The 5 exhibitions I’m looking forward to this autumn in Paris

September marks the beginning of la rentrée (back to school) i.e. the awakening of a very sleepy Paris. After an entire month of vacances, the parisians finally yawned their way back to town and are now ready for all the art and entertainment Paris has to offer.
Here are the five exhibitions I’m personally very much looking forward to see, in no particular order :

 

luxembourg
L’âge d’or de la peinture anglaise (The golden age of english painting), Musée du Luxembourg, until Feb. 16th 2020
– shows masterpieces of the 18th and 19th c. kindly loaned by the Tate Britain.
MAD2019-SEPTEMBRE-MODERNE-MAHARAJAH
Morderne Maharadjah, un mécène des années 30 (modern maharadja, a patron of the arts in the 1930s), Musée des Arts Décoratifs, from Sept. 26th til Jan. 12th 2020
– to see the Maharadja of Indore’s colletion of objects and furnitures used to decorate the first modernist building of his country: the Manik Bagh Palace.
AFFICHE-marie-Antoinette-Conciergerie-626
Marie-Antoinette, métamorphoses d’une image (Marie-Antoinette, metamorphosis of an image), Conciergerie, from Oct. 16th til Jan. 26th 2020
– the most famous queen of France and how the people have perceived her throughout the centuries.
tolkien
Tolkien, voyage en Terre du Milieu (Tolkien, voyage to Middle-Earth), Bibliothèque Nationale Française, from Oct. 22nd til Feb. 16th 2020
– the biggest French retrospective on Tolkien, themed on the magical geography of his works.
oeil et nuit
L’oeil et la nuit (the eye and the night), Institut des Cultures d’Islam
– exploring the multi-facetted vision we have of the night, by artists from Europe, Africa and the Middle-East.

 

Van Gogh at the Tate Britain, London

Things are going well for me here, I have a wonderful home and it’s a great pleasure for me to observe London and the English way of life and the English themselves, and I also have nature and art and poetry, and if that isn’t enough, what is?

Letter to Theo van Gogh, January 1874

starry night 1888

A few weeks ago I went to London and saw the Van Gogh exhibition shown at the Tate Britain. Now, Van Gogh isn’t exactly up-and-coming and we have all seen various shows featuring his famous works. This particular exhibition though left me elevated and inspired. So much so that it still is very much fresh in my mind. This is why I decided to write about it here, even though the exhibition has ended a few days ago.

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One thing that stroke me about the exhibition was the original angle chosen by the curators : Van Gogh’s relationship with England, and how he influenced modern British art. For once, the emphasis wasn’t so much on his many life struggles dealing with poverty, mental illness and lack of recognition, but on his life as a young man moving to London to work for an art dealer. This brings me to my second point: I learned SO MUCH about Van Gogh’s life thanks to this exhibition – like how he enjoyed walking along the Thames every day to go to work, or how he loved prints and collected over two thousands throughout his life. I also found out that he started drawing when he was writing letters to his family back in Holland. He would describe familiar sceneries and sites and would often add drawings for better understanding. He was also very moved by the life conditions of the working class and this concern is visible in his paintings.

letter-van-gogh

van gogh prison

All in all, the exhibition enlightened me on Van Gogh’s inspirations and life choices that then brought him to become one of the most important artist of the 19th century.

Sadly, the exhibition is now over, but I strongly encourage you to get the exhibition catalogue if you are interested in Van Gogh’s life.

Berthe Morisot at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Morisot_autoportrait

Have you ever heard of Berthe Morisot? Neither had I. Until very recently – a couple of weeks ago to be precise, when I saw her work at the Musée Marmottan-Monet, I had never heard of or seen any of Morisot’s work. Even though she was one of the main figures of the impressionist movement. What a shame! It makes me wonder as to the reason why? Is it because of bad luck or missed opportunities? Or is it because, as a female artist, her work isn’t as famous as her counterparts such as Monet or Renoir?

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Morisot_Manetetsafille

In any case, I am glad I found her because her work, which is currently exhibited at the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris, shows so much talent and dare that it would have been a shame to miss it.

Morisot_lever

Working mainly on figures and portraits, Morisot uses her painting to document modern life, particularly the life and status of women in the 19th century. Using her personal technique of nervous brush strokes that sometimes approached abstract art, she sometimes decided not to paint the whole canvas to point the focus entirely on the subject of the painting, usually absorbed into a reverie.

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Morisot’s work is poetic, beautiful and in a way, avant-garde. It demands contemplation. You can do so if you’re in Paris at the Musée d’Orsay until Sept. 22nd.