A short break in Paris at any time of the year is guaranteed to be an experience to remember, but spending a few days in the French capital over the autumn months is really quite something special. And as summer bids farewell, so the museums gear up for exhibition season with visitors to Paris over the autumn months in for a treat thanks to a plethora of fantastic temporary collections on display across the capital, complementing an already impressive portfolio of permanent offerings. From the Orsay to the Orangerie, the Maillol to the Marmottan, we’ve put together a comprehensive top 10 round-up of what’s on offer.
Desire & Sensuality: Victorian Masterpieces (13th September 2013 to 20th January 2014)
Worth a visit alone for its extensive and fascinating permanent collection, the Jacquemart-André’s forthcoming exhibition invites visitors to discover the famous artists of England during the reign of Queen Victoria. Bringing together a collection of some 50 paintings by the likes of Albert Moore, Sir Frederic Leighton, Edward Burne-Jones and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, the exhibition presents the common desire of the artists of this period to pay homage to the ‘cult of beauty’ and ‘sensual aesthetic’ in the face of a puritanical society and the moralising attitudes of the day.
Georges Braque (18 September 2013 to 6th January 2014)
In partnership with the Centre Pompidou, Paris’ Grand Palais hosts an ambitious retrospective of the work of Georges Braque, one the 20th century’s major artists. Renowned as a painter, engraver and sculptor, Braque is perhaps best known as one of the founders of Cubism and the inventor of pasted papers, thus making him one of the leading figures of the early 20th-century avant-garde before he turned his attention to still life and landscape painting. Arranged chronologically, the exhibition covers all the major periods in Braque’s artistic career from Fauvism and Cubism through to his later landscapes and also presents unpublished works, documents and photographs.
Etruscans (18th September 2013 to 9th February 2014)
Bringing together a plethora of exhibits from collections as diverse as the Vatican Museum, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Munich’s Glypthek and the British Museum in London, the Musée Maillol presents a fascinating exhibition which explores the daily life of the Etruscans, telling the extraordinary story of a people that developed between the ninth and the second centuries BC, in an area that today corresponds to the Italian peninsula. Some 250 exhibits will be on display from all walks of Etruscan civilization including religion, writing, weapons, painting and sculpture, craftsmanship in gold and silver, bronze and ceramics.
Jordaens 1593 – 1678: The Pride of Antwerp (19th September 2013 to 19th January 2014)
One of the three great 17th-century Flemish masters alongside Rubens and van Dyck, this is the first major retrospective in France of Jordaens and is set to be the highlight of Paris’ exhibition season with some 120 works on loan not only from Belgium but also Russia, America, Sweden, Hungary, Jerusalem, Madrid and Vienna, showcasing the variety of his inspiration from Rubens and Caravaggio to the Venetian Renaissance masters.
Musée du Louvre
The Springtime of the Rennaissance: Sculpture and the Arts in Florence, 1400-1460 (23rd September 2013 to 6th January 2014)
The Louvre’s Hall Napoleon is the setting for a fascinating exhibition that has just enjoyed tremendous success during its recent summer outing at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Arranged by thematic sections, the exhibition seeks to illustrate the origin of what is still known today as the “miracle” of the Renaissance in Florence, doing so principally through masterpieces of sculpture, the branch of figurative art in which that new season first saw the light of day.
Masculine / Masculine. The Nude Man in Art from 1800 to the Present Day (24th September 2013 to 2nd January 2014)
Formerly on display in Vienna’s Leopold Museum, this major exhibition tackles the representation of male nudity, for a long time (from the 17th to 19th centuries) the basis of traditional academic art training and a key element in Western creative art. Drawing on its extensive own collections and those of other French public collections, the Musée d’Orsay aims to take an interpretive, playful, sociological and philosophical approach to exploring all aspects and meanings of the male nude in art through painting, sculpture, graphic arts and photography.
Musée Marmottan Monet
Napoleon’s Sisters (3rd October 2013 to 26th January 2014)
Holding a much-envied title as home to the world’s largest collection of Monet paintings, the Marmottan Monet presents an exhibition devoted to the sisters of Napoleon: Elisa, Pauline and Caroline. Bringing together some 140 works from some of the biggest museums in Europe as well as from private family collections, this ensemble of paintings seeks to show both the very privileged public and private lives of the Bonaparte sisters, princesses and queens of Italy under the Napoleonic Empire.
Musée de l’Orangerie
Frida Kahlo / Diego Rivera (9th October 2013 to 13th January 2014)
Most famous for its stunning collection of Monet’s giant water lilies panels, the Musée de l’Orangerie, in collaboration with the Dolores Olmedo Museum in Mexico City, hosts an exhibition devoted to the work of the legendary couple Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, looking both at their respective artistic worlds (at the same time complementary as they were different) and the deep-rooted affection they shared for their country.
Musée du Luxembourg
The Rennaissance and the Dream: Bosch, Veronese, Greco… (9th October 2013 to 26th January 2014)
Situated inside the Palais du Luxembourg, this is a beautiful venue for an exhibition and this autumn’s offering serves to be a good one. Bringing together some 80 paintings by Renaissance greats including Bosch, Veronese and Greco, the exhibition explores how these artists captured on canvas the concept of the dream as well as the idea of a higher being.
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Serge Poliakoff (18th October 2013 to 23rd February 2014)
Not to be confused with the Musée National d’Art Moderne (situated inside the Centre Pompidou), Paris’ Museum of Modern Art plays host to a large-scale retrospective dedicated to the works of abstract painter, Serge Poliakoff (1900 – 1969). With some 150 works on display dating from the period 1946 – 1969, the exhibition is laid out sequentially around key works including his exploratory years, the post-war period and his later works which demonstrated a more simplistic modernity. The exhibition also presents a wealth of photographs and sound archives providing an insight into Poliakoff’s life.