The artistic movement that would come to be known as Impressionism developed in 19th century Paris, and the finest exhibitions devoted to the subject can still be found in the city. Two current exhibitions perfectly illustrate this point, as the Musée du Luxembourg presents the story of Paul Durand-Ruel, pioneering art dealer and advocate of Impressionism, and the Marmottan Museum presents a groundbreaking study of Monet’s Impression Soleil Levant.
Presenting a classic work of art and a pioneer
The French art world of the early 19th century was dominated by the strict adherence to the rules of academic painting as endorsed by the Académie des Beaux-Arts. When the group of young painters who would be dubbed the Impressionists came along they were considered radicals, yet their approach endured and became hugely influential.
At first the supporters of Impressionism were few and far between and artists such as Monet, Renoir and Manet had great difficulty in selling their work. Fortunately, they had on their side a visionary art dealer who was willing to publicise and market their work, often at great personal financial risk. The story of this remarkable man is told via some eighty artworks, photographs and documents in Paul Durand-Ruel; The Gamble Of The Impressionists, an exhibition featured at the Musée du Luxembourg until February 8th.
Claude Monet was one of Durand-Reul’s clients and his famous 1872 painting of the harbour at Le Havre known as Impression Soleil Levant (Impression, Sunrise) lent its name to the art movement of which it was a supreme example. However, over the years this painting has become the subject of some controversy as to the exact circumstances of its creation. Recent studies have used extensive research involving astronomical, meteorological, geographical and tidal information to determine precisely when and where the painting was created and the full story is revealed in all its fascinating detail at the Marmottan Museum until January 18th.
After this cultural journey, step back in time by walking at Bercy Village.
Experience the charm and allure of Bercy Village
It’s a shopping mall with a big difference. Bercy Village, as the name implies, is more like a French village transported into the heart of Paris. Paved courtyards are lined with white stone buildings that once were wine warehouses but have since been converted into shops, restaurants and entertainment venues bursting with charm and excitement. You can spend many a happy hour here shopping, eating and enjoying the convivial atmosphere. A particular recommendation is the bar-restaurant and wine specialist, Chai 33. There’s fine food to be enjoyed and an extensive wine cellar to be explored, plus the cosily intimate Rose Bar.
Paul Durand-Ruel, Le pari de l’impressionnisme. Manet, Monet, Renoir...
Until February 8, 2015
Musée du Luxembourg, 19 rue de Vaugirard
Tél. : 0033 (0)1 40 13 62 00
Metro : Saint Sulpice, line 4 - Mabillon, line 10
RER B : Luxembourg (sortie Jardin du Luxembourg)
Impression, soleil levant - L'histoire vraie du chef-d'oeuvre de Claude Monet
Exhibition until January 18, 2015
Musée Marmottan-Monet. 2, rue Louis-Boilly, Paris 16ème
Tél.: 0033 (0)1 44 96 50 33
Metro : La Muette, line 9
Hôtel L'Interlude - Elegant and comfortable three star Hotel, Paris 12th district