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What’s on in Paris August 2016

8 July 2016

Artistic August: Picasso’s Sculptures, Van Gogh on the River and a Women in Resistance Exhibition

Known as one of the great art and culture hubs, Paris is home to some of the most famous galleries and museums in the world. If you’ve already spent days wandering the halls of the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay and the Pompidou Centre, or you want to avoid the crowds of these famous landmarks altogether, some of Paris’ smaller galleries offer exceptional permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, without the hoards.

In August, visitors can experience fascinating exhibitions such as works by Picasso and Van Gogh as well as an important showcase called Women in Resistance celebrating the contribution made by women during the Second World War at the Mémorial de la Shoah. Whether it’s sculptures, paintings or historical artefacts you want to see this summer, Paris offers some of the most interesting and exquisite examples and all only a short trip from Hotel de Vigny.

‘Picasso. Sculptures’: An Exploration of The Artist’s 3D Work

Musée National Picasso, Paris: March 8 – 28th August 2016

It’s almost the last chance for visitors to Paris to catch this incredible exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s sculptures. Closing at the end of August, this museum in the heart of the historic district of Le Marais is well worth a visit – as is the area itself for art shops, galleries and trendy restaurants. A short Metro ride from Hotel de Vigny, this museum is dedicated to the life and works of the Spanish artist and is an important doorway into his world. Having spent much of his life in Paris, the museum was set up in the 1980s to commemorate his astonishing artistic contribution.

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The Musée National Picasso from outside

Having been closed for refurbishment, this is the first presentation upon reopening and is titled ‘Picasso. Sculptures.’ The Hôtel Salé where the museum is housed, has opened its doors to more than one million visitors so far – a sign of Picasso’s enduring popularity. Over 240 sculptural works have been collated from over 70 collections worldwide to present this single exhibition. Accompanying the pieces will be sketches, engravings and notes made by the artist to give a better understanding of the methods Picasso used to plan and create his works.

The purpose of this exhibition is to contemplate the artist’s works from new and controversial angles. This view is known as ‘multiple’ and means the original sculptures are not the only thing presented but variations, casts, reproductions and enlargements to assess the processes and detail in which the sculptures were created. The aim is to take a closer look at Picasso’s works and not just take them at face value but appreciate the craftsmanship, as well as the pieces as part of a bigger series, rather than as individual creations.

This will be the largest exhibition of Picasso’s sculpture work since the Pompidou Centre hosted a collection of his work 16 years ago. Some rare pieces such as the Verres d’absinthe (‘glasses of absinthe’) series from 1914 will be displayed – the first time ever that the six pieces have been put together in Europe. Visitors can catch the exhibition until 28th August 2016.

Van Gogh on the Oise River: Special Exhibits and Events

At Various Locations along the Oise River until 26th August 2016

If you long to escape Paris for a day and explore some of the wonderful countryside scenery that has inspired some of the great artists in the city, the perfect opportunity is running throughout August. Set along the Oise River and in the historic township of Auvers-sur-Oise, this festival celebrates one of the most prolific artists who used this region, just outside of Paris, for his artworks: Vincent van Gogh.

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The sprawling fields around Auvers-sur-Oise inspired Van Gogh

Visitors can reach the town easily from Gare du Nord – enjoy fleeing the crowds and heat of the city, catch the train and watch the metropolitan melt into beautiful French countryside. The location of Auvers is widely associated with Van Gogh – the sprawling hills and winding Oise River were the subject of many of his paintings, especially leading up to his death in 1890 in the town, aged just 37. Since then, Auvers has proudly commemorated the time the artist spent there and celebrated the pastoral paintings, considered some of the finest of his career, which he created during his residency there.

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The resting place of Van Gogh and his brother Theodore

During this festival, guests will be able to explore different local museums and cultural organisations who will be presenting the work of Van Gogh as well as exhibitions about his often tragic but fascinating life. There will be boat tours with commentary about the agricultural area, key vantage points that the artist worked from and local stories about his time in Auvers. There will also be festive celebrations in the restaurants and streets and guided tours of Auvers outlining the places Van Gogh lived and worked.

For exploration of the rural areas around Paris, this is the perfect excursion, offering visitors a truly cultural and relaxing short break away from the excitement of the city.

Women in Resistance: Those Who Resisted Nazi Barbarism in WWII

Mémorial de la Shoah until 30th September 2016

Not far from the Musée National Picasso in Le Marais, visitors will find the Mémorial de la Shoah – the Paris holocaust museum. Until September, the venue is hosting a vital collection of artefacts, photos, documents, stories and letters that help guests learn about the impact the brave women of the resistance, who were from many different nationalities, had on the barbarism conducted in Europe by the Nazis.

You’ll get a closer look at the crucial and brave acts that had a monumental effect on the ultimate downfall of the Nazi regime in this dark period. The sacrifice many women made during this time has often gone undocumented or underplayed in the history books; this exhibition is a way of giving recognition to specific women who played their part and often paid the ultimate sacrifice. A quirky element of the exhibition is dedicated to graphic novels that have explored the topic of women in war through sacrifice and resistance. If you’re a pop culture fan, these must be perused for a modern, literary slant on the events of the 20th century.

The permanent collection here is an extraordinary memorial to the plight of the Jews in Europe and is highly recommended, if you are coming to the exhibition. The Le Marais area is a beautiful, stylish part of the city and well worth investigating after your museum trip for a chic dinner or sophisticated beverage before heading back to Hotel de Vigny.

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