Five Must-See Exhibitions in Paris this Summer

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Five Must-See Exhibitions in Paris this Summer
High art: From Giotto to Caravaggio at the Musée Jacquemart André You can enjoy the greatest works of Italian painting from the 14th to the 17th centuries, in the magnificent setting of the Jacquemart-André museum. Their permanent collection is so fascinating that it warrants several visits, and any exhibition is the cherry on the cake. The current exhibition “From Giotto to Caravaggio”  is exceptional. The treasures of the Alberto Longui Foundation are shown for the first time in France, in a counterpoint with major treasures from the main museums in France and Italy. It’s a wide-angle view of the pivotal eras of Italian painting, seen through the eagle eye of one of the main Italian art academics. Finish the visit with a stop at the café, said to be the most beautiful tearoom in Paris. A bit of history: Napoleon and Paris at the Musée Carnavalet There’s always lots to see at the Carnavalet. The exhibition shows the transformation that the Emperor’s relationship with Paris brought to the urban landscape, through some of the most iconic buildings and monuments, and also the influence that his architectural projects and visionary urban planning had on other European capitals. A fascinating insight into the controversial (and not really so short) man. The soundtrack of Paris: Piaf at the BNF Sous le ciel de Paris s’envole une chanson….hmmm-hmmmm. If you are a fan, you’ll be delighted. If you are not familiar with Piaf, you’ll be surprised. The exhibition at the BNF retraces the key moments of Edith Piaf’s life, through her songs. With the aid of an audio guide cued to each exhibit, as you walk around you will tip-toe through the important moments of the singer’s life and career. With photographs, letters and even her good luck objects such as the famous little black dress you might find yourself welling up at the strong emotions carried across by her soul-stirring voice. Take the Kids: Aardman at Art Ludique (les Docks) Who doesn’t love Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, and Shawn the Sheep? The first-ever exhibition of its kind, dedicated to the celebrated art of the Aardman animation studio presents over 50 authentic film characters and sets, true masterpieces of sculpture lit by the artists themselves, including the first drawings of Wallace and Gromit, never before seen by the public, plus hilarious video footage. Anish Kapoor in Versailles Celebrated British sculptor Anish Kapoor upsets the established order of the pristine gardens of Versailles with a political perspective on power and its symbols as the palace marks 300 years since the death of Louis XIV. Following the previous shows by Koons, Murakami, and others, this time it’s the turn of Kapoor to create a dialogue between contemporary creation and history. You may have read or heard about the exhibition in the media, although I would encourage you to go and see for yourself. Some works of art can’t be easily explained or labelled, because they strike a certain chord (or fail to do so) depending on the viewer. After all, how wrong can you go spending a day out in the magnificent gardens of Versailles? Ready for more? Plan your next cultural day out on the Bonjour Paris What’s On calendar.

Lead photo credit : Anish Kapoor in Versailles. Can you spot his "Sky Mirror"?

More in Art, Paris, Paris exhibitions, Versailles

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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.


  • Ruth Autin
    2015-07-31 20:00:46
    Ruth Autin
    On this site I saw a reference to a tea salon, the best as I remember. What is the name of this salon. I am very disappointed that I won't see the Piaf exhibit. She has been since college a favorite of mine. We will be in Paris in Sept. Any suggestions? Merci


  • Sylvia Edwards Davis
    2015-07-03 07:49:51
    Sylvia Edwards Davis
    Hi Karen, the Piaf exhibition ends on August 23, if you click on the titles or the photos you will see all the details of the venue, dates, opening hours, etc. There are some really fantastic exhibitions coming up in October, though, it's the strongest time of year for cultural events, the 'rentrée' (back to school). Here are some suggestions: Keep checking back on our What's On calendar because we are adding more events all the time. Have a wonderful trip!


  • Karen mullens
    2015-07-02 23:55:28
    Karen mullens
    What is and where is the BNF ( Piaf exhibition) will be in Paris in October. Will it still be on?