‘Océanie’ at Musée du Quai Branly, Paris

‘Océanie’ was originally shown at the Royal Academy, London to mark the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s first expedition to the Pacific on the ‘Endeavour’. It celebrates the art of the vast region of Melansia, Micronesia and Polynesia; from New Guinea to Easter Island, Hawaii to New Zealand.

On show is an enormous range of art and artifacts: ornaments, ancestral carvings, masks, canoes, fabrics, ritual figures and representations of gods.

Oceania - Kavat Mask (New Britain, PNG, 1890 - 1913)

Kavat Mask (New Britain, PNG, 1890 – 1913)

Oceania - 'Te otanga' armour (Kiribati, end 19th century)

‘Te otanga’ armour (Kiribati, end 19th century)

Oceania - 'Akua hulu manu' god image (Hawaiian Islands, late 18th century)

‘Akua hulu manu’ god image (Hawaiian Islands, late 18th century)

Oceania - Nguzunguzu canoe prow figure (Solomon Islands, (1929)

Nguzunguzu canoe prow figure (Solomon Islands, (1929)

Oceania - 'Ahu ula' feather cloak (Hawaiian Islands, early 19th century)

‘Ahu ula’ feather cloak (Hawaiian Islands, early 19th century)

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‘The Talisman’ of Paul Sérusier at the Musée d’Orsay

Paul Sérusier 'The Talisman' (1888)

Paul Sérusier ‘The Talisman’ (1888)

In 1888 Paul Sérusier was painting together with Paul Gauguin in Pont Aven, Brittany, north-west France. Gauguin advised Sérusier: “How do you see these trees? They are yellow. So, put in yellow; this shadow, rather blue, paint it with pure ultramarine; these red leaves? Put in vermilion.”

When Serusier returned to Paris he showed his painting to his fellow artists (the future ‘Nabis’) and it was to be their influence in developing a style which would be revolutionary in its relationship between colour and form. The painting became their ‘Talisman’.

Paul Gauguin 'Fête Gloanec' (1888)

Paul Gauguin ‘Fête Gloanec’ (1888)

Maurice Denis 'Landscape with Green Trees' (1893)

Maurice Denis ‘Landscape with Green Trees’ (1893)

George Lacombe 'Marine Blue. The Effects of Waves' (c.1893)

George Lacombe ‘Marine Blue, the effects of waves’ (c.1893)

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Marc and Macke at the Musée de l’Orangerie

Franz Marc and August Macke were two major figures of German Expressionism and ‘Der Blaue Reiter’ movement. They became friends when they met in Paris in 1910, sharing an interest in nature in their art. However, their work took a more radical turn after they met Vassily Kandinsky the following year and they formed ‘Der Blaue Reiter’ together with Alexej von Jawlensky, Gabriele Munter and others. The group was disrupted by the outbreak of World War I, during which both Marc and Macke were killed in combat.

The exhibition ‘Franz Marc and August Macke. The Adventure of the Blue Rider’ at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris explores Marc and Macke’s artistic relationship and how their art was developed and received during their lifetimes.

August Macke 'Forest Stream' (1910)

August Macke ‘Forest Stream’ (1910)

Museo Thyssen- Bornemisza

Franz Marc ‘The Dream’ (1912)

August Macke 'Couple in the Forest' (1912)

August Macke ‘Couple in the Forest’ (1912)

Franz Marc 'The First Animals' (1913)

Franz Marc ‘The First Animals’ (1913)

Franz Marc 'The Wolves (Balkan War)' (1913)

Franz Marc ‘The Wolves (Balkan War)’ (1913)

August Macke 'Landscape with Cows, Sail Boat and Figures' (1914)

August Macke ‘Landscape with Cows, Sail Boat and Figures’ (1914)

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Postcards from the Dordogne Valley

A gloriously sunny February day – perfect for exploring ‘les plus beaux villages de France’ in the Dordogne Valley.

Beynac 3

Beynac-et-Cazenac

Castelnaud 1

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle

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Mozart and Mahler in Toulouse

At the Halle aux Grains, Toulouse for an extremely enjoyable concert by the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. In the first half was Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 21, with the excellent Adam Laloum, who performed with a wonderful touch and was deservedly called back for two encores.  In the second half was Mahler Symphony no. 1, always one of the most enjoyable symphonies to hear, extremely well played under the very enthusiastic Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong.

mozart mahler toulouse

adam laloum kahchun wong

Mozart: Piano Concerto no. 21; Mahler: Symphony no. 1.

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Bartók in Bordeaux

At the Auditorium de l’Opera in Bordeaux, France, for an excellent Bartók concert by the Orchestre National Bordeaux under Michail Jurowski.

Bartok Bordeaux

Beethoven: Coriolan overture; Bartók: Miraculous Mandarin Suite; Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra

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Postcards from San Sebastián, Spain

San Sebastián is a beautiful coastal city in northern Spain. Known as the ‘gastronomic capital’ of the country, it is home to several world-renowned restaurants.

San Sebastian cathedral

San Sebastián cathedral

San Sebastian Playa de la Concha

Playa de la Concha

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