Letter from France, part 2
This exhibition is the dream of Icare, from the first aerial pictures to the recent satellite images of the earth. The surprising beauty of these unusual landscapes fascinates everyone and had an impact on the work of many contemporary artists. Some five hundred pieces show the key-role of bird’s-eye views on some modern and contemporary art-works.
Metz, Moselle-57, Centre Pompidou-Metz.
Until October 20: Gardens’ International Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire
Coming from as far as China, Russia, Japan and Algeria about 20 new gardens were created by artists, designers, landscapers and gardeners for the 22d edition of the Festival. This year’s theme is ‘gardens of sensations’, and the visitors will enter into a fairy tale’s world of colours, smells, sounds and silences, and should not forget to visit the Castle and the Park who are also located inside the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire.
Until November 10: Roulez Carosses!
A loan from the Palace of Versailles, to the museum of St Vaast Abbey in Arras, shows for the first time the best pieces of French royal and imperial horse-drawn carriages along with numerous artefacts belonging to their use. There are also a few paintings of important events during which these vehicles were used.
Arras, Pas-de-Calais – 59, Musée-Abbaye St Vaast
Until December 31: Marseille-Provence, 2013 European Cultural Capital
As European Cultural Capital, Marseille presents the first artistic events of a long series hosted not only by Marseille but also by Aix-en-Provence – the old city well known for its beautiful buildings and its art-de-vivre. Hundreds of cultural and artistic events, theatre, street arts, music, exhibitions, are scheduled all along the year, including the exceptional creation of a new French national museum, the MUCEM which opened last week.
Until January 5 2014: Monet, Renoir…Chagall, Journeys around the Mediterranean
This exhibition is part of ” Marseille-Provence, 2013 European Cultural Capital”
Inside the monumental Carrières de Lumières (Quarries of Lights), a huge lightshow projects more than 3,000 images of works of art by 16 main artists onto a wall surface of around 7.000 sq metres. The theme of this exhibition is the Mediterranean Sea and its countryside that inspired all these artists. Walking through the quarries, the spectator strolls from Impressionism with Monet and Renoir, to Pointillism with Signac and Cross, then to Fauvism with Derain, Vlaminck, Matisse … and ends with Chagall.
Baux-de-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône-13, Carrières de Lumières
Mucem, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations in Marseille
Opened in June 2013, the Mucem is dispatched between the new modern building called J4, the number of the former port pier where it has been built, and the old Fort Saint Jean that defended the entrance of the old harbour. The J4, a huge rectangular black building designed by Rudy Ricciotti, is the heart of the museum with permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. The Fort Saint Jean is linked to the J4 by a long aerial footbridge and presents on its outdoor aeras the Garden of Migration, a unique Mediterranean botanical footpath with exceptional views over Marseille, the harbour and the sea.
Museum Louvre-Lens, the new extension of the Louvre Museum in Lens
Opened in December 2012, the Louvre-Lens Museum in the city of Lens in the North of France presents in its spectacular glass building a regular turnover of masterpieces in a non-traditional way, mixing artworks from different departments of the Parisian Louvre Museum. The ‘Galerie du Temps’ with its 3,000 square metres showcases more than 200 masterpieces from antiquity to the ‘Temps Modernes’ in a panoramic and chronological vision of art through ages. Even the underground storerooms and preservation studios will be open to visitors. Nestled in 50 acres of green park and closed to the railway station where TGV easily links Lens to Belgium, Germany and UK.
Lens, Pas de Calais-62
http://www.louvrelens.frMuseum Jean Cocteau-Collection Severin Wunderman, in Menton, Alpes Maritimes
The largest in the world and a must-see collection of the works of Jean Cocteau. The pieces of work were given to the town of Menton by a private collector, Severin Wunderman. Every year the third of the works displayed goes back to the store-rooms, and new ones are presented to public.
Menton, Alpes Maritimes-06, Musée Jean Cocteau
Louvre Museum, New Islamic Arts Department
Last September, the Louvre Museum opened its new area dedicated to art in Islam. The former Visconti courtyard is now covered by a huge sail shaped glass roof allowing the museum to present, in one place, 3,000 major Islam art works. This permanent space includes the discovery of an important number of Islamic pieces of art coming from the collections of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
Paris, Musée du Louvre, Département des Art de l’Islam.
Alésia MuseoParc, Alise-Sainte-Reine, Côte d’Or
Right in the centre of the battlefield of Alesia that saw the final battle of the Gallic Wars with Julius Caesar’s victory against Vercingetorix, stands the new circular building of the Alesia MuseoParc. Inside, you’ll find lots of interactive explanations, a realistic and astonishing movie of the battle on a seven metre screen, and outside, an amazing life-size reconstruction of the Caesar double fortifications to help visitors to understand one of the biggest battles of Roman times.
Alise-Sainte-Reine, Côte-d’Or-21, MuséoParc d’Alésia
Museum d’Ennery, Paris
Mrs Clemence d’Ennery donated to France in 1894 her fabulous collection of more than 7,000 Chinese and Japanese artworks under strict conditions, one of which was that all of the collection should be exhibited inside her own house which she had designed as a personal orientalist museum. Closed for years for security reasons, the museum recently reopened and provides a look back into a time when the eruption of Far East Asian Art influenced European collectors and artists. (Note: booking in advance is mandatory)
Paris, Musée d’Ennery
http://www.guimet.fr/fr/musee-dennery/informations-pratiquesMuseum Lalique, Wingen-sur-Moser, Alsace
In the small village where, over a period of 90 years, René Lalique produced a large part of his work, hundreds of his works are displayed. They highlight his incredible genius not only as probably one of the best glass artists of all time but his work as a jeweller. This very modern museum, hidden on the flank of a small green valley, is a perfect showcase for Lalique’s jewels, perfume bottles, tableware, vases, lights, crystal and drawings.
Wingen-sur Moser, Bas Rhin-67, Alsace, Musée Lalique
Museum Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi, Tarn
Inside the fabulous Palais de la Berbie, the former palace of Bishops of Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest collection of pieces of art by Toulouse-Lautrec. It is now being displayed in a new scenography offering a new reading of each facet of the artist’s work, including his works as a youth as well as portraits of Montmartre people and scenes from the world of brothel.
Albi, Tarn-81, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec
Images © Frederic de Poligny,