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Rockefeller Collection on View at Christie’s Paris

Rockefeller Collection on View at Christie’s Paris

Want to have a museum experience without going to a museum?  Then head over to Christie’s to see the Peggy and David Rockefeller collection on view.

David Rockefeller was the grandson of John D. Rockefeller – oil magnate and industrialist who founded Standard Oil Company.  David and his wife, Margaret – or Peggy – travelled extensively and collected voraciously.  But, only of the best of the best.  And, supposedly, they both had to agree on any purchase.

If you don’t think it is the best of the best, then take a look at what is hung on the walls of the Christie’s showroom.  Spend your time wisely ogling absolute masterpieces from a list of painters that span much of art history.  Along with collections (plural) covering all of art history from ancient Chinese bronze and porcelain, to French Sèvres porcelain made for the Emperor Napoleon I. The collection even includes  hand-carved duck decoys.

You will find paintings by Eugène Delacroix, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat and Auguste Renoir. And, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Alexander Calder, Georgia O’Keefe, even Diego Rivera.  Oh, wait, and a lot more!

The Water Lilies of Giverny on Display

A water lily painting by Claude Monet, Nymphéas en fleur, will transport you instantly to Giverny, Monet’s estate outside Paris.  Pablo Picasso’s Fillette à la corbeille fleurie (Young Girl with a Flower Basket) is from 1905. Gertrude Stein bought this work from Pablo Picasso himself.  There is also Henri Matisse’s, Odalisque couchée aux magnolias, which according to Christie’s, is “among the greatest of Matisse’s paintings in private hands.”

Where can you see things like this?  At auction houses in Paris.  So, if you want a small dose of museum quality art, and maybe even on a very specialized subject, check out the auction houses.

Remember if you decide to purchase something at this auction, all revenues from the sales will be donated to philanthropic causes. Estimates start as low as $200. Because of this, plan to get your wallet out.

If you are in Paris during this extraordinary exhibition, go to Christie’s to see a collection that will likely never be together again.

The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller

Where:  Christie’s Paris
Address:  9 Avenue Matignon
Arrondissement:  8th
Nearest Métro:  Franklin D. Roosevelt
When:  March 16-21, 2018
Official website:  https://www.christies.com

Musée Jacquemart-André Announces Mary Cassatt Exhibition

Musée Jacquemart-André Announces Mary Cassatt Exhibition

The Musée Jacquemart-André announces that it is hosting an exhibition of work by Mary Cassatt in its extraordinary and sumptuous chateau in the middle of Paris. Read the official press release here.

Although this exhibition had been planned for some time, it is highly appropriate in light of the women’s activities that are in the news today. During here lifetime, Mary Cassatt (b. 1844 – d. 1926) was what would now be called a feminist. She advocated equal rights for women from her days in college in the 1860s to campaigning for women’s right to vote in the 1910s.

Cassatt  was born in Pennsylvania to well-educated parents, and eventually took art classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  In 1868, she quite the art academy because of its slow pace and moved to Paris. Cassatt wanted to be a professional artist, not just a painter to pass the time. In Paris she learned from great artists and teachers, had access to the incredible museums and found inspiration from other painters.

Mary Cassatt Found Like-Minded Friends in Paris

Mary not only succeeded while in Paris, but excelled at painting. She grew from producing academic work into an impressionist master. Mary was friends with many well-known impressionist painters including Edgar Degas.  She and Degas became close friends and colleagues, each learning from the other. Along with Degas, Cassatt entered her paintings in the famous salons of Paris and in the Impressionists Exhibitions. Galleries in Paris showed her work with galleries in New York following soon after.

Cassatt’s paintings often feature mothers with their children, sometimes caring for the children in tender moments. As well as painting, she was a master at drawing and print making, she advised art collectors and was awarded the French Legion of Honor in 1904.

The current exhibition includes loans from major museums in the United States and Europe. Masterpieces from institutions like the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Musée d’Orsay, the Petit Palais, the Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts and more are on display in the magnificent museum.  Check out the museum’s site to see how over-the-top the place is.  Then, take a look at the exhibit.  See if it strikes your fancy and post a comment!

Mary Cassatt, An American Impressionist in Paris

Where:  Le Musée Jacquemart-André
Address:  158, boulevard Haussmann
Arrondissement:  8th
Nearest Métro:  Saint-Augustin, Miromesnil or Saint-Philippe du Roule
When:  March 9 – July 23, 2018.  Late openings on Mondays during the exhibition.
Admission:  Entrance fee
Official website:  http://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com

Louvre Museum  (Musée du Louvre)

Louvre Museum  (Musée du Louvre)

The Louvre Museum is the biggest museum in the world.  Some in New York may beg to differ, but the Louvre is the biggest.  Wait until you see it in person – from the outside and from the inside.  Then you can decide for yourself if it is the biggest.  At around 5 football fields long, it dominates the scenery along much of the Seine.  You can see it from many of the bridges crossing the river.  The architectural style of the exterior changed as additions were made, and sometimes the vast exterior walls may trick you into thinking it is a different building, but, it isn’t.  The Louvre is really that big.

