Letter from France: June 2017

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

The new administrative region covering the North of France, now called Les Hauts de France hosts a large summer exhibition of the Italian paintings which are in its collections. This “Italian Hours” exhibition has being divided between 4 main museums (details below).

Last Days

Until July 2: “Italian Hours – The Primitives, 14th & 15th C.”

With 22 paintings on wood and polyptychs on display, the exhibition offers an overview of the religious production of Italian Primitives such as Giotto di Bandone (1266-1337) or Sandro Boticelli (1445-1510). Amiens, 80-Somme, Musée de Picardie   www.amiens.fr/musees

Until July 2: “Italian Hours – The Renaissance, 16th C.”

The Castle of Chantilly, which owns 24 major paintings of the sixteenth Italian century, is the perfect set to present the 32 other paintings of the exhibition. Works by masters such as Veronese, Titian, Raphael or Piombo are displayed with works by less known artists as Santacroce, Pozzoserrato, Moroni, Allori or Schiavone. Chantilly, 60-Oise, Château de Chantilly    www.domainedechantilly.com

Until July 9: ” Pissaro in Eragny, Nature Regained”

This exhibition tackles the last twenty years of Pissaro’s life when he settled in a beautiful country house in Eragny, a small village close to Auvers-sur-Oise where Monet lived. It contains over 100 paintings, drawings, watercolours and engravings that are as spectacular as they are unfamiliar. Paris, Musée du Luxembourg     www.museeduluxembourg.fr

Until July 9: “Princely Treasures – The Riches of the Court of Navarre in the 16th C.”

This exhibition is focused on the artistic riches (jewels, rare books, fabulous tapestries, vases, enamels) of the little kingdom of (French) Navarre at the time of Henri IV, King of Navarre, just before his accession to the throne of France. Pau 64-Pyrénées Atlantiques    Château de Pau    www.chateau-pau.fr

Until July 16: “Balenciaga, l’œuvre au Noir (Fashion in Black)”

In tribute to the creativity of the Spanish fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga, (1895-1972,) the Musée Bourdelle presents over hundred of his designs-clothes and fashion accessories – but just those in black. For Balenciaga black was the colour and he was a magician in creating so many black clothes, dresses, jackets, boleros and coats. In this exhibition, the contrast with the marble works of Bourdelle reinforces the elegance of the fashion in black of Balenciaga. Paris, Musée Bourdelle    www.bourdelle.paris.fr

Until July 17: “Gardens”

This exceptional exhibition tries to present six centuries of gardens through the eyes of artists from Renaissance to nowadays. Works by Fragonard, Monet, Klimt Picasso, Matisse, Caillebotte to name just a few, are displayed. Paris, Grand Palais        www.grandpalais.fr


Until July 27: “Primitive Picasso”

For Picasso, Primitive Arts were a great source of inspiration, and throughout his life, he collected African and Asian Primitive Art. This exhibition shows how his collection was also the base of his artistic questioning and ethical reflection. Paris, Musée du Quai Branly   www.quaibranly.fr

Until July30: “France Germany, 1870-1871 War, Revolution, Memories”

In 1871 the defeat of the French by Bismark ‘s troops led to a short but terrible civil war in Paris where lots of monuments and parts of the city were destroyed or burnt down (many were soon rebuilt), but with the loss of Alsace and Lorraine regions, it was the birth of a desire for revenge against Germany for the loss. Paris, Musée de l’Armée – Les Invalides      www.musee-armee.fr

Until July 31: “Rodin, The Centennial Exhibition”

To mark the centenary of Rodin’s death, over 200 of his works –  in plaster, marble and drawings – are on show and present all the facets of his creativity which inspired so many young artists of his time such as Brancusi, Bourdelle or Matisse. Some of their works are displayed in parallel with Rodin’s pieces. Paris, Grand Palais    www.grandpalais.fr   and   www.rodin100.org/en  

Until August 21: “Italian Hours – Paintings of the 18th C.”

The third part of the Italian Hours exhibition with about 70 paintings covers the whole eighteenth century including large rococo sceneries, historical paintings, beautiful portraits and a few veduta. Compiègne  60-Oise   Palais de Compiègne. www-musees-palaisdecompiegne.fr

Until August 28: “Maurice Denis and Eugène Delacroix: from Studio to Museum”

The famous painter Maurice Denis was born after the death of Delacroix, but he has such an admiration for Delacroix’s work that he succeeded in gathering a few famous artists to protect the last place where Delacroix lived and worked. The painter’s studio was the first to change from being a  a private museum into a national one. Paris,Musée national Eugène Delacroix;   www.musee-delacroix.fr

Until August 28: “Chagall Sculptures”

Chagall was a genius using various materials and techniques, but even today the general public is largely unaware of his sculpture. This exhibition has chosen to present about sixty sculptures created in various materials including stone, marble, wood and even bones. Nice, 06-Alpes Maritimes Musée Chagall   www.musee-chagall.fr

Until September 3: “Daubigny, at the sources of Impressionism”

