Letter from France: June 2015

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
La Géode

La Géode


Until July 5th: “La Géode – 30 years: film festival”

To highlight its 30th anniversary, La Géode presents a retrospective of the 30 most impressive films that have been created for half-spherical giant screens. Travel back to Ice Age, dive with the great white sharks, slink with the lemurs of Madagascar, party with U2 3D, Rolling Stones at the MAX or enjoy the Black Stallion’s legend. All are included in the festival programming.

Paris, La Géode     www.lageode.fr


Until July 5: Body-Care, the Birth of Intimacy

For the very first time, a museum gathers works by significant artists from the 16th Century until the present just one subject, the representation of a woman taking care of their bodies. Works by Durer, Primatice, Georges de la Tour, Manet, Degas and Toulouse Lautrec as well as more contemporary artists show the evolution of the body-care during the last centuries with the arrival of new ideas about hygiene and health.

Paris, Musée Marmottan       www.marmottan.fr

Until July 13: Velasquez

This exhibition shows the genius of Velasquez, (1599-1660) presenting a large panorama of his career, from his first works to his last masterpieces. He quickly became the painter of the royal court of Spain and soon developed a great reputation as a portrait master. He is still one of the world’s most famous artists and was considered as a role model by the Impressionists, Manet calling him ‘the Painter of painters’.

Paris, Grand Palais     www.grandpalais.fr



Until July 19: “Degas, an impressionist painter?”

The Musée des Impressionnismes in Giverny, that famous Monet village in Normandy, exhibits sixty works of Degas and uses them to query whether he was an impressionist. Other Impressionists concentrated on landscapes whereas Degas largely worked on indoor scenes and people. Some of the paintings on view have been loaned by the Musée d’Orsay.

Giverny, 27-Eure, Musée des Impressionismes     www.mdig.fr

Until July 19: The Tudors

This is an amazing exhibition of beautiful, large portraits of the Tudors and of the main protagonists of their time, many of whom were executed.What is seen here is a brilliant survey of the dynasty that changed the face of the English kingdom. The final part of the exhibition shows how the extraordinary lives of the Tudors and the bloody dramas that took place during their reigns, inspired the Romanticism of French writers.

Paris, Musée du Luxembourg     www.museeduluxembourg.fr

Until July 19: “Pierre Bonnard, painter of Arcadia”

The Orsay Museum presents a retrospective exhibition of Pierre Bonnard, 1867-1947, whose works, characters as well landscapes, were based on an Arcadian ideal. Inspired by the magic light and bright colours of southeast France, he worked on large-scale landscape paintings, but he also remains famous for his intimate portraits of women and for his way to introduce some mystery in common life scenes.

Paris, Musée d’Orsay     www.musee-orsay.fr


Masters of SculptureUntil July 26: “The Masters of Sculpture, Ivory Coast”

With around 200 wooden sculptures from 19th century and early 20th this exhibition is much more than a great retrospective of African masks from Ivory Coast tribes. The aim is to demonstrate the aesthetic strength and the selfhood of any of those masters of sculpture and to show the obvious links with the contemporary African sculptors whose modern works are also on display.

Paris, Musée du quai Branly     www.quaibranly.fr

Until July 27: “Churchill – De Gaulle”

50 years after Churchill’s death, the Army Museum presents this exhibition showing the special links between Churchill and De Gaulle. Sometimes friends and sometimes foes, they both though first of their own country, but managed to work together and remain forever the two greatest European leaders fighting for freedom against Nazis during WWII.

Paris, Les Invalides, Musée de l’Armée   www.musee-armee.fr

Until July 27: The Treasures of Emile Guimet

Emile Guimet, a great humanist and a great captain of industry from Lyon, collected countless art pieces from antique civilisations, mainly from Asia and Egypt throughout is life. With so much, he was able to create two museums in Paris and Lyon, which, in his words, would provide culture and knowledge to the ‘proletarian people‘. This inaugural exhibition of the new Museum of Confluences in Lyon gathers together the most prestigious pieces of Emile Guimet’s collections that had to be split between some of the most famous French museums.

Lyon, 69-Rhône, Musée des Confluences     www.museedesconfluences.fr

Le CorbusierUntil August 3: “Le Corbusier: Measurement of Man”

This key exhibition, including sculptures, drawings, architectural drawings, paintings, photographs and documents, is a fresh look of the prolific output of Le Corbusier, the exceptional architect who based all his work on the proportions of the human body. He considered this “Measurement of man” as a universal principle that defined all aspects of architecture and spatial composition.

Paris, Centre Pompidou     www.centrepompidou.fr

Until August 13: “Siena, the origins of the Renaissance”

The city of Siena like Florence, its great artistic rival, was a cradle of renaissance arts, even if the names of the main Sienese painters as Duccio, the Lorenzetti brothers or Simone Martini are largely unknown by the general public today. Around 70 of their works dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries show how they gave birth to an artistic revolution in painting.

