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What’s on in Paris this May?

19 April 2016

Visit Outstanding Exhibitions Exploring Romanticism and Lost Cultural Heritage 

If you’re looking for awe-inspiring monuments, cobbled streets, lovely terraces and amazing food, Paris is the ideal location for a charming city break. Alongside incredible surroundings and an authentic atmosphere, the City of Light can also boast an exceptional line-up of exhibitions, presented in some of the French capital’s most characteristic venues. This month, there’ll be two outstanding events highlighting both France’s historical and cultural heritage just a 30-minute walk from Hotel de Vigny. The first featuring Charles Gleyre’s Romantic 19th century paintings hanging on the white walls of former train station Musée d’Orsay. While, across the River Seine, Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine will be gathering artworks heavily damaged during WWI and explaining how this devastated heritage was used as post-war propaganda against Germany.

1914-1918. Le patrimoine s'en va-t-en guerre

Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine

Until 4th July 2016                            

During WWI, France saw many of its historical sites and artworks devastated by German bombs – Notre-Dame Cathedral of Reims and Louvain’s library sadly being amongst the most famous. After these events, artists and politicians started to speak out against these tragic destructions. Slowly, their outraged voices transformed into propaganda that would stir up hate against the enemy.

When walking through the vast, arched interiors of Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, guests will discover reassembled artworks damaged during the Great War. There will also be watercolour paintings of ruins of monuments that were made by artists fighting on the battle front, as well as drawings and photographs… sometimes edited to suit a biased message.

With this exceptional event, the Parisian venue aims to show visitors how cultural and architectural heritage was seized and used to direct opinions towards a nationalist ideology. The pieces presented today were curated into ‘war exhibitions’ in 1915, with the hope of supporting the anti-German voices in France during the mid-1910s.

1914-1918. Le patrimoine s'en va-t-en guerre also draws a parallel with modern day, and explains why historical monuments are often targeted and destroyed by oppressors during war – highlighting Iraqi and Syrian examples.

Charles Gleyre (1806-1874). Le romantique repenti

Musée d’Orsay

10th May - 11th September 2016

When listing French painters, the name of Claude Monet would certainly come in the top five. But who’s behind the talent of the incredibly gifted artist who mastered Impressionism during the 19th century? For the first time in France, Charles Gleyre, professor and mentor of Monet, and his beautiful work will adorn the immense, white walls of Musée d’Orsay.

With his outstanding painting technique and academic skills, Gleyre represented mythological stories with an extraordinary precision, yet using the soft lines and melancholic feel on which Impressionism is based. Visitors will have the pleasure of exploring the artist’s many creations and the chance to learn that the man who has long been known as cold and close-minded to changes during his era was, infact, the exact opposite.

A walk through the creations of one of the most influential painters in the 19th century, Charles Gleyre (1806-1874). Le romantique repenti succeeds in making visitors dive into Gleyre’s captivating atmosphere… and understand how he inspired renowned artwork such as The Water Lily Pond’s creator.

From WW1 propaganda to one of the least known, yet incredibly talented, painters of France, this May’s line-up is guaranteed to satisfy a variety of tastes and interests during a five-star stay in Paris…

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