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Art exhibitions in Paris, February-September 2017

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Auguste Rodin, Masque de Camille Claudel

Paris pays ample tribute to Auguste Rodin 100 years after his death, Vermeer and the genre painters throw light on Dutch interiors, Watteau and Fragonard cohabit with ecclesiatical Baroque, Karel Appel is still wild and Eli Lotar is still weird in a bumper season of exhibitions in Paris this spring and summer.


Rodin the centenary exhibition, 22 March-31 July 2017, Grand Palais. Nowadays you get celebrated on the centenary of your death as well as your birthday - if you put your imprint on history, that is - and the giant of late 19th-century sculpture surely deserves to be fêted as often as possible. Paris obviously has to make a special effort to mark the occasion. Auguste Rodin looked back to Michelangelo and classical sculpture, while opening the door to 20th-century art. The Grand Palais shows 200 of the master’s works plus some by just a few of the artists he has influenced – Brancusi, Picasso, Matisse, Giacometti, Beuys, Baselitz and Gormley.

The Rodin museum's packaged mini-Kiss

Rodin Kiefer, 17 March-22 October, Musée Rodin. The Grand Palais show leaves the poor old Musée Rodin, which has presumably supplied many of the works for the blockbuster, playing second fiddle. Its website puts on the Ritz, with a guide to centenary exhibitions all over the world and excitable announcements of the creation of a two-euro coin (“Rodin in everyone’s pocket!”), a LOVE (shouldn’t that be Luurve?) evening on St Valentine’s Day and a special offer of a miniature reproduction of the luurvely Kiss, complete with kitschy packaging. Oh, and there’s a show. The charming little museum near Les Invalides invites German artist Anselme Kiefer, now installed in the south of France, to do whatever he wants in the exhibition hall. Promises to be interesting.

Johannes Vermeer, The Lacemaker

Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting, 22 February-22 May, Louvre. The Louvre strikes a slightly more sober note with a show of Dutch interiors. Johannes Vermeer’s extraordinary treatment of light, colour and domestic subject matter takes centre stage but the show seeks to portray him not as an isolated genius but as a competitor, inspirer and admirer of other artists of the Golden Age of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, for example.

Gardens, 15 March-24 July 2017, Grand Palais. Back at the palaces there’s a look at six centuries of garden-related creation, taking the form of a stroll round the grounds and showing paintings, sculptures, drawings, photos, designs and installations by artists from Dürer to contemporary conceptualist Wolfgang Laib. From the great Moghuls to the Maharajahs, 29 March-5 June 2017, Grand Palais, looks at Indian jewellery.