The Dream Henri Rousseau
I will start with some cultural traditions that visitors should always keep in mind when coming to the capital of France.
Printemps des Rues has been celebrated for the last twenty years on the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin. It takes place during a weekend in May. The intense atmosphere that surrounds this festival starts early in the morning bringing art to the streets, as well as theater, music, dance, circus, and puppetry for the delight of kids and adults.
In June, the Champs Elysees host a cinema festival with a program focused on French and American independent movies. This year is expected to present about 35 films.
Another great attraction that lasts from spring to autumn are the gardens of Versailles, ready to bask in the splendid beauty of its lawns, fountains, ponds, and waterfalls. A visit to this outdoor wonder is often accompanied by live performances or concerts.
Three of the most famous events in Versailles are the Great Fountain Show (June 18 to September 17), the Royal Serenade at the Hall of Mirrors (from June 18 to September 17), and the Musical Gardens (March 29 to October 25).
Theaters and museums also offer a great number of activities, although the most outstanding events are the art exhibitions and fashion shows. The following are the most relevant art exhibits in the French capital this year.
The Double Secret Rene Magritte
Masterpieces of Budapest. Musée du Luxembourg—March 9 to July 10. The Szépművészeti Múzeum presents part of its collection, giving us the opportunity to witness a different perspective of the artistic trends developed in Europe since the Middle Ages. The exhibition presents 90 works by artists such as Goya, Manet, Kokoschka, and Dürer.
Portrait de Pierrot Bernard Lorjou
Le Douanier Rousseau. Archaic Candour. Musée d’Orsay—March 22 to July 17. This exhibition is dedicated to the French painter Henri Rousseau, considered by avant-garde artists as one of the fathers of modern art. The retrospective includes an exciting selection of his major works.
Paul Klee, Irony in Practice. Centre Pompidou—April 26 to August 16. A retrospective focused on Paul Klee’s “romantic irony” through 250 of his most famous works, some seen for the first time in France.
Edmé Bouchardon, Sanguine and Marble. Musée du Louvre—September 16 to December 5. A solo exhibition by the French artist considered the greatest sculptor of his generation. It includes sculpture, drawings, prints and books.
Exuberance Paul Klee
René Magritte. La Trahison des Images. Centre Pompidou—21 September 2016 to 23 January 2017. An important thematic show dedicated to René Magritte, focusing on five recurring motifs in his work: fire, shadows, curtains, words, and the fragmented body.
October is the month when most Parisian art fairs take place. The most relevant is the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC), which enables the public to discover the latest developments displaying pieces from some or the world’s most prestigious authors. Throughout the month, (FIAC) is joined by a series of satellite fairs, such as the Outsider Art Fair, Slick Art Fair, 8e Avenue, Art Elysées, and Officielle Art Fair.
These events demonstrate that Paris continues to be an unrivaled destination for discerning travelers. ■