Paris and art go together like wine and cheese, or romance and the quaint, cobbled streets of the Left Bank. There are a host of current and future exhibits being staged in the city on the Seine. While the permanent collections in the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay rival anything you'll find in the museums in New York and London, it's the special exhibits and one-time retrospectives in Paris that no serious art lover should miss. Whether you enjoy Flemish landscapes, color-drenched Impressionism, Surrealism or the haunting, urban landscapes of Edward Hopper, Paris has an art exhibit for you. Here are 5 that shouldn't be missed.
Fables of the Flemish Landscape
The 15th to the 17th century was known as the Golden Age of Dutch Painting. From landscape paintings and religious depictions to everyday, peasant scenes and still life, Dutch painters had a talent for conjuring light, shadow and painstaking realism. At the Lille Fine Arts Museum, Lille (Nord Pas de Calais), you can see master works by artists like Brueghel, Bosch and Bril. If you can't make a quick side trip to visit the museums in Amsterdam, this major Flemish exhibit is the next best thing. Fables of the Flemish Landscape runs from Oct 6, 2012 to January 13, 2013.
Melting clocks. Dream-like crucifixions. Macabre and phantasmagoric landscapes. Everyone's favorite 20th century Spanish surrealist is being honored with a large-scale retrospective at the Centre Pompidou, in Paris. This is your chance to become fully immersed in the dreamworld of the famous, mustachioed madman. When you finally walk out of this exhibit, every clock you see is going to look like it's melting. The Salvador Dali retro is on exhibit from November 21, 2012 to March 25, 2013.
Impressionism and Fashion
The Musee d'Orsay is like a greatest hits collection of Impressionist paintings. Worldfamous works by Monet, Manet, Matisse, Degas, Gauguin, and Van Gogh are all part of the permanent collection. However, after enjoying Monet's water lillies and Manets' reclining nudes, be sure to check out the special exhibit Impressionism and Fashion. In 19th century Paris, fashion, design and art went together like, well, cheese, fine wine and a leisurely afternoon meal. The Musee d'Orsay's exhibit focuses on the different types of fashion depicted in Impressionist works of art. From clothing and hat styles to the colorful, Japanese influenced home interiors that Matisse was found of, this exhibit examines it all. Impressionism and Fashion is on display from September 25, 2012 to January 20, 2013.
Paul Gauguin, Van Gogh: Painters of Color
When you visit the museums in Paris, you can never get enough Impressionism. An excellent companion piece to the Musee d'Orsay's Impressionism and Fashion exhibit can be found at the Carrieres de Lumieres, Baux-de-Provence (Provence). This show focuses on the connections between Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh, two of the most beloved and celebrated artists in the world. Specifically, the show examines how the artists used color in their paintings. However, the Carrieres de Lumieres takes an unique and innovative approach to hanging the paintings. By projecting the works of Gauguin and Van Gogh's on the walls, floor and ceiling of the museum space, the Carrieres de Lumieres is able to fully immerse visitors in an Impressionistic world. If you're looking for something a bit outside the box, you may want to consider this exhibit. It's on display from March 30, 2012 to January 18, 2013.
What is it about Americans in Paris? First it was Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, now its the famous realist painter Edward Hopper. As far as art exhibits are concerned, this is the the creme-de-la-creme. Why? Its the first time that Edward Hopper has had a full retrospective in Paris. Capturing the post-war loneliness and ennui of American life, Hopper's paintings are filled with gas stations, diners, motels, restaurants and theaters. There is a haunting, film noir quality to his best work. From Nighthawks to Early Sunday Morning, Hopper's iconic images are sure to leave a lasting impression. The Edward Hopper retrospective is on display at the Grand-Palais from Oct 10, 2012 to January 28, 2013.
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