies of Brutus and Cassius, the murderers of Caesar.

Nîmes, 30-Gard, Les Arènes deNîmes.  www.arenes-nimes.com


Until May 18: “Holy Wood”

Through the presentation of very rare wooden masks from the Toma people, the Quai Branly museum presents for the first time the Poro, the initiation system that ruled the tribes of the Guinean forests. The Poro gave a huge and frightening power to the initiates who were in charge of the masks.

Paris, Musée du Quai Branly.  www.quaibranly.fr

Nancy Cunard

Nancy Cunard

Until May 18: The “Black Atlantic” of Nancy Cunard

Nancy Cunard, heiress of the Cunard Line, was an exantric young women, muse of great writers, model, journalist, political activist and publisher. In the thirties with her Surrealists friends she became a great defender of racial civil rights and of general African art. This exhibition highlights her life and also calls to mind the political, social and artistic history of the black diaspora in Europe at that time.

Paris, Musée du Quai Branly. www.quaibranly.fr


Until June 1st: Diderot’s Taste in Art (in Lausanne, Switzerland)

This exhibition in Lausanne (Switzerland), presents a great number of paintings and sculptures from the time of Diderot with the notes and critics he wrote about. This work made him one of the first art critics in history and it’s a quite unknown aspect of the writer and philosopher, who was also in charge for years to provide Catherine II the Impress of Russia with the best collections of paintings.

Lausanne, Switzerland, Fondation de l’Hermitage. www.fondation-hermitage.ch

Until June 9: Beauty in Antiquity (in Martigny, Switzerland)

The Pierre Gianadda Foundation, in close collaboration with the British Museum which loaned some of its master Greco-Roman pieces including the famous Discobolus, presents an eclectic exhibition to extol the bodies’ beauty in antiquity’s art. Sports, love and desire, wedding and death are some of the ten themes depicted by these amazing stone, bronze or marble statues that fit perfectly with the location of the exhibition, in Martigny, the antique capital of this Roman region. Two beautiful marble torsos, recently excavated in Martigny, are also displayed and testified of the Roman past of the city.

Martigny, Switzerland, Fondation Pierre Gianadda. www.gianadda.ch

"Tiger" Clemenceau

“Tiger” Clemenceau

Until June 16: Clemenceau, the Tiger and Asia

Known as “the Tiger” or as “the Father of Victory”, Georges Clemenceau remains in History as a great statesman and a Great War’s leader. He was also a great Asian collector with a genuine passion for arts, civilizations and religions of Asia, a passion shared with his close friend the painter Claude Monet. This exhibition will feature the abundant Clemenceau’s collection.

Paris, Musée Guimet. http://www.guimet.fr

Until June 30: “Star WarsTM Identities: The Exhibition”

Presented for the first time in Europe, the STAR WARSTM Identities exhibition proposes an interactive journey into the world of the saga in a unique location: the Cité du Cinéma. Two film sets of approximately 2000 m2, turned into an exhibition location, will exceptionally be opened to the public to reveal more than 200 original pieces from the archives of the Lucas Arts Museum: models, accessories, costumes, sketches all of which constructed the Star Wars world.

Paris-Saint Denis, Cité du Cinéma. http://la-cite-du-cinema.eu

Until July 6: “Impressionists in Private: 100 Masterpieces from Private Collections”

The Marmottan Museum, to celebrate its 80th birthday and to pay tribute to the long list of private donors who offered it the world larger collection of Monet works, has invited 50 private collectors to show a total of 100 Impressionist masterpieces, many of them have never been seen in public.

Paris, Musée Marmottan. http://www.marmottan.fr/uk

Augustus posterUntil July 13: I, Augustus, Roma Imperator…

To celebrate the second millennium of the death of Augustus, the first and greatest Emperor of Rome, the Grand Palais shelters a huge exhibition of the best art pieces from the collections of the Louvre Museum and of the Capitolio Museums in Rome. Giving the Pax Romana inside the boundaries of the Roman Empire, he protected the arts, transforming bricks in marble. His time was the beginning of Rome’s Golden Age.

Paris, Musée du Grand Palais. www.grandpalais.fr

Until July 14: Initiates from Congo Bassin

Initiations through secret societies in Africa were often a necessary to change positions inside tribes or to transit from childhood to adult world. The rites of passage needed the use of numerous artworks, statues, masks, costumes, headdresses and protective objects, of which a high selection are presented in this amazing exhibition.

