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From Jongkind to Miró, from gothic art in the Champagne region to design by Sottsass, the programme is quite enticing. And decorative arts are not ignored, as we also have African materials, Indian cottons, as well as furniture and jewellery by Majorelle.

Johan-Barthold Jongkind, Le Hoofdpoort à Rotterdam, oil on canvas, 1875, 33,5 x 47,5 cm. Signed and dated at bottom left: Jongkind 1875 Reims, Musée des Beaux-Arts (exhibition at Musée Hector-Berlioz, Grenoble)


AVIGNON – Customs change with the times, and this does not exclude the popes. When the French sovereign sent an emissary to see the Pope in 1303, it was to slap him. The attempt at Anagni, ordered by Philippe le Bel, was certainly not the only cause but it did contribute to the election of a French Pope and then to the settling of the Popes in Avignon for three quarters of the century. To celebrate the 700th anniversary of their arrival in 1309, the museum of the Petit Palais demonstrates how local culture was enriched at the contact of the Italian masters. In a town that went very quickly from 6 000 to 40 000 residents, the architects built sumptuous residences for the cardinals which the painters decorated. The influence of Sienna is dominating as can be seen in the comparison of works, carried out with the loans from the Pinacoteca of Sienna, and in particular those of Matteo Giovannetti or the great Simone Martini. As a matter of fact the latter died in Avignon in 1349, after working on the frescoes of the cathedral of Notre-Dame-des-Doms.

  • Musée du Petit-Palais, until October 31
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    CÉRET – Certain venues have a special aura in the history of modern art: The Estaque, Giverny, Auvers-sur-Oise… Céret, the small Catalan village, may be admitted to the club. With its neighbor Collioure, located on the coast, it has indeed hosted the Gotha: Picasso, Braque and Gris, of course. But Kisling, Soutine, Picabia, Herbin, Masson, Maillol as well… Locals follow these pioneers with interest: one of the local patrons will be Michel Aribaud, a wine merchant, who later donated his collection to the museum. These nearly 140 paintings show us today how the landscapes, combining mountains, cypresses, bridges, fountains and convents, have been interpreted numerous times. The thread is not broken either: today François Bioulès, Tàpies or Tom Carr still keep the flame burning.

  • Musée d’Art moderne, until October 31
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    MOUGINS - Photographer Nicolas Guilbert’s vision takes us on a journey. Through a few snapshots he sums up the relationship between animals: at the top of the pyramid of the food chain and of intelligence we have the homo-sapiens, and the others, those man lives next to, which he cares for with love, sometimes, with cruelty at others.

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    CAGNAC-LES-MINES – In this year of commemoration, the aim of this exhibition is to present the newspaper man aspect of Jean Jaures. His writing talent and the strength of his convictions are the marks of a committed writer at the side of the miners in the Tarn region at the end of the XIXth century and display the philosophy of a man who wrestled with the social economic changes of his time and whose thinking remains fundamental.

  • Musée-mine départemental, until October 4
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    GRENOBLE – The exhibition the musée Hector-Berlioz presents this year focuses on a Dutch painter, who spent the greater part of his career in France. Johan-Barthold Jongkind (1819-1891) worked on motifs and transcended the outdoor study by making light the essential and moving element of his painting. At the end of his life, he left Paris to live and paint in the Dauphiné region, in particular at La Côte Saint-André, where he died and is buried.

  • Musée Hector-Berlioz, until December 31
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    SAINT-PAUL-DE-VENCE – If there is one spot where it makes sense to hold a retrospective on Miró, it’s at the Fondation Maeght. The friendship between Miró and Aimé Maeght goes back to 1948 when the gallery owner encountered the Catalan artist at Braque’s, in Varengeville, and encouraged him to get into engraving. This friendship lasted all of their lives: in 1979, fifteen years after the Foundation was inaugurated, Miró donated a significant ensemble of works of art. He knew the place well as he had created a sculpture garden there, the Miró Labyrinth, still visible, which combines a Lunar bird, a Lizard, a Woman with hair undone … The abundant retrospective – in total, over 250 pieces – brings face to face works from the Foundation to those of the Centre Pompidou and other collections.

  • Fondation Maeght, until November 8
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    MONTPELLIER – Together with Guimard, Mucha(1860-1939) carried the «nouille» style to the pinnacle to found Art nouveau, which he expressed in all ways possible. Theatre posters, ads for velocipedes or the famous LU cookies, illustrations for prayer books or for travel books, jewels for jeweller Fouquet or large historical panels… The exhibition at the Fabre museum presents all of his life in 260 pieces while insisting on a few key moments. The most important is undoubtedly the encounter with Sarah Bernhardt in 1894. The poster of Gismonda, when he replaced another artist at the last minute, won him the famous actress’ admiration, and he became the exclusive representative of her «image»… The pavilion of Bosnia-Herzegovina, done for the Universal exhibition in 1900, confirmed his reputation. The setting has been reconstructed here while presenting two giant panels from A slave epic, the work that occupied the final years of his life, when his work took on a more patriotic and religious connotation.

