Letter from France: January 2015

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions


Picasso Museum

in one of the exhibition halls of the Picasso Museum


Picasso Museum:

This is the world largest museum and is dedicated just to one of the most creative artists of the 20th century. Located in the beautiful “Hôtel Salé“, the museum occupies the whole 17th Century building from cellars to attic, and displays  more than of 400 Picasso’s main works, covering all aspects of his prolific artistic production. A must for any art-lover! To avoid long queues, advance booking is recommended.     Paris, Musée National Picasso     www.museepicassoparis.fr

Louis Vuitton Foundation:

Louis Vuitton; architect Gehry

a Gehry monument – the Louis Vuitton Foundation

This modern place with its elegant twelve roofs that stand up like glass sails in the middle of the Parisian Bois de Boulogne is the result of Bernard Arnault’s desire to create a place dedicated to contemporary art. This amazing building, a figment of Frank Gehry’s imagination, is worth a long visit just for itself. It will present temporary exhibitions as well as large selections of pieces from the modern and contemporary art collection of Bernard Arnault, the chairman of Louis Vuitton.

Paris, Fondation Louis Vuitton     www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr


Until January 28: Frank Gehry at the Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou offers the first European retrospective of the work of Frank Ghery, the iconic architect, providing a great survey of his career and must to be seen before or after a visit to Gehry’s  last and major work, the Foundation Louis Vuitton which opened its doors in October in Paris.

Paris, Pompidou Centre             www.centrepompidou.fr/en

Until January 31: Fleuve CONGO (River CONGO)

After been seen by more than a million visitors in Singapore, Shanghai and Seoul, this exhibition, created by the Musée Branly, has arrived in Le Mans. With beautiful masks and sculptures Fang, Hembe, Punu, Luba Kwele or Kota, this exhibition presents the main pieces of African art of tribes settled along the River Congo.

Le Mans, 72-Sarthe, Les Quinconces-Espace Exhibition (Wed- Sun, 12.30/18.00)

a mask from the Solomons

a mask from the Solomons

Until Feb 1: The shining of shadows, the Art in black and white of the Solomon Islands.

Despite a large cultural variety, the hundreds of islands belonging to the Solomon Islands have created a common line of style in artworks made of black wood with polished mother-of-pearl inlay. Red feathers and curcuma were also often used to develop more beautiful glare effects on artefacts.

Paris, Musée du Quai Branly   www.quaibranly.fr

Until February 2: Niki de Saint Phalle

French born artist Niki de Saint Phalle, 1930-2002, shared her artistic life between France and the United States. She was a multifaceted Pop-Art artist, a painter, sculptor, and also a performer or filmmaker. Her most famous works are the “nanas”, these huge colourful statues of chubby women in strange poses.

Paris, Musée du Grand Palais     www.legrandpalais.fr

Until February 2: Les Mayas

400 chef-d’oeuvre belonging to the Mayan peoples offer a large aesthetic panorama of this amazing civilization, showing all aspects of their life, a deep immersion in the Mayan time presenting simple men and kings, nature and beautiful cities, impressive astronomic knowledge and numerous religious beliefs.

Paris, Musée du Quai Branly   www.quaibranly.fr

the man who popularised impressionist art?

the man who popularised impressionist art?

Until February 8: Paul Durand-Ruel, the Gambler of the Impressionists

This exhibition is a tribute to Paul Durand-Ruel, the famous art dealer, considered as the father of the modern art market. He played a main role in the discovery of the Impressionists, supporting them and selling their works from New York to London and Paris. Most of  the main Impressionists pieces now in the biggest private and public collections, were sold by his gallery.

Paris, Musée du Luxembourg     www.museeduluxembourg.fr

Until February 9: Rhodes, a Greek island at the Orient door

From the 14th to the 5th century BC, the Greek island of Rhodes was under the influence of the Middle East and of Egypt. That influence has given birth to unique artworks mainly in the fields of jewellery and ceramics.

Paris, Musée du louvre    www.louvre.fr


Until February 15: The Borgias in their time

The Borgias were one of the most influential pan-European families. The exhibition looks at the history of the Borgias concentrating on Alexander VI, his son Cesar and his daughter Lucrece, who despite being very controversial characters, were art lovers and were the patrons of the main artists of the Italian Renaissance including Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael or Michelangelo.

Paris, Musée Maillol    www.museemaillol.com

Until February 15: The Art of Love in the time of Geishas, Forbidden Japanese Masterpieces.

