Letter from France: November 2016

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
poster for Les Invalides

The Sainte Barbe feast


December 10 & 11: Sainte Barbe feast at the Invalides

For the feast of the holy patron of artillerymen, the Army Museum organises free firing demonstrations with five artillery pieces including one French 75mm cannon that was in use throughout  WWI. Historical costumes are worn and the family-friendly program includes a military band, visits and games. Paris, Les Invalides, Musée de l’Armée    www.musee-armee.fr


Until December 5: “Bouchardon 1698-1762, An Idea of Beauty”

The Louvre in association with the Getty Museum presents the first ever monographic exhibition dedicated to Edmé Bouchardon, a sculptor of genius who is considered as the father of neo-classicism. Alongside his extraordinary sculptures are some of his many beautiful drawings, studies and engravings which are presented for the first time. Paris, Musée du Louvre    www.louvre.fr

Bouchardon - Idea of Beauty

Idea of Beauty

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. It shows Antarctica’s incredible natural beauty and also its unique wild life that has to be permanently protected. Lyon, 69-Rhône  Musée des Confluences    www.museedesconfluences.fr


Until January 2: “Le Grand Condé, rival of the Sun King?”

Cousin of the Sun King Louis XIV, Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé known as Le Grand Condé (Condé the Great) was the best general of his time. He was also a rebel during the Fronde civil war and a generous protector of arts and culture. He gave life to the Chantilly Castle, and its fabulous gardens where a unique exhibition pays tribute to this great man and flamboyant character.  Chantilly, 60-Oise, Domaine de Chantilly    www.domainedechantilly.com

Until January 15: “Winterhalter, Court portraits, between splendour and elegance”

Winterhalter (1805-1873) was the greatest court painter of his time, working for royal courts of France, Belgium and Austria. Before becoming the official portrait painter of Empress Eugénie, the wife of Emperor Napoleon III, he portrayed members of Queen Victoria ‘s family. Here in the Imperial Palace of Compiègne, this exhibition of vivid portraits by him gives us a true image of the high society of the 19th century. Compiègne, 60-Oise  Palais de Compiègne   www.musee-palaisdecompiegne.fr

Poster for Ben's All is Art

Ben – Tout est Art?


Until January 15: “Ben at the Maillol Museum”

With more than 500 works from the artist’s and private collections, the Maillol Museum presents the largest retrospective of Ben, the most iconoclastic contemporary artist, a gentle agitator denying the “single worldview”. Paris, Musée Maillol     www.museemaillol.com

Until January 15: “Amazing Second Empire 1852-1870”

The Second Empire of the time of Napoléon III was a great period of prosperity and modernity and this has largely been forgotten. The Musée d’Orsay presents an accurate portrait of the splendour and the lushness of the high society of that time. Paris, Musée d’Orsay    www.musee-orsay.fr

Until January 15: “Hergé at the Grand Palais”

Creator of the Adventures of Tintin,  Hergé (1907-1983) is considered as one of the world’s  most famous cartoonists. He is the father of the ligne claire drawing style and, for this unique retrospective of his work, original drawings and pages from Tintin and Quick & Flucke albums are on show. This exhibition includes earlier works of Hergé such as “The adventures of Jo, Zette and Jocko”. Paris, Grand Palais      www.grandpalais.fr

photograph of Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

Until January 15: “Color Line – African-American artists and Civil Rights in USA”

With over 200 works, including paintings, sculptures, comic books, music, graphic design and film, this exhibition is a large panorama of the Afro-American art in the time of segregation in the USA. It is a tribute to the richness of the creativity of all these artists, victims of that “color line” who still remain largely unknown by the public. Paris, Musée du Quai Branly    www.quaibranly.fr

Until January 15: “Oscar Wilde, the absolute impertinent”

This is the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to Oscar Wilde presenting a chronology of his tumultuous life with numerous personal items, original texts, photographs, letters and in parallel many paintings that Oscar Wilde – also an art critic – considered worthy of admiration. Paris, Petit Palais    www.petitpalais.paris.fr

Until January 19: “Secret Wars”

With more than 400 artefacts and authentic documents, this exhibition shows how the secret wars undertaken by intelligence services during the past two centuries, were part of the actions of countries. An essential part of the exhibition is dedicated to WWII and the Cold War. Paris, Les Invalides, Musée de l’Armée    www.musee-armee.fr

Until January 22: “The Dream”