Once more Auvers-sur-Oise draws attention to the birth of Impressionism. The painter Daubigny, after discovering the charm of this village, built his own workshop-cum-house and attracted artists of the calibre of Corot, Pisarro, Van Gogh and Daumier. This exhibition presents works by Daubigny who is considered as one of the pioneers of impressionism. Auvers-sur-Oise, 95-Val d’Oise;  Musée Daubigny  www.museedaubigny.com

Until September 17: “Italian Hours – Naturalism and Baroque, 17th C”

The MUDO presents 41 paintings of the Italian eighteenth century, when landscape and still life paintings arose, followed by the birth of Baroque style. Meanwhile the Quadrilatére displays 43 works to illustrate the religious art of the catholic Counter-Reformation. Beauvais,  60-Oise: MUDO      www.mudo.oise.fr .                                Quadrilatère      culture.beauvais.fr

Until September 24: “Portraits by Cézanne”

During his long working life, Cézanne, named by Matisse as “the father of all”, painted about 200 portraits, including 26 self-portraits. This exhibition also shows different versions of same portraits revealing the gentle evolution of his style and the variations of his technique. Paris, Musée d’Orsay     www.orsay.fr

Until October 2: “Austrasia, the Merovingien Lost Kingdom”

After the fall of Rome at the end of the 5th century a large kingdom appeared covering East of France, Belgium and West Germany, mixing two cultures, Roman and “Barbarian”. This exhibition shows the beauty and the richness of the artefacts belonging to this kingdom that stood for over two and a half centuries but which is now almost totally forgotten. St Germain-en-Laye, 78-Yvelines; Musée d’Archéologie Nationale. www.musee-archeologienationale.fr

Until October 9: “Adventurers of the High Seas”

From the seventh to the seventeenth century, adventurers, sailors and merchants sailed on the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean to bring back fabulous goods unknown to Europe. This fascinating exhibition is more about the trade of valuable goods and the exchanges between numerous countries than about the men who travelled the oceans and often died for this luxury trade. Marseille, 13-Bouches-du-Rhône  MUCEM    www.mucem.org

Until October 10: “Aztec Hotel”

At the dawn of the twentieth century California and USA were hit by a Maya mania following the discovery of mysterious ruins of the Mayan civilisation. A few architects like Franck Lloyd Wright began to create “Mayan” buildings. Robert Stacy-Judd designed the iconic Aztec Hotel near L.A.  This exhibition shows all aspects of such a romantic vision which also inspired musicians, artists, film directors or even fashion designers. Paris, Musée du Quai Branly     www.quaibranly.fr

Until October 15: “Sisley, the Impressionist”

Whatever the surface, grass, water, snow, clouds or sky, Sisley was the master of light, capturing and translating all its effects on his canvas. The comparison between the numerous versions of the same landscape shows how he could seize any variation of light from one day to another, from one hour to another. Aix-en-Provence, 13-Bouche-du-Rhône   Hotel de Caumont- Centre d’Art. www.caumont-centred’art.com

Until October 23: “David Hockney, Retrospective”

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of David Hockney, the Pompidou Centre presents the largest retrospective of his incredible career, showing more than 200 works from his first images in Bradford where he grew up, to the most recent ones  created using his own I-pad in California where he now lives. Paris, Centre Pompidou    www.centrepompidou.fr

Until November 12: “The Africa of Routes”

Africa is a huge continent where, since prehistoric times, commercial and cultural exchanges have always existed. Over 300 art pieces are on display to help us discover the immensity of the network of overland, sea routes and water routes linking African tribes and kingdoms, and how this influenced their art. Paris, Musée du Quai Branly    www.quaibranly.fr

Until November 13: “The Third Man, Prehistory of Altaï”

There is no better place than the National Museum of Prehistory to present the recent discoveries made in Altaï (Russia). The former scenario of Modern Humans quickly replacing Neanderthals, does not apply here. In Altaï these two human lines coexisted with a third one only very recently discovered, the Denivosans. Some genetic exchanges between these human groups have been proved by new, paleogenomic analysis. Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, 24-Dordogne    www.musee-prehistoire-eyzies.fr

Until November 17: “Lee Ungno, The Man of the Crowds”

Lee Ungno (Yi Eungro )(1904-1989) was a Korean painter who explored the relations between traditional calligraphy and abstraction, giving birth to his major theme – crowds. With Soulages, Hartung and Zao Wou-ki he took a significant role in the Parisian avant-garde movement. Paris, Musée Cernuschi      www.cernuschi.paris.fr

Until 2018 January 8: “Bosch, Brueghel, Arcimboldo at Carrières de Lumières”

In the ideal setting of the white stone quarries of Les Beaux de Provence, visitors literally walk inside the fantasy world of these three painters from the 16th century. Their works are screened on the huge walls and on the ground as well. It  provides a sort of fairy tail trip between the hallucinated imagination of Bosch, the unbelievable portraits of Arcimboldo and the joyful triviality of Brueghel. Les Beaux de Provence, 13- Bouche-du-Rhône   Les Carrières de Lumières   www.carrieres-lumieres.fr

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