18 must-see Paris exhibitions in 2019

With some 173 museums listed in Paris, the City of Light offers an eclectic and stimulating feast for culture lovers – together a true celebration of the richness of artistic expression. From the Louvre to the Pompidou Centre, and the Quai Branly to the Atelier des Lumières, here’s our selection of essential exhibitions for 2019.
‘Doisneau and Music’ at the Philharmonie de Paris

Until 28 April, visitors to the Philharmonie can walk through the shots of famous photographer Robert Doisneau and learn about musical practices from the mid-20th century. Admire the photographs while enjoying the music of Moriarty. A beautiful experience.
Photography exhibition "Doisneau et la musique"

‘Poison’ at the Palais de la Découverte

Until 11 August, the Palais de la Découverte is welcoming some outstanding specimens for its ‘Poison’ exhibition. Visitors will encounter – safely – around 30 species from among the most dangerous in the world.

‘Vasarely, the sharing of forms’ at the Pompidou Centre

Until 6 May, the Pompidou Centre is home to a major retrospective dedicated to Victor Vasarely, the father of optical art. With some 300 pieces on display, visitors can explore the artist’s abundant work. Paintings, sculptures, advertisements and studies: all media illustrate the scientific, economic and social context of the 60s and 70s.

‘The Courtauld Collection’ at the Louis Vuitton Foundation

Until 17 June, Impressionism is in the spotlight at the Louis Vuitton Foundation through the exceptional collection of English patron and industrialist Samuel Courtauld. Some 110 works have been brought together, including major masterpieces from the 19th and 20th centuries.

‘Illusions’ at the Palais de la Découverte

Until 25 August, the Palais de la Découverte decrypts the phenomena that mislead our senses with exhibition ‘Illusions’. It’s a great opportunity to uncover magicians’ secrets!

‘Van Gogh, the starry night’ at the Atelier des Lumières

Until 31 December, the Atelier des Lumières presents the genius of Van Gogh through an extraordinary immersive exhibition delving into the artist’s colourful world. The visual and musical creations shed new light on the vastness of Van Gogh’s production. It’s simply amazing.

‘Oceania’ at the Quai Branly Museum

From 12 March to 7 July, the ‘Oceania’ exhibition immerses visitors into the heart of the Pacific, to explore its cultures and island people. A great opportunity to learn about this rich destination through the prism of its creativity.

‘Tutankhamun: Treasure of the Pharaohs’, at La Villette

From 23 March to 15 September, the Grande Halle de la Villette is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun. Don’t miss your chance to witness all the wonders found in the tomb of this famous Pharoah.

‘The black model, from Géricault to Matisse’ at the Musée d’Orsay

From 26 March to 21 July, the Musée d’Orsay reviews the aesthetic, political, social and racial issues that accompany the black figure in the visual arts. Visitors can admire works by Théodore Géricault, Edouard Manet, Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse.

‘The Fondation Collection: The Party of Painting’ at the Louis Vuitton Foundation

From 20 February to 26 August, the Louis Vuitton Foundation presents a selection of 70 works from its collection. A total of 23 international artists are united around the theme of painting, spanning the years from the 1960s to today.

‘The Moon: from real travel to imaginary journeys’ at the Grand Palais

From 3 April to 22 July, the Grand Palais returns to the extraordinary adventure of lunar exploration. Fifty years after the first human step on the Moon, this exhibition takes visitors on a journey from antiquity to the present day to see the Moon in a new light.

‘Ocean: an unusual dive’ at the National Museum of Natural History

From 3 April to 5 January 2020, the National Museum of Natural History is immersing visitors in the fascinating world of the seabed. Be wowed by incredible marine fauna and flora. A great opportunity to educate yourself on environmental issues and the importance of biodiversity.
"Ocean, an unparalleled dive"

‘Funny Little Beasts’ at the Museum of Decorative Arts

From 11 April to 8 September, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs is dedicating an exhibition to the world of Antoon Krings, famous author and illustrator of contemporary children’s literature. ‘Funny Little Beasts’ brings together more than 500 paintings, drawings and prints from the museum’s collection and the personal collection of the artist.

‘Forgotten kingdoms, the heirs of the Hittite empire’ at the Louvre

From 2 May to 12 August, the Louvre will be home to ‘The Forgotten Realms’, where you can better understand this great rival power of ancient Egypt, as well as learn about the Louvre’s efforts in the conservation and protection of heritage in war zones.

‘The Golden Age of English Painting’ at the Luxembourg Museum

From 11 September to 31 December, the Musée du Luxembourg is devoting an exhibition to the golden age of English painting. Visitors will see works by Gainsborough, Reynolds and Turner, iconic British artists of the 18th century. A great opportunity to review the beginnings of the Royal Academy of Arts, founded in 1768 by George III.

‘The Canons of Elegance’ at the Army Museum

From 10 October 2019 to 26 January 2020, the Army Museum is dedicating an exceptional exhibition to the dress codes of the army. Some 200 pieces of armoury, silversmithing and saddlery will be on display.

El Gréco retrospective at the Grand Palais

From 14 October 2019 to 10 February 2020, the Grand Palais is set to host a retrospective dedicated to the work of Domenico Theotokopoulos, known as ‘El Greco’. This is a French first to enjoy in the autumn.

‘Leonardo da Vinci’ at the Louvre

From 24 October 2019 to 24 February 2020, the Louvre is organising a major retrospective dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of his death. It’s an opportunity to (re)discover the exceptional collection of paintings and drawings by the Italian master preserved in the Louvre, as well as a body of other works drawn from elsewhere.

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