Maybe it is because spring is finally upon us, but Paris has gone garden crazy. Here’s a look at some exhibitions on the theme currently running in the city, as well as some recommendations for some real outdoor exploration!
Nature et idéal : le paysage à Rome, 1600 – 1650
Until the 17th century, landscapes did not exist as a subject in painting, serving instead uniquely as a backdrop for portraits. This exhibition at the Grand Palais, featuring around 100 works from major museums and galleries worldwide, investigates the moment when painters begin featuring natural scenes in their own right, concentrating on artists based in Rome where the movement began.
Full information on the exhibition can be found here.
Until June 6th
Jardins romantiques français
What better place for on exhibition on French romantic gardens than the Musée de la Vie Romantique? Featuring paitings, watercolours, drawings and plans, the exhibition covers two centuries of gardens in France from the early 18th to late 19th centuries. Although classed as French, the curious thing about these romantic gardens was that they were in fact Gallic versions of English gardens! Rejecting typical French formalism, these were open parks which although heavily landscaped were also attempting to recreate a natural environment. Picturesque and composed like paintings, these gardens featured hills and valleys, but above all water. Some of these gardens still exist today - others you will only be able to see today in the pictures of this exhibition!
Watch a video of the exhibition here.
A dedicated website for the exhibition also exists (in French): http://www.parismusees.com/jardins-romantiques/
Musée de la Vie Romantique
16, rue Chaptal, 75009, M° Blanche or Saint-Georges
Until July 17th
La Ville Fertile
With cities becoming ever larger and ever more populated, it is essential today to begin thinking about how they can also become more fertile. Through a series of highly theatrical and thought provoking installations, the ‘Fertile City’ exhibition at the Cité de l’Architecture investigates real and imaginary projects around the world, including in New York, Munich, Beruit, Argentina and of course Paris.
More details here: http://www.citechaillot.fr/exposition/temporary_exhibitions.php?id=161
Until July 24th
Cité de l'architecture & du patrimoine
1 place du Tocadéro et du 11 novembre, 75016
Les Dimanches du Galop
Every Sunday for the next 8 weeks, one of three racecourses around Paris will be offering free entry for a full programme of horse races. Although this initiative is primarily geared towards families (and there are a whole host of activities for kids planned), they also offer an excellent way to escape the stress of the city in what are perhaps the biggest green spaces in Paris.
The full programme can be found here: http://www.dimanchesaugalop.com/au-programmes-des-dag
Gardens to visit this spring
Jill who runs the Landscape Lover's Blog has posted a couple of suggestions for the best gardens to visit around Paris this spring. Discover which ones she has chosen on her blog.
Finally, if you are interested in gardens and want to investigate one in an unusual manner (which also includes garden themed food and drinks) don’t forget the Obscura ‘Night’ garden event on Saturday 9th.