Dreams have always been a great domain of questioning for mankind. This exhibition includes works by artists as Goya, Odilon Redon and Max Ernst, and shows how these artists tried to translate dreams in their works and, by doing so, breaching the constraints of an objective reality.                Marseille, 13-Bouches du Rhône, Musée Cantini    www.lereve.marseille.fr

poster for Cafe at the MUCEM

Cafe in MUCEM

Until January 22: “To paint the Impossible: Hodler-Monet-Munch”

The exhibition combines three major artists of the first years of the 20th century, Hodler, Monet and Munch. Each one was trying to paint what he thought technically impossible. Paris, Musée Marmottan-Monet    www.marmottan.fr

Until January 23: “Café In” Mucem

An exhibition to discover the importance of coffee in our civilisation through its history, its production, its economy, its publicity and its impact on our way of live at home or in the “cafés”.  Marseille, 13-Bouches du Rhone, MUCEM    www.mucem.org

poster for Inner Rembrandt exhibition

Inner Rembrandt

Until January 23: “Inner Rembrandt”

The Jacquemart-André Museum owns three Rembrandt masterpieces representing three periods of the artist’s work. Each is presented facing other paintings and engravings of the same period allowing the spectator to discover the creative and evolutionary processes of Rembrandt throughout his lifetime. Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André    www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com

Until January 23: “René Magritte, the Treachery of Images”

Drifting away from the surrealist movement, René Magritte took a more philosophical way wondering about our world and about his own vision and depiction of it. This thought process reached its iconic point with his masterpiece “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (This is not a pipe).  Paris, Centre Pompidou   www.centrepompidou.fr

Until January 23: “Mexico, 1900-1950: Diego Riviera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco and the avant-garde”

This exhibition presents a vast panorama of the creativity of Mexican artists during the first half of the 20th Century. They were inspired in the first years by Parisian avant-garde, but the Mexican revolution pushed them in a new direction. Women artists, such as the iconic Frida Kahlo, found their place in that new attractive Mexican artistic scene that soon saw manyforeign artists joining them in Mexico. Paris, Grand Palais    www.grandpalais.fr

poster for Plumes exhibition

Feathers (plumes) exhibition

Until January 29: “Feathers, visions of Pre-Colombian America”

Being a symbol of power and linked to religion and gods, feathers played a great role in Pre-Colombian societies. Soon after the Hispanic conquest, the science of Indians in feathers design was used to create fabulous artworks made of colourful feathers. Paris, Quai Branly Museum   www.quaibranly.fr

Until January 30: “The Bear in the prehistoric art”

During the Upper Palaeolithic era (38,000-19,000 years ago) the hunter-gatherers left us fabulous cave-paintings, delicate figurines, carved stones and bones, showing their art to represent wild animals. This exhibition only focusing on bears, helps us to discover how these men were creative and tries to explain the strong links they had with bears which, for them, represents both fear and food. St-Germain-en Laye, 78-Les Yvelines Musée d’Archeologie Nationale www.musee-archeologienationale.fr

Until February 12: “Fantin-Latour, the sensitive”

A large, retrospective of the work of Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) from his early works, auto-portraits and paintings of his two sisters, to the still-life paintings and group portraits that made him famous. “Licentious” photos from his own collection, some of them made by the artist himself, show a secret aspect of Fantin-Latour’s character. Paris, Musée du Luxembourg    www.museeduluxembourg.fr

poster for the Chtchoukine collection

Icons of Modern Art

Until February 20: “The Chtchoukine Collection”

Serguei Chtchoukine was surely the greatest Russian collector and patron of European Modern Art. For the first time since his collection was seized and scattered during the 1917 Russian revolution, 130 pieces are gathered together. From Van Gogh to Degas, from Renoir to Courbet, all the main masters were part of this collection which also includes numerous works by Matisse and Picasso. Paris, Fondation Louis Vuitton   www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr

Until March 27: “Kollektia! Contemporary Art in USSR and Russia, 1950-2000”

poster for Eclectique

The Eclectic exhibition

This exhibition unveils the extraordinary donation of over 250 Soviet and Russian contemporary art works offered to the Centre Pompidou by the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, private collectors and artists. These works show a large panorama of the creativity of Russian artists in the second half of the twentieth century. Paris, Centre Pompidou   www.centrepompidou.fr

Until April 2: “Eclectic, a collection made in the XXI century”

Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière is a wealthy art-lover who, in the last ten years, has created a fabulous collection of ancient masterpieces of African Art. But he has also mixed that collection with a few antique and contemporary pieces. This collection, a sort of Ideal Collection, shows the humanist vision of a very atypical collector. Paris, Quai Branly Museum   www.quaibranly.fr





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