Paris, Musée Dapper. www.dapper.fr

Until July 20: The Treasure of Naples, The Jewels of San Gennaro

For the first time out of Italy, the jewels of San Gennaro will be presented to public. This is one of the biggest collection of jewels in the world, equivalent to the Crown’s Jewels of France or England, an amazing collection that doesn’t belong to the Italian state or to the Catholic Church but only to the people of Naples.

Paris, Musée Maillol. www.museemaillol.com

Until July 20: Plains Indians

The symbolic scenography by Jean-Michel Wilmotte presents the everyday life of Plains Indians as well as their strong links to the nature through the display of aesthetic artefacts, belonging to Sioux, Comanche, Pawnee, Blackfoot or Cheyenne tribes. Although lightly moving on with the contact with European then American settlers, the sense of beauty of Plains Indians survived and stayed alive inthe new contemporary creations.

Paris, Musée du Quai Branly. www.quaibranly.fr

Watteau - Fêtes Gallantes

Watteau – Fêtes Gallantes

Until July 27: “Les Fêtes Galantes” from Watteau to Fragonard

With around sixty fabulous paintings, this exhibition shows the whole history of the ‘Fêtes Galantes’, a new groundbreaking style developed by Watteau in the early years of the 18th C., depicting in idyllic sceneries the charming games of love. Watteau’s followers, Pater, Lancret  or Saint-Aubin introduced in their sceneries a few touches of reality, and others, like Vernet, sometimes used to show some exotic characters. Finally the ‘Fêtes Galantes’ after a century of success ended in a blaze of glory with Boucher and Fragonard.

Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André. www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com

Until July 27: Gobelins Royal Manufactory in the Age of Enlightenment

During that period which was the golden age of the French tapestry, the Gobelins Royal Manufactory began the leading one in Europe, producing more than forty different series of tapestries in less than one century. Many great painters of the time including Boucher, Van Loo, Coypel or Oudry created the gigantic tapestry cartoons needed, of whom some will be exposed with the thirty tapestries chosen for their exceptional state of preservation.

Paris, Galerie des Gobelins. www.mobiliernational.culture.gouv.fr

Volubilis BronzeUntil August 25: Splendours of Volubilis, Antic Bronzes

At the beginning of 1st Century AD, Volubilis, capital of King Juba II was the most beautiful city of the Roman Northern Africa. Found in the ruins of Volubilis, this collection of high aesthetic quality bronzes, now belonging to Morrocco, shows how in Antiquity, the bronze products were travelling through the whole Roman empire.

Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône-13. www.mucem.org

Until August 31: Once upon a time was the Orient Express

To present to public the long history of the mythic Orient Express train which linked Western Europe to Middle East, creating fabulous luxury journeys for the upper society, the SNCF, the French Railways Cy, has loaned a locomotive, 3 original carriages and a dining car of the Orient Express to be displayed in the middle of the IMA museum courtyard. And inside the museum the exhibition of objects, documents, poster, photos or short movies remember the importance of this train creating a “desire of Orient” and opening the way to huge scale tourism.

Paris, IMA, Institut du Monde Arabe.  www.imarabe.org

Until September 2014: Mapplethorpe-Rodin

For the first time an exhibition brings to life the similarities of two artists who, at first sight, had really nothing in common. Rodin was a sculptor, Mapplethorpe a photographer. Rodin loved women, and Mapplethorpe was attracted to men. And Mapplethorpe is born more than a century after the birth of Rodin. But the exhibition of a selection of 50 sculptures by Rodin and a hundred photos realised by Mapplethorpe, shows the incredible connection between their works. The two artists have a same vision of the beauty of forms of the human body, male or female, the same sense of perfection.

Paris, Musée Rodin.  www.musee-rodin.fr

Until 2015 January 5: Klimt and Vienna at the Quarries of Lights

Inside the fabulous underground quarries of Baux de Provence the theme of the amazing lightshow, chosen this year, is Klimt and Vienna, offering visitors a tremendous vision of a “century of gold and colours”. A great soundtrack comes with the thousands pictures of masterpieces by Gustav Klimt and also by Egon Schiele and Fridenreisch Hundertwasser whom works have been inspired by Klimt. For spectators it’s an impressive dive inside the world of the artists, the paintings being casted all around onto every wall and even onto the ground.

Baux de Provence, 13-Bouches-du-Rhône, Carrières de Lumières.  www.carrieres-lumieres.com









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