Rouen, 76-Seine Maritime, Musée des Beaux Arts     www.mbarouen.fr

Napoleon and ParisUntil August 13: “Fastes de la Cour au XVIIe siecle” (Splendour of the Court)

In the amazing Chateau de Chantilly which, in France, boasts the second best collection of paintings after the Louvre, a temporary exhibition presents for the first time 23 fabulous drawings by Jacques Bellange (1575-1616) and 34 wood engravings enhanced with watercolour, gold and silver. These works show the splendour of the Courts of Lorraine and France at the end of the 17th Century.

Chateau de Chantilly, 80-Oise   www.domainedechantilly.com

Until August 30: “Napoleon and Paris: Dreams of a Capital”

Napoleon knew that Paris was the key to power in France, so the capital became the theatre of the key moments of his political career. Being a great administrator he provided the city with numerous amenities such as bridges, canals, fountains and markets that changed forever the Parisians’ daily existence. Wishing to make Paris the most beautiful city in the world, he built some of the iconic monuments of the city, the Arc de Triomphe, the Vendome column, The Champs Elysées and the Etoile.

Paris, Musée Carnavalet         www.carnavalet.patris.fr



Until September 13: Canaletto, Rome-London-Venise

In the sumptuous setting of the recently renovated ‘Hôtel de Caumont’ built in 1715, the first exhibition in this new art centre is dedicated to the Venetian painter Canaletto (1697-1768) with important loans from the UK such as Royal Collection Trust, the London National Gallery and the collection of the Duke of Northumberland, as well as other overseas institutions.

Aix-en-Provence, 13-Bouches du Rhône, Hôtel de Caumont  www.caumont-centredart.com

Until September 13: “Pressionism, the masterpieces of Graffiti on Canvas”

The term ‘Pressionism‘ is a tribute to the use of the spray paint in Street Art since the seventies. This exhibition shows how the main artists of this underground movement began to work on canvas. With the exception of Basquiat and Keith Haring the public has largely ignored their works and probably don’t even know their names. Now such artists like Ramemellzee who died in 2010, Bando or Futura begin to be known by private collectors and few modern art galleries.

Paris, la Pinacothèque de Paris   www.pinacotheque.com

Until September 27: Albert André,” Intimacy of a Realist Painter”

Friend of Vuillard, Valloton, Monet and especially close to Auguste Renoir, Albert André is one of those great painters who he public seem to have overlooked. This exhibition presents a great number of his paintings showing the strong links between work, family, friends and artists of his time.

Montbeliard, 25-Doubs, Musée du Chateau des Ducs de Wurstemberg  www.monbeliard.fr

Naples exhibitionUntil October 11: “The Golden Age of painting in Naples: from Ribera to Giordano”

The 17th century in Naples was a tumultuous period with a great volcanic eruption of the next-door Vesuvius, a huge plague epidemic and even a civil war. Despite these terrible events the city of Naples remained a famous European artistic centre. The paintings of Neapolitan painters, as Ribera, Curacciola, Solimena or Giardino, testify to their imagination, their passion for the Baroque and their work on colours and light.

Montpellier, 34-Herault, Musée Fabre     museefabre.montpellier3m.fr

Until October 18: “Tattoo-makers, Tattooed”

This exhibition explores the universe of tattooing with more than 300 pieces showing it through different ages and countries. It concentrates on two main aspects, beauty in body-art and the symbols of a societal membership.

Paris, Musée du Quai Branly  www.quaibranly.fr

Until October 31: “Alejandro Jodorowsky”

Chilean artist Alejandro Jodorowsky put his sleek stamp on everything from literature, poetry, painting, comic books to cinema and has impacted generations of actors, film directors and visual artists. This major retrospective tries to show many aspects of the symbolic, esoteric and philosophical dimensions of his anti-conformist work that has touched an extremely large international audience.

Bordeaux, 33-Gironde, CAPC-Musée d’Art Contemporain       www.capc-bordeaux.fr

Felix Arnaudin

Felix Arnaudin

Until October 31: “Felix Arnaudin, le Guetteur Melancolique” (the Melancholic Watchman)

Born in 1844, Felix Arnaudin felt in love with the Landes region in France. He soon became a great amateur photographer and he tried, through out his life, to create ‘images as real as possible’ of this part of France that could immortalize people, country farms, landscape as well as scenes from everyday life.

Bordeaux, 33-Gironde, Musée d’Aquitaine   www.muses-aquitaine-bordeaux.fr

Until November 1: Kapoor at Versailles

After Koons and his “Giant Lobster”, Anish Kapoor, the famous British artist, creates a new controversy with his monumental works installed in the magnificent garden designed by Le Nôtre at the Château de Versailles. A sixth work is sheltered inside the walls of the Royal Tennis Court Hall, just outside the castle.

Versailles, 78-Yvelines, Château de Versailles       www.chateauversailles.fr

Until November 2: “Salt Mines”

In the beautiful site of the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, a photographic exhibition is dedicated to the contemporary workers who extract salt all around the world. Catherine Gaudin and Seydou Touré, two photographers-travellers, present beautiful images and portraits of salt workers from far away countries as Bolivia, Peru, Vietnam, India, China, or Ethiopia. More than 160 photos are on show, each with an explanatory note by the authors.

Arc-et-Senans, 25-Doubs, Salines Royales d’Arc-et-Senans     www.salineroyale.com


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