In the words of Audrey Hepburn: "Paris is always a good idea". In the summer the heat boils away the clogged pores of the city like a splendid facial. When the rain pours, the bustling city is returned to its shimmering picture-perfect magnifique-ness.
To witness the ultimate beauty of Paris then try a visit in the heart of winter! Visit in January to experience the unique mix of history, beauty and the stillness of the soul that comes with the cold. Parisian New Year celebrations are legendary; from the spectacular lights of the Eiffel Tower to the parties on the Champs-Elysees, feel the art that surrounds you in Montmartre or taste delightful cuisine in Montparnasse or simply sit on the street furniture with a view of the city from La Défense... there are too many delights to mention them all. However one experience is the centrepiece of any visit to the great city and that is exploration of the Louvre.
We have presented 4 major exhibitions that are running in January that will serve as a great jewel in your once in a lifetime Parisian experiences.
The Advent of the Artist (until June 29, 2020)
For its fifth season, the Louvre’s Petite Galerie—a space dedicated to art and cultural education—will be holding an exhibition titled ‘The Advent of the Artist’. Opening on September 25, 2019, this year’s edition will coincide with a cycle of Louvre exhibitions devoted to the Renaissance geniuses Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo and Albrecht Altdorfer in 2019-2020.
It was during the Renaissance that artists asserted their independence and demanded recognition as creators in their own right. Yet the advent of the artist had been long awaited. This exhibition will take a close look at the transition from the typically anonymous craftsman of the classical period to the artist of the Renaissance, at times famous to the extent of becoming the hero of novels and legends. It is this long-standing connection between the visual arts and the written word that inspired this edition’s focus on literature. Spread across four rooms, the exhibition will feature some forty artworks from the Louvre’s eight curatorial departments alongside extracts from literature, with the aim of tracing the emergence and recognition of the artist from Antiquity to the 19th century.
Organized by: Chantal Quillet, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, and Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musée du Louvre.
Project manager: Florence Dinet, Musée du Louvre.
Georges Marteau and His Collection - A Taste of the Orient (until February 3, 2020)
In 1916, the Musée du Louvre and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France received a legacy from Georges Marteau (1851–1916), in accordance with the late engineer’s wishes: a collection built up throughout his lifetime.
It included playing cards, artworks from Japan, specimens of Indo-Persian art of the book, metals from the Middle East and Coptic textiles. In 1917, Major Ferdinand Seiler, Georges Marteau’s brother-in-law and sole legatee, also gifted Marteau’s full collection of textiles from the Far East and the Islamic world, as well as Japanese stencils, to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The present exhibition, more than a century after Marteau’s death, seeks to commemorate this singular and little-known collector, whose generosity has significantly enriched France’s national collections.
Organized by: Charlotte Maury, Musée du Louvre
Officer & Gentleman in the 19th Century - The Horace His de La Salle Collection
(until February 10, 2020)
The importance of the role of private collectors in the creation of public drawing collections in France is well known, in particular thanks to the many homages paid to Everhard Jabach, Pierre-Jean Mariette, Étienne Moreau-Nélaton, and Philippe de Chennevières. However, only one small exhibition, at the Musée de Beaux-Arts de Dijon in 1974, has been devoted to the decisive actions of one of the most generous donors of all time to French museums, Aimé Charles Horace His de La Salle (1795–1878), reputed as a lover of drawings, as well as sculptures and objets d’art.
In addition to other French museums, he above all sought to enrich the Louvre, with donations and bequests of 21 paintings and nearly 450 drawings from all different schools.
In order to provide an image faithful to the collector’s taste, the collection’s interdisciplinary character will be highlighted through the participation of four of the Louvre’s departments: Prints and Drawings (67 drawings and one miniature), Paintings (four paintings), Sculptures, and Decorative Arts (seven Renaissance plates and sculptures). This major collection will be complemented by over forty significant works on loan from other museums favored by His de La Salle: Alençon, Dijon, Lyon, the École des Beaux-Arts.
Organized by: Laurence Lhinares and Louis-Antoine Prat, Musée du Louvre.
Leonardo da Vinci (until February 24, 2020 )
The Leonardo da Vinci exhibition is held under the high patronage of French President Emmanuel Macron. The year 2019 marks the 500-year anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci in France, of particular importance for the Louvre, which holds the largest collection in the world of da Vinci’s paintings, as well as 22 drawings.
The museum is seizing the opportunity in this year of commemorations to gather as many of the artist’s paintings as possible around the five core works in its collections: The Virgin of the Rocks, La Belle Ferronnière, the Mona Lisa (which will remain in the gallery where it is normally displayed), the Saint John the Baptist, and the Saint Anne. The objective is to place them alongside a wide array of drawings as well as a small but significant series of paintings and sculptures from the master’s circle.
This unprecedented retrospective of da Vinci’s painting career will illustrate how he placed utmost importance on painting, and how his investigation of the world, which he referred to as “the science of painting,” was the instrument of his art, seeking nothing less than to bring life to his paintings.
The exhibition is the culmination of more than ten years of work, notably including new scientific examinations of the Louvre’s paintings, and the conservation treatment of three of them, allowing for better understanding of da Vinci’s artistic practice and pictorial technique. Clarification of his biography has also emerged through the exhaustive reexamination of archival documents. The exhibition will paint the portrait of a man and an artist of extraordinary freedom.
Organized by: Vincent Delieuvin, Department of Paintings, and Louis Frank, Department of Prints and Drawings, Musée du Louvre.