This exhibition of secret prints belonging to the Edo period (1603-1867) shows the erotic life and the culture of eroticism in the new Japanese middle class that appeared at that time. These prints, object of European phantasm, were secretly collected at the end of the 19th century by many famous artistic personalities such as Gustav Klimt or Emile Zola and led to the birth of “Japanism” through the whole Europe.

Paris, Pinacothèque      www.pinacotheque.com

Olafur Eliasson

the map for unthought thoughts by Olafur Eliasson

Until February 16: Olafur Eliasson, Contact

For Olafur Eliasson himself, the exhibition must interact between the visitor, the space, the light and the creations of the artist. Moving into the darkness of the infinite space, the spectator, becomes an actor within this dark and light show, developing his own sense of perception of an unknown reality.

Paris, Fondation Louis Vuitton       www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr

Until February 22: Sonia Delaunay, the Colours of Abstraction

For the first time, a great exhibition is dedicated to the one and only Sonia Delaunay, who, with her husband Robert Delaunay, had a pioneering role as abstractionist. She developed her message on all types of media; painting, fashion design and garments,

household items and bookbinding. More than 400 of her works are on display.

Paris, MAM (Modern Art Museum)      www.mam.paris.fr

Bon Boullogne

Bon Boullogne

Until March 1st: Georges Gasté, Itineraries of an Orientalist, paintings and photographs

Georges Gasté, 1869-1910, was not only an Orientalist painter, but also a great photographer. Unlike other artists of his time, he travelled not only for short visits to foreign countries, but to live there. He stayed for a few years in Algeria, Egypt and India where he passed away after having produced, through his works, a fabulous and beautiful true report showing the real life of these peoples.

Riom, 63-Puy de Dôme, Musée Mandet       www.riom-communaute.fr

Until March 1st: The Splendours of the Han

During almost four centuries, from 206 BC to 220 AD, the Han dynasty ruled over an extended China, unifying peoples, fighting or trading with the countries on the outskirts of their huge empire. It was a flourished arts’ period, and the numerous Han tombs provided amazing samples of this time.

Paris, Musée Guimet       www.guimet.fr

Until March 5: Bon Boullogne, a Master of the Grand Siècle

This exhibition rediscovers the works of Bon Boullogne, 1649-1717, famous at the end of the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King. At the turn of the century, his works on many mythological subjects representing pleasant nudes influenced the next generation of French painters of whom a great majority worked in his studio.

Dijon, 21-Côte d’Or, Musée Magnin      www.musee-magnin.fr

Until March 9: Animals and Pharaohs

The Louvre-Lens exhibits more than 430 works, showing the importance of animals for the ancient Egyptians, which were in the same time considered as food, a means of transport, and as objects of worship. Many Egyptians gods were shown with an animal figure, giving life to a tremendous production of bas-reliefs, statues, wall paintings and artistic artefacts.

Lens, 62-Pas de Calais, Musée du Louvre-Lens      www.louvrelens.fr

A train for Yunnan

A train for Yunnan

Until April 8: A Train to Yunnan, Tribulations of Two Frenchmen in China

At the dawn of the 20th century, France decided to build a railroad line to link French Indochina to the province of Yunnan in China. Two Frenchmen, in charge of this project, the consul Auguste François and the engineer Auguste Marbotte, were both keen on photography. In 1908 after 5 years, they returned with unique photos of fascinating landscapes and people from remote parts of China. 65 gorgeous pictures of their adventurous journeys are displayed at the Guimet Museum.

Paris, Musée Guimet      www.guimet.fr

Until October 18, 2015: “Tattoo-makers, Tattooed”

An exhibition that explores tattooing, it has more than 300 exhibits showing the ancestral use through different ages and countries. It concentrates on two main aspects; beauty in body-art and symbols of a societal membership.

Paris, Musée du Quai Branly   www.quaibranly.fr


a piece of rutile on exhibition at the Gallery of Minerology

a piece of rutile on exhibition at the Gallery of Minerology


Gallery of Mineralogy at the Museum of Natural History:

For more than 400 years, this museum has collected unique minerals, and after a huge transformation, a renovated space displays to the public more than 600 of them in this exhibition named “Treasures from Earth” (Trésors de la Terre). The exhibition includes the most precious and rare minerals, beautiful gemstones, strange meteorites and the museum’s fabulous collection of 80 giant crystals of which the biggest weights about 3 tons.

Paris, Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle       www.mnhn.fr

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