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17 exhibitions not to miss in 2017

Let Paris's illustrious art scene brighten up the year ahead.

Feeling down after the events of 2016? Rest assured, 2017 is all set to be an amazing year. Well, art-wise anyway. From Vermeer to Picasso, from the Grand Palais to the Palais de Tokyo, here are 17 cultural events to get you excited for the next 365 days ahead.  

17 exhibitions for 2017


Eli Lotar at the Jeu de Paume

This collection of work, from French-Romanian photographer and filmmaker Eli Lotar, focuses on the daring, innovation and engagement of the interwar period - a retrospective demonstrating the importance of this unique artist’s contribution to modernism as well as social and political action. 

Where? Musée du Jeu de Paume, 1 place de Concorde, Paris 8th

When? February 14-May 28 2017

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Jeu de Paume , 8th arrondissement Until Sunday May 28 2017

Vermeer et les maîtres de la peinture de genre au Siècle d’Or

This is the cultural event to mark the start of the year. Focusing on the painter Johannes Vermeer – think ‘The Girl With A Pearl Earring’ and ‘The Milkmaid’  –  the exhibition is set to shed light on the network and relations between Dutch painters during the period between 1650 and 1675.

Where? Musée du Louvre, Hall Napoleon

When? February 22-May 22 2017

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The Louvre , 1st arrondissement Until Monday May 22 2017

L'Esprit français - Contre-cultures en France 1969-1989

Get out your tricolore flag and make your way to Bastille’s Maison Rouge. Through a collection of varied works, this exhibition will recall the alternative rock, anti-establishment painting, mainstream cinema and anti-education attitude of 1970s/ 1980s France.  

Where? The Maison Rouge, 10 boulevard de la Bastille, Paris 12th

When? February 24-May 21 2017

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La Maison Rouge - Fondation Antoine de Galbert , 12th arrondissement Until Sunday May 21 2017

Sérénissime! Venise en fête, de Tiepolo à Guardi

Set in parallel with the Carnival of Venice 2017, the floating city’s biggest party has been born again in Paris, illustrated by a collection of around 60 works from masters Tiepolo, Guardi, Canaletto or Longhi. 

Where? Musée Cognacq-Jay, 8 rue Elzevir, Paris 3rd

When? February 25-June 25 2017

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Musée Cognacq-Jay , The Marais Until Sunday June 25 2017

Paysages mystiques - De Monet à Emily Carr

In collaboration with Toronto’s ‘Art Gallery of Ontario’, the Musée d’Orsay’s exhibition proposes a journey through the mystical aspect of the symbolist landscapes, featuring work from Gauguin, Klimt, Monet, van Gogh and Emily Carr.

Where? Musée d’Orsay, 1 rue de la legion d’Honneur, Paris 7th

When? March 14-June 25 2017 

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Musée d'Orsay , 7th arrondissement Until Sunday June 25 2017

Olga Picasso

The Musée Picasso’s new exhibition looks at the relationship between the artist and his first wife, Russian dancer Olga Khokhlova (between 1917 and 1935), putting his masterpieces in perspective by highlighting their romantic context.

Where? Musée Picasso, 5 rue Thorighny, Paris 3rd

When? March 21-September 3 2017

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Musée Picasso , The Marais Until Sunday September 3 2017

Pissaro à Eragny - L'anarchie et la nature

In 1884, impressionist painter Camille Pissarro settled into the French village of Eragny with his family. The exhibition retraces these final years – bucolic yet seizing – which are so instrumental in his being considered one of the ‘fathers’ of impressionism.

Where? Musée National du Luxembourg, 19 rue de Vaugirard, 6th

When? March 21-July 23 2017

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Musée National du Luxembourg , St Germain des Prés Until Sunday July 23 2017

De Watteau à David, la collection Horvitz

Two hundred paintings, sculptures and drawings from Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard, Greuze and David, all brought together in the same exhibition by art collector Jeffrey Horvitz, offering an unprecedented panorama of French artistic production during the 18th century.