  • Musée Fabre, until September 20
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    ROMANS – Following a very full career in the world of the performing arts (The César de la décoration award in Cannes for the costumes of Ariane Mnouchkine’s movie Molière, the settings of various operas in Europe, productions for the festival of Aix-en-Provence, designs for museums), Daniel Ogier has launched himself into an original artistic adventure, the creation of a series of small chapels. Following those of Lyon, Naples and Albacete, he offers his native town its own chapel.

  • Musée international de la Chaussure, until September 6
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    AIX-EN-PROVENCE - In 1958, Picasso told one of his gallery owners: « I have just bought Cézanne’s Sainte-Victoire, the original ». he meant by that the castle of Vauvenargues, that would allow him to live closer to his master’s emblematic motif. He thus wrapped up more than half a century of adoration for the painter from Provence that had begun as soon as he arrived in Paris in 1900. The exhibition at the Granet museum, secretly dreaming to equal the success of «Cézanne in Provence» in 2006, groups together some one hundred works by the two men – one third by Cézanne, two thirds by Picasso. It intends to demonstrate the extent of the relationship that linked the two artists: Picasso was influenced by the way in which Cézanne dealt with space, by certain themes he treated (Arlequin, the bathers, the fruit bowls) and would even be a well-informed collector of his paintings.

  • Musée Granet, until September 27
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    ETTORE SOTTSASS (1917-2007) - «Everything is design, it's inevitable»

    RIOM - The musée Mandet has wealthy collections of art objects, in particular silver plate from the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries for civilian use, as well as contemporary decorative art, focused on silver plate works, from the 1950s to our day. The museum, which regularly presents the work of designers, wished to pay a special tribute to an unusual creator, for whom form was not to be an empty/gratuitous gesture but rather an act that had a reason.

  • Musée Mandet, until September 27
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    BORDEAUX – «Qu’importe le flacon, pourvu qu’on ait l’ivresse» (What does the bottle matter, as long as we can have the exhilaration), as the poet used to say. Taking the opposite view from Alfred de Musset, the Musée d’Aquitaine has chosen, on the contrary, to investigate these «bottles» that have been used to keep conserve wine over the centuries. From the barrels coated with resin in the Ancient times to the bottles designed by fashionable creators, nearly 400 pieces from European collections have been gathered for this event.

  • Musée d’Aquitaine, until 20 October
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    NICE-BIOT-VALLAURIS – Blaise Cendrars was an unrepentant traveller and a keen observer of reality. The author of Bourlinguer and L’Or also rubbed shoulders with all the intellectual elite of his time. Three national museums in the Alpes-Maritimes region have gotten together to explore his links with three great artists – Picasso, Chagall and Léger. Nearly 200 works and documents – drawings, paintings, letters, photographs – review half a century of cultural life, from the atmosphere of the Bateau-Lavoir in 1912, up to the 1960s.

  • Musées nationaux Chagall (in Nice), Léger (at Biot) and Picasso (at Vallauris), until 12 November
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    LABASTIDE-ROUAIROUX – Caught between the clichés of a timeless Africa with women in their traditional clothing and a continent unavoidably in the throes of globalization, the wealth of Western Africa is often unknown and a subject of caricatures. This exhibit allows the visitor to retrace the different roles textiles have in African cultures: an aesthetic means of expression or a social code, textiles are a real medium to understand the society of the past of the present.

  • Musée départemental du Textile, until November 29
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    ANDILLAC – In the heart of a preserved 17-hectare park, the castle-museum of Cayla is the former home of the poet Maurice de Guérin (1810-1839), a great friend of Barbey d’Aurevilly’s. The summer exhibition, on the theme of rituals and elements that make up life, is dedicated to Christine Valcke. The artist, painter and lithographer tries on paper and on canvas to give proof of our passage in the world.

  • Château-musée du Cayla, until November 30
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    WHAT’S NEW AT THE MUSEUM? - 25 yaers of purchases (1985-2009)

    TOULOUSE – From 1985 to 2009, the musée des Augustins has enriched itself with over one hundred and sixty works that complete and honed its collections of paintings and sculpture. Through this exhibition and the catalogue that accompanies it, the museum makes the inventory of one of its main missions, the enrichment of the collections carried by generations of curators, donators, patrons and friends of the museum. A selection of some sixty works among the most remarkable will allow the visitor to have an idea of the choices that marked the last decades.

  • Musée des Augustins, until November 2
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