Not only is it big, but all the parts of the Louvre are GRAND.  The courtyards are enormous, some of the galleries are immense, some paintings and stone sculptures are gigantic!  Even the roof and ceilings are endless.  Subtle and sublime details are grand as well.  Worn marble stairs look and feel soft.  Carvings and reliefs fill the rooms and corridors.  Vaulted passageways designed with minute details and all parts mesh to make the building a work of art unto itself.

The Louvre: From Fortress and Prison to Royal Palace

The Louvre began as a medieval fortress on the edge of the city for protection and as a prison.  Go underground (Level -1) in the Sully wing to see the remnants of the original 12th century structure.  Eventually, the Louvre became a royal palace and home to the kings of France.  After many years as a working palace, the Louvre became a museum in 1793.  Not just any museum, but THE museum all other museums aspired to become.  The royal history of the art collection can be seen on the identification tags next to the works of art – look for, “from the collection of Louis XIV,” or choose a monarch and you will probably find the name.  Pretty impressive, huh?

With so many years as a royal residence, it has seen more palace intrigue than will ever be written.  The escapades in the dark hallways and stairs are unimaginable.  As you walk on a far-flung set of steps, think of how dark it would be in the middle of the night.  Imagine a royal family member or one of the court ringing a bell and a servant scurrying in the night, holding only a single candle, into the deep dark recesses of the palace.  Then trying to find the right door, trying to locate the bell ringer.  After attending to the royalty and collecting the slop jar (or for whatever the necessity in the middle of the night), the servant would creep along to make his or her way out of the maze of steps and hallways and back to the workers’ quarters.  Who knows what could have been lurking in the shadows on just that one errand?

A Palace Now for Priceless Art and Gardens

Now the servants are gone, but the Louvre employs thousands of people to make your experience in the historic royal palace memorable and safe.  They help visitors navigate through the collection, making sure priceless artworks remain untouched, pointing out the location of the toilets and generally guaranteeing the collection remains intact.

The Louvre’s official websites states that its collection includes, “Western artworks from the Middle Ages to 1848, as well as the art of the ancient civilizations that preceded and influenced them. Some 35,000 artworks are on display, the oldest of which date back over seven thousand years.”  (Just an FYI, the Musée d’Orsay picks up at 1849.)  Not to mention, the building itself is an architectural work of art whose construction spans the 12th to the 21st centuries.

Visit the Louvre with a Plan

The Louvre will be impressive even if you do not go inside.  But, if you decide to go in, make a plan for what you will do once you get into the museum.  Besides being the biggest museum in the world, the art and artifacts are of unsurpassed quality and by the most important artists and civilizations in history.  That means it is generally a mob scene and completely overwhelming.  It is easy to get lost in the crowds and move into areas that you are not really interested in seeing.  That is disastrous in such a magnificent museum.

A great introduction to the Louvre is to pick one of the “visitor trails” that the Louvre website provides online and do a self-guided walking tour.  Each trail has specific instructions to lead you through the Louvre to 10 or so world-renowned works of art.  The trails take about an hour from start to finish, depending on how long you linger in admiration and whether or not you get sidetracked.  That time does not include going through security and getting into the reception area of the museum.  Then add on getting your bearings and going through the line to purchase a ticket or through the ticket-checker line if you already have a paper ticket or museum pass.

See the Classic Masterpieces, a Special Exhibit, or Both

The “Masterpieces” trails are a terrific introduction to the Louvre.  One masterpiece trail is accessible for all, and the other is for those who choose to take the steps.  The Louvre site also suggests other trails that are tailored to more specific interests.  There is even a Da Vinci Code trail!  Take a look.

Buy your tickets in advance.  Once you make it past security, there are lines going into each wing for those who have tickets, and there are lines to purchase tickets from a ticket machines or an actual person.  Get in the correct line.

Also to note, if there is a special exhibition that you want to see that has timed entry and requires a special ticket, ensure you purchase tickets for that exhibit.  Once, I bought tickets online for a Vermeer show, way in advance.  I checked the tickets, thought they were for the exhibition, guarded them in my satchel all the way to Paris, and when I got to the entrance, the guard told me that my ticket was for general admission to the Louvre – not to the exhibition.  Beware!  Check your tickets!

Putting this on your calendar?  Remember, you may only spend an hour looking at the art, but take into consideration the time it takes to get in, go through security, then get in line to go in, go to the bathroom and finally get to your starting point.  Plan accordingly.

