Take a stroll through Paris

March 23, 2024 BY

Paris: Impressions of life 1880-1925 brings together art, fashion, and music for an immersive experience of Paris at the turn of the 19th century.

AN EXHIBITION of art and artefacts from the Musée Carnavalet in Paris is now on display at Bendigo Art Gallery.

Musée Carnavalet is the oldest municipal museum in Paris and is home to more than 620,000 works of art.

Paris: Impressions of Life 1880-1925 features 170 works of art and was curated in partnership with Anne-Laure Sol from the museum.

“We chose to invoke a very special time in the history of Paris, the turn between the 19th century and the 20th century where the city changed a lot and got into modernity,” Ms Sol said.

“It’s a mythical time,” she said. “It’s a time of faith in progress, a time of modernity, a time of wealth where people were living better, and a time of peace.”

Visitors enter the exhibition and pass under 19th century iron awnings that were salvaged from the streets of Paris and are on display in a gallery setting for the first time.

The gallery walls are painted in pastel colours to reflect the theme of each room and create a sense of continuity as the exhibition progresses through displays of theatre posters by Henri de Tolousse-Lautrec and vintage haute couture.

“To spend two to three hours in here, it can help to feel better,” Ms Sol said. “That’s what I think the role of art is.”

Among Ms Sol’s favourite pieces in the show is a 1903 depiction of a party at the Moulin Rouge entitled The Quat-z’Arts Cabaret Ball by painter Louis Abel-Truchet.

“I love this painting. For me, it’s a synthesis of this period, of this kind of fun and madness of this time,” Ms Sol said.

The work is one of 90 paintings included in the exhibition, many of which are an example of the expressionist and gestural techniques dominating art at that time.

In addition to the art works on display, visitors can view video footage from the period as well as recordings of music created at that time.

Paris: Impressions of Life 1880-1925 is now on at the Bendigo Art Gallery until Sunday 14 July.