Les Fêtes galantes

9789462300453Do I love the museum better than the lunch? Hmm. That’s a tough one. Either way, the musée Jacquemart-André will be on my must-see list for its exhibit De Watteau à Fragonard, les fêtes galantes (duh vahtoe ah frag-on-ar lay fet gal-ahnt). Fête galante literally means “courtship party.” It refers to a style of painting from early in the 18th century first done by Watteau in which elaborately dressed courting couples frolicked during countryside picnics.

7770541194_de-watteau-a-fragonard-les-fetes-galantes-au-musee-jacquemart-andre-jusqu-au-21-juilletThis exhibit brings together sixty works from important collections in Europe and the United States. The centerpiece of the exhibit is Watteau’s La Fête à Saint-Cloud, which has belonged to the Bank of France for the past 200 years. They hardly ever loan it out, so this exhibit is a rare opportunity to see this painting. In addition to paintings by Watteau, works by his contemporaries François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard are also represented. It will be on until July 21, 2014. And I’ll save room for dessert in the splendid Jacque-mart-André tea room afterward. That way I’ll get to have my cake and eat it, too.

51ePV475eEL__SL75_Antoine Watteau

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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2 Responses to Les Fêtes galantes

  1. Ellen A. says:

    The Jacquemart-André is one of our favorites too. Did you know that the exterior was used in the film “Gigi” for Louis Jourdan’s house? The collection has a fascinating history, the free English audio guides are a treat, and the delicious tea and desserts round out the afternoon. We were there in December, and loved browsing their gift shop as well. Lucky you, and everyone who will see this romantic special exhibit.

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