Louvre Abu Dhabi – a new collection awaits

The art world is about to get a little bit more exciting as the Louvre opens the doors to a new museum in Abu Dhabi in December 2015. The Louvre Abu Dhabi seeks to be a universal museum, embracing cross-cultural similarities instead of differences with its newly-bought collection. The Musée du Louvre’s Louvre Abu Dhabi:…

2 Weeks in Paris – Day 8: Strolling

The second half of my weekend involved an early morning to visit the Paris Catacombs. The queue circled around the park with a wait of over an hour – who knows how many people were in the line. I walked there with most of the group but soon decided to give up and find my…

2 Weeks in Paris – Day 7: Mona Lisa

Saturday 21st June: The first day away from seminars and the freedom to do whatever we want in this wonderful city – how about an early morning? Early morning queue into the Louvre.

2 Weeks in Paris – Day 6: Animals

This day was perhaps the most intense – and certainly most enjoyable – seminar of the week. Having had a relaxing walk towards Reid Hall with a leftover ham and cheese baguette and stopping briefly at Patisserie Boulangerie for an espresso, myself and everyone else were plunged into deep discussion about revolutionary animals by Professor…

Mapplethorpe in Paris

For the first time in the history of France, a major retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe has landed in the Grand Palais in Paris. The show features 250 works by the American photographer ranging from his highly sculptural nudes to his controversial images of sexuality and eroticism, BDSM and sadomasochism. Robert Mapplethorpe, Sonia Resika, 1988.

2 Weeks in Paris – Day 5: Versailles

Out of our entire two-week programme, Thursday was perhaps the biggest day in the schedule. My day began with a brief breakfast at Reid Hall consisting of a pain au chocolat and university-provided coffee. Dr Stefan Goebel conducted our crash-course seminar on Versailles, focusing on the periods 1789-1871-1919, highlighting the Women’s March on Versailles –…

2 Weeks in Paris – Day 4: Crea-tea-vity

The history of art has always been littered with controversy. Perhaps the most famous set of all are those related to representations of female nudes in which Titian’s Venus of Urbino (1538) and Manet’s Olympia (1863) take centre-stage. But art, in many cases, seems to have progressed because of these controversies – Picasso’s Les Demoiselles…

2 Weeks in Paris – Day 3: Nobility

The Sorbonne. This fascinating domed structure used to house the former University of Paris. Nowadays, it is the home of the Panthéon-Sorbonne University, one of 13 different universities that succeeded the University of Paris in 1970. And it was here, in the Place de la Sorbonne, where my day began. Breakfast at Les Patios, Place…

2 Weeks in Paris – Day 2: Architecture

My second day in Paris began with a brief search for food. A few of us walked around the nearby area scouting for cafés and pâtisseries. We ended up going to a very small branch of Brioche Dorée where €1 bought me an espresso and a pain au chocolat. It was time to head up…

2 Weeks in Paris – Day 1: Reunion

Early morning start. Destination: Gare du Nord, Paris. Departure time: 9:55am. The reunion was lovely. Awkward university students standing in a circle outside Canterbury West station. The rest met us at Ashford International. I needed a coffee – a latte was the result, along with two bars of chocolate. I haven’t had them yet. The…