The Louvre: Make Your Plan

What makes it special:  What doesn’t make it special?
Nearest Métro:  Two stops serve the Louvre.  Exiting at Louvre-Rivoli, you will be at the eastern-most end of the Louvre.  Exiting at Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre, you will be closer to the pyramid entrance and very close to the entrance at the Passage de Richelieu (if they will let you in) and the entrance through the Carousel de Louvre – kind of underground shopping area that leads you to the main entrance under the pyramid.
Nourishment:  Food and drink options are available inside the Louvre in various locations – enjoy a baguette sandwich overlooking the entrance while watching the people come down the stairs under the pyramid!
Arrondissement:  1st
Hours:  Wednesday – Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Night opening until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays
CLOSED ON TUESDAYS
Also closed:  January 1, May 1 and December 25
Official websitehttps://www.louvre.fr/en/
Suggested time to visit:  In the evenings on the days it is open late

You may also be interested in one of the lesser known museums in Paris, such as Musée Picasso Paris, Musée Marmottan Monet or Musée Rodin. See the article on “15 Lesser-Known Museums in Paris” for more details here.

Getty Research Institute Announces Trove of Paris Maps – Digitized

Getty Research Institute Announces Trove of Paris Maps – Digitized

Have you ever wanted to see a map of Paris before Haussmann created the grand avenues?  What about the goat paths through the Medieval houses?  And, the cobbled streets where the slop buckets were thrown out of the windows onto the passersby below?

Digitized Maps – for Everyone!

The Getty Research Institute announced in its February newsletter that it has digitized a collection of maps from 1754 to 1907.  The maps show before and after the Haussmann redesign.  These new additions are online and you can check them out right now.  They are a complete boon to researchers and the casually interested alike. Visit the Getty site to research and view these maps and lots of other resources that the Getty makes available online.

Read the Getty announcement that follows:

Getty Research Institute News, February 2018

NEW FOR RESEARCHERS

Maps of Paris

A collection of 152 maps of Paris dating from 1754 to 1907 covers the period when Paris was transformed into a modern metropolis under Napoleon Bonaparte and his nephew, Napoleon III. These maps—amassed by collector and dealer André Jammes—feature hand-colored illustrations and vignettes of famous monuments. Changes instigated by Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann during the 1850s and 60s, such as the creation of modern water and sewer systems, the rebuilding of the Île de la Cité, and the expansion from 12 to 20 arrondissements, can be seen prominently across the maps from this time period.

This collection is also digitized and available for free online.

The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
www.getty.edu

Tickets On Sale Now for the Louvre’s Exhibition – Delacroix

Tickets On Sale Now for the Louvre’s Exhibition – Delacroix

The Louvre is putting on a blockbuster show devoted to Eugène Delacroix. The exhibit will be the first retrospective since 1963. His monumental paintings are what he is most known for.  And many of them are hanging in the Louvre now. Delacroix came to epitomize the French Romantic movement with his canvases that inspire.  They can evoke strong feelings by viewers.  Consequently, the painting shown above was removed from public view. During the politically charged times, it was thought to be too inflammatory .  Seems like it was a successful painting!

The exhibition should be quite wonderful for fans of Delacroix.  Here is the Louvre’s announcement of the exhibition:

“In partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, in spring 2018, the Musée du Louvre will be hosting an exhibition dedicated to the artistic career of Eugène Delacroix. For the first time since the 1963 exhibition celebrating the 100-year anniversary of his death, this event will pool over 180 artworks by the artist, including a large number of paintings: from the young artist’s big hits at the Salon of 1820 up to his final less known and mysterious religious and landscape compositions.”

The exhibition will showcase the tensions that formed this artist. First of all, he strived for individuality. 16th- and 17th-century Flemish and Venetian artists inspired Delacroix. The installations and information provided will provide insight into his long, rife, and diverse career.

Visitors will have the chance to familiarize themselves with this engaging character. Delacroix was infatuated with fame and devoted to his work. Delacroix was curious, critical, and cultivated. Certainly, he was a virtuoso writer, painter, and illustrator.

Buy your tickets directly from the Louvre.  The Louvre is a favorite site!

! Update ! – for those of you traveling to New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting this exhibition from Sptember 17, 2018 – January 6, 2019.  Get your tickets directly from The Met here.

Delacroix (1798–1863)

Where:  The Louvre
Arrondissement:  1st
Nearest Métro:  Two stops serve the Louvre.  Exiting at Louvre-Rivoli, you will be at the eastern-most end of the Louvre.  Exiting at Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre, you will be closer to the pyramid entrance and very close to the entrance at the Passage de Richelieu (if they will let you in) and the entrance through the Carousel de Louvre – kind of underground shopping area that leads you to the main entrance under the pyramid.
When:  March 29, 2018 to July 23, 2018
Admission: €15 (permanent collections + exhibitions)
Opening hours: Every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Tuesday
Hours:  Wednesday – Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Night opening until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays
CLOSED ON TUESDAYS
Also closed:  January 1, May 1 and December 25
Official website:  https://www.louvre.fr/en/expositions/delacroix-1798-1863