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Autumn Art Highlights: Paris

8 September 2015

Some of the best exhibitions and events coming up in Paris
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Musée du Luxembourg
‘Fragonard in Love’ (16 September 2015–24 January 2016)

Love is in the air this autumn at the Musée du Luxembourg. Jean-Honoré Fragonard, trained in Francois Boucher’s voluptuous tradition, is known for his depictions of liaisons amoureuses but this is the first exhibition of his work that takes love as the central theme. The show brings together 80 pieces from public and private collections and promises to be an insightful exploration of 18th-century morality and attitudes to love, be it sensual, erotic or romantic.

(detail), Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Le verrou (The latch) (detail), Jean-Honoré Fragonard © Rmn-Grand Palais (Musée du Louvre) / Daniel Arnaudet

Musée d’Orsay
‘Splendour and Misery: Pictures of Prostitution, 1850–1910’ (22 September 2015–17 January 2016)

The Musée d’Orsay’s autumn exhibition explores another realm of the erotic: prostitution. A major 19th-century concern, prostitution was a favoured subject amongst artists and writers and a central theme in the genesis of modern painting: from the shock of Manet’s Olympia, to the brothels depicted by Toulouse-Lautrec, Munch and Picasso. The show will also look at the wider cultural and social implications of prostitution and how it informed salon painting, decorative arts, sculpture and photography.

(c. 1889), Giovanni Boldini

Scène de fête au Moulin Rouge (c. 1889), Giovanni Boldini © Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

Grand Palais
‘Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun’ (23 September 2015–11 January 2016)

The Grand Palais presents an eclectic mix of blockbuster shows, with a major Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun retrospective and an exhibition entitled ‘Picasso.mania’.

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun was born into a modest background in 1755 but rose to prominence as a portrait painter by the 1780s, painting Marie-Antoinette and her children and the duchess de Polignac, among others. This first ever Vigée Le Brun retrospective intends to throw light on the life and work of an artist whose career spanned some of the most turbulent times in modern French history.

(1787), Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun

Marie-Antoinette and her children (1787), Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun © Photo Rmn-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot

‘Picasso.mania’ (7 October 2015–29 February 2016)

If any artist can draw a crowd it’s Picasso. After the success of ‘Picasso et les maitres’ in 2009 (a show that pulled in a record 800,000 visitors) ‘Picasso.mania’ will feature key moments in the artist’s career and explore his influence on contemporary artists. Featuring pieces from the Picasso Museum, the Musée National d’art moderne and works by Hockney, Johns, Lichtenstein, Kippenberger and Baselitz, ‘Picasso.mania’ is set to be this season’s hot ticket.

The Louvre
‘A Brief History of the Future’ (24 September 2015–4 January 2016)

The Louvre also takes a contemporary turn this autumn with its new show, ‘A Brief History of the Future’. This ambitious project takes its name from the book by French economist Jacques Attali and aims to create a dialogue between historic work from various eras in the Louvre’s collections, and contemporary pieces commissioned especially for the show. Including work by Mark Manders, Tomás Saraceno, Wael Shawky, Camille Henrot, Isabelle Cornaro, Chéri Samba, and Ai Weiwei.

Musée d’art Moderne
‘Warhol Unlimited’ (2 October 2015–7 February 2016)

The ‘Warhol Unlimited’ exhibition at the Musée d’art moderne also promises to be a crowd-pleaser. The show will concentrate on the serial aspect of Warhol’s oeuvre, including the Electric Chairs, the Jackies, the Maos, and – for the first time ever in Europe – the Shadows series lent by the Dia Art Foundation.

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