Where? Petit Palais, avenue Winston Churchill, Paris’s 18th

When? March 21-July 9 2017

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Petit Palais , 8th arrondissement Until Sunday July 9 2017

Auguste Rodin au Grand Palais

For the 100th anniversary of the sculptor’s death, the Grand Palais presents a new view of this versatile artist, rounding up and uniting the collectors of his work (and that of his contemporaries) in this dedicated exhibition.

Where? Grand Palais, 3 avenue du General Eisenhower, Paris 8th

When? March 22-July 31 2017

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Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais , 8th arrondissement Until Sunday July 23 2017

Picasso primitif

The Spanish master’s obsession with art from Africa, the Pacific, the Americas and even Asia is hugely prevalent in his work, in the ‘Demoiselles d’Avignon’ particularly. The Quai Branly exhibition sets out to demonstrate Picasso’s artistic relationship with the non-Western world. 

Where? Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Paris 7th

When? March 28-July 23 2017

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Musée du Quai Branly , 7th arrondissement Tuesday March 28 2017 - Sunday July 23 2017

Les enfants du Cinéma

From Hayao Miyazaki to Steven Speilberg, cinema lovers of all ages will have the chance to reminisce on their childhood memories of the big screen. 

Where? Cinémathèque française, 51 rue de Bercy, Paris 12th

When? March 29-July 31 2017

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La Cinémathèque Française , 12th arrondissement Wednesday March 29 2017 - Monday July 31 2017

Jamaica Jamaica !

Often reduced to the legend of Bob Marley, Jamaican music – with its daring, creativity and innovation – has in fact led the way for contemporary urban sound. (Re)discover this current, important musical influence.

Where? La Philarmonie, 221 avenue Jean Jaures, Paris 19th

When? April 4-August 24 2017

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Cité de la Musique , Parc de la Villette Tuesday April 4 2017 - Thursday August 24 2017

Chefs-d'œuvre du Bridgestone Museum de Tokyo

Founder of the Bridgestone corporation, Shojiro Ishibashi, lends his collection to the Musée de l’Orangerie, featuring everything from impressionism to Western abstract art: Monet, Renoir and Caillebotte to Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock and Shiraga.

Where? Musée de l’Orangerie, Jardin Tuilleries, Paris 1st

When? April 5-August 21 2017

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Musée de l'Orangerie , 1st arrondissement Wednesday April 5 2017 - Monday August 21 2017


With her voluptuous, theatrical, fifties style, the French-Egyptian singer Dalida was deliberate in her wardrobe choices, leaving nothing to chance. Explore the pieces - featuring designs from Yves Saint-Laurent and Jean-Claude Jitrois - at the Musée Galliera.

Where? Palais Galliera, Paris 16e

When? April 27-August 13 2017 

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Musée Galliera , Champs Élysées and western Paris Thursday April 27 2017 - Sunday August 13 2017

Abraham Poincheval

His name might not be ringing any bells but you’ll almost certainly have heard talk of some of his stunts, most famously his stint sleeping inside a stuffed bear (pre-empting ‘The Revenant’…). The performance artist will be passing through the Palais de Tokyo for a new experiment in May.

Where? Palais de Tokyo, Paris 16th

When? May 3-May 8 2017

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Palais de Tokyo : Site de Création Contemporaine , 16th arrondissement Wednesday May 3 2017 - Monday May 8 2017

David Hockney

After celebrating his 80th birthday at the Tate Modern and before continuing on with the party at New York’s MET, the English artist is coming to the Pompidou centre. This will be an important retrospective of his original work, coming nearly 20 years after his first Paris debut at the Pompidou.

Where? The Pompidou centre, Place Georges Pompidou, Paris 4th

When? June 21-October 23 2017

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The Centre Pompidou , 4th arrondissement Wednesday June 21 2017 - Monday October 23 2017

Irving Penn at the Grand Palais

Come autumn, witness the elegant simplicity and remarkable precision in the work of American photographer Irving Penn – from his beautiful portraits to his sensitive still lifes.

Where? Grand Palais, Paris 8th

When? October 4 2017-January 17 2018

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Now check out Paris's must-see masterpieces

50 unmissable Parisian artworks

There are always going to be exhibitions in Paris that you simply must see - we thought we’d pay homage to the objectively brilliant (but sometimes underappreciated) works that you can see in Paris all year round.

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By: Tania Brimson