Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Parisian Fall Exhibitions

If you are going to Paris this fall, here is a selection of exhibitions not to be missed. They range from  the dawn of the Renaissance to the Victorian era celebration of female beauty; and from  a 20th century cubist master to a tempestuous Mexican couple and a Pop Art American artist.

Louvre Museum- Springtime of the Renaissance
This exhibition  illustrates the early years of the Renaissance movement in Florence (1400-1460). In the first 60 years of the 15th century  a renewal in  art, architecture, painting, sculpture, literature took place in the Republic of Florence with the "re-discovery" of the art of the ancient world.  Through 157 works of art issued from museums and private collections in Europe and the USA the genesis and early evolution of the Renaissance movement is revisited -- Bronze panels of Florence cathedral by Brunelleschi and Ghiberti ; sculptures by Donatello such  St. Louis of Toulouse and the bas- relief of  St George and the Dragon  considered to be an early work in linear perspective can be admired along with works by other early Renaissance masters such as  Nicolo Pisano, Arnolfo di Cambio, Masaccio, Paolo Ucello, Andrea Dels Castagno and Filippo Lippi
(Louvre Museum - From September 26- January 6, 2014)

Musee Jacquemart-Andre --Desires and Sensuality in the Victorian Era
Roses of Heliogabalus (1888)
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
From the collection of the Spanish born Mexican based  collector Juan Antion Perez Simon, this exhibition centers around the Feminine beauty as depicted during the prudish era of Victorian England from 1860's until the eve of the WWI.  Works by British artists like Lawrence Alma Tadema, Edward Burne Jones, Frederic Leighton, Arthur Huges, Talbot Hughes depict women sensuality  around various themes -- antiquity and medieval scenes,  as Shakesparean heroines or  femme fatales, muses and models. By combining classicism with idealized visions of female body and beauty, British artists were able to bypass the austere societal and esthetic norms of the late 19th century.  (Musee Jacquemart-Andre till January 20, 2014).

Grand Palais - Georges Braque (1882-1963) 
L'Oiseau Noir et Blanc (1960)
Georges Braque
 The co-founder of cubism is being honored by a retrospective of his oeuvres at the Grand Palais.  Born in Argenteuil in 1882 and raised in le Havre, Georges Braque was a prolific artist and innovator who left a legacy as a painter, sculptor and engraver.  This exhibition retraces his career from his early years as a Fauvist landscape painter, then as founder of Cubism with his friend Pablo Picasso, as a painter of deconstructed still lifes and as an adept at the technique of papier colle or collage consisting glued paper or oil cloth on canvas to create texture and three dimensional renderings. 
Galleries Nationales du Grand Palais- (September 18-January 6, 2014) 

Pompidou Museum - Roy Lichtenstein
Wham (1963)
Roy Lichtenstein
There is still time to visit  the first ever staged retrospective in France of american Pop Art artist, Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997).  His comic strip Pop prints of the 1960's are immensely recognizable but they don't solely define him as a innovative artist who also explored many different approaches to artistic mediums.   A selection of  130 works by the artist including paintings, collages, drawings and sculptures are on view till November 4 at the Pompidou Center..  

Musee de l'Orangerie-- Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera - L'Art en Fusion

The tempestuous Mexican couple Diego Rivera (1886-1957) and Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) are being celebrated at the Orangerie Museum.  Love and Revolution is the theme of this exhibition as their works so different yet complementary are being displayed.  Their works share many themes relating to their love and attachment to their country- Mexico :  religion and revolution, cycle of life and death, mysticism and realism, workers and peasants. (Musee de l'Orangerie from October 9- January 13)

tags Paris, exhibitions, art, museums 

Friday, October 4, 2013

At Least Six Reasons to Visit Bordeaux

Renowned for its wines, Bordeaux, the capital of the Aquitaine region in southwest France is fun to discover many times over.  Here are at least six reasons to make Bordeaux your destination of choice.

Architectural Beauty 

Bordeaux boasts a magnificent 18th century architectural ensemble that has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site .  The Port de la Lune  stretches some 1 kilometer  along the quay of the Garonne river.  Bordeaux' exceptionally rich cultural patrimony can be explored on foot - other notable 'must see" sites include:  Saint Michel church and its pointed bell tower so distinctly visible in the  city's skyline; the gothic  Cathedral St. Andre built under English rule between the 13th and 15th century; the medieval St. Pierre district and its handsome Cailhau Gate and the Gros Horloge - bell of the medieval townhall bellbry.

Attractive River Bank
Since its ancient quays have been renovated, it is such a pleasure to stroll along the River Garonne. Decrepit warehouses have been replaced by colorful plantings and a "mirroir d'eau" was installed for everyone's delight.

Grand Theatre de Bordeaux
Designed by Victor Louis in 1773, Bordeaux opera house sits prominently in the center of Bordeaux . Its facade resembles a Greek temple adorned by a row of Corinthian columns on top of which statues of goddesses and muses oversee the Place de la Comedie.  Its jewel-like auditorium and sumptuous marble staircase are delightful to visit -- the latter was copied by Charles Garnier for Paris Opera house . When visiting, treat yourself to  a concert, opera or ballet performance.

Wine Tasting
At the center of the prolific wine region, Bordeaux offers many opportunities to sample the fruit of the vine.  Sit at a cafe terrace or visit a bistro a vin to sample the many AOC's of the region.  You can also use Bordeaux as a base to visit the vineyards that surround the city  -- such as the Medoc, St Emilion, Graves, Entre deux Mers and others.  Did you know they are 57 AOC among which are the prestigious Margaux, St. Estephe, St. Julien, Pauillac, St. Emilion, Pomerol, Sauternes to name the very best?.  At the Maison du Vin de Bordeaux on you can sample well known and less known vintages. (3, cours du XXX juillet)


Bordeaux has many great restaurants serving local specialities like the lamb of Pauillac, oysters and  other shellfish from  Arcachon Bay and the Atlantic coast and the foie Gras from nearby farms of the southwest.  For desert try the speciality of Bordeaux - canele - a small pastry in a shape of a mold with a golden caramelized crust and filled with a vanilla and rum flavored custard.

For luxury shopping head for the Golden Triangle, an area bordered by the Cours de l'Intendance, Allees des Tourny and Cours Clemenceau where you will find many fine boutiques and luxury band names.  For more affordable shopping, you can stroll along the lively pedestrianised rue Saint Catherine. The department store,   Galleries Lafayette and smaller boutiques selling, clothing, shoes and other fashion items line the street.

visit to arrange your trip to Bordeaux.

Tags: Bordeaux, France