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Discover Paris at the Wallace Collection and the Institut Français

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If you thought you had to travel to France to see Paris, think again… This summer the Wallace Collection and the Institut Français are collaborating to bring you a taste of Paris right here in London. To celebrate the opening of our free summer exhibition, The Discovery of Paris: Watercolours by Early Nineteenth-Century British Artists on Thursday 20 June, the Institut Français (the French Institute in London) is offering a special season of events.


T.S. Boys painting

T.S. Boys, ‘The Quai de la Mégisserie, the Pont au Change and the Ile de la Cité from the Pont-Neuf’, 1833. Cat. 42. (c) The Trustees of the British Museum.


On Thursday 20 June, the day the exhibition opens at the Wallace Collection, join us at the Institut Français in South Kensington (map here) for a unique chance to hear exhibition curator Stephen Duffy in conversation with experts of the early years of nineteenth-century France. Stephen will be joined by Philip Mansel, author of Paris Between Empires, 1814-1852 and Professor Robert Tombs (St John’s College, Cambridge) author of That Sweet Enemy: The French and the British from the Sun King to the Present. The panel will discuss the travels of British artists to France in the first part of the nineteenth century and will share their insights on the fascination exerted by the City of Light during a period of continuous political upheavals. Tickets priced at £3. Find out more about the event and book online here.


Woody Allen film

Owen Wilson in Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ (2011).

As well as discovering Paris through the art in the Wallace Collection’s exhibition, the Institut Français invites you to discover the beauty, mystery and magic of the French capital as captured on film. Throughout June and July the Institut’s own cinema, the Ciné Lumière, will be hosting ‘Paris Seen By…’, a season of films dedicated to Paris and its artists. From recent films such as Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, to absolute classics including French Cancan and Charade, this series invites you to see Paris through the eyes of great directors who have contributed to the city’s allure and charm, and who have depicted it as a city of lovers and dreamers.


Sketches of Figures

A. Poynter, ‘Sketches of Figures, 3′, c. 1835. Cat. 56. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

These films will make you see this gem of a city in a new light as you stroll along the Seine with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, sing and dance in Montmartre with Gene Kelly, chase after Ernest Hemingway in the Latin Quarter with Owen Wilson, and fall in love with the city all over again as you watch Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Ticket prices for the films in the ‘Paris Seen By…’ season are £8, conc. £6. Click here for more information on all the films in the series, and to book online.


This exciting programme of events at the Institut Français is the perfect accompaniment to the Discovery of Paris exhibition. Discover Paris on your doorstep this summer…

Porte Saint-Martin, Paris

J.S. Davis, ‘Porte Saint-Martin, Paris’, 1831. Cat. 33. (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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