From Turner to Tissot: Must-See Exhibitions in France

From Turner to Tissot: Must-See Exhibitions in France

Arts correspondent Sylvia Davis selects the newest and most intriguing exhibitions and collections to visit right now

Cézanne and the Italians at the Marmottan

Although Cézanne never visited Italy, he was strongly influenced from the outset by its artists. He didn’t copy their work, though: on the contrary, he studied the art displayed in museums, studied the compositions and brushstrokes of the painters, and captured the spirit of the paintings to create his own unique contemporary interpretation. Referring to the classical equilibrium found in his work, Cézanne said: “I wanted to make of Impressionism something solid and lasting like the art found in museums.”

In a major effort to bring perspective to this internal dialogue, the delightful 3 Musée Marmottan Monet brings us ‘Cézanne and the Master Painters: a Dream of Italy’, exceptionally supported by 43 lenders including 60 paintings loaned by private collections, as well as French, Canadian, American, Swiss, German, Scottish, Spanish, Japanese, and Italian museums.

The exhibition unites a remarkable selection of works by Cézanne, including the iconic Mont Sainte-Victoire and the splendid pastoral and still lifes, complemented by a rare ensemble of ancient paintings executed by Tintoretto, Bassano, El Greco, Giordano, Poussin, Rosa, and Munari; with the modern painters represented by Boccioni, Carrà, Rosai, Sironi, Soffici, Pirandello, and Morandi. This extraordinary grouping serves not only to shine a light on the influence of the Italian style of different periods in the works of Cézanne’s art but also in reverse to illustrate the influence of the French artists on the Novecento painters.

Until Jan 3, 2021


Portrait of a Little Girl, Elise Købke, with a Cup in front of her. Constantin Hansen. Image © Wikipedia, public domain

The Danish Golden Age

The Petit Palais presents an ambitious look at the finest hours of Danish painting from 1800 to 1864 in an exhibition which includes over 200 works by leading artists of the period.

Sep 22 to Jan 03, 2021

Painters of the Afterlife

‘Spirit, Are You There?’ explores the works of Augustin Lesage, Victor Simon and Fleury-Joseph Crépin, who, from backgrounds as miners or plumbers, came to art when mysterious “voices” urged them to paint.

Until Nov 01, 2020.

A Poem that is Not Our Own

Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art is hosting a major retrospective devoted to William Kentridge, the first exhibition on this scale commissioned by a French museum. Entitled ‘A Poem that is Not Our Own’, it has been designed in close collaboration with the artist and will include previously unseen works by the South African artist.

Until Dec 13, 2020.

Turner’s Watercolours

The Jacquemart-André Museum presents a major retrospective of Turner’s paintings and watercolours, following the artist’s evolution from conventional landscapes to his command of light and colour.

Until Jan 11, 2021.

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse, Paris, May 13th, 1913. In: Men of mark. (published 1913) Medium: Photogravures. Image © Wikipedia, public domain

Matisse at the Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou pays tribute to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henri Matisse, with an exhibition of works that explore the text and image relationship within his works.

The museum will reopen again on July 1 after closure due to the pandemic. The exhibit will run from Oct 21 until Feb 22, 2021.

Tissot at the Orsay

This retrospective of French artist James Tissot presents his explorations of mystical subjects, as well as his depiction of Parisian style in the second half of the 19th century.

Jun 23 to Sep 13, 2020

From France Today magazine

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Sylvia Edwards Davis is a writer and correspondent based in France with a focus on business and culture. A member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia scans the cultural landscape to bring you the most relevant highlights on current events, art exhibitions, museums and festivals.

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