Enthusiasts of art and culture will be spoiled in Paris in 2022 with some incredible shows at the city’s impressive museums and galleries. We’ve rounded up some of the best Paris art exhibitions this year and next year to tempt you, perfect for planning a trip around, with more cultural delights likely to be unveiled in autumn. And we’ve got chic Paris vacation rentals to make your French escape a delight. If you can’t travel at the moment, why not take inspiration for future visits from our selection of must-see Paris art museums?
Cézanne, Lights of Provence
Take an immersive trip into the work of French Impressionist painter, Paul Cézanne. Travel to the heart of his major works for interesting insights into his understanding of color, light, and nature. It is also a perfect opportunity to admire the exquisite beauty of Aix-en-Provence, which acted as his greatest source of inspiration.
Picasso-Rodin, Musée national Picasso-Paris
This exciting exhibition brings together two art stars, Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and French sculptor Auguste Rodin, who both did much of their best work in Paris. Presented jointly by the Musée national Picasso-Paris in the Marais and the Musée Rodin, Exhibition: Picasso-Rodin shows key pieces in parallel at each gallery, highlighting unexpected links in their influential creative journeys.
The Morozov Collection, Icons of Modern Art
One of this year’s flagship Paris art exhibitions is The Morozov Collection. Icons of Modern Art at Fondation Louis Vuitton shares 200 Impressionist and Modern art masterpieces from the collection of brothers Mikhaïl and Ivan Morozov, the first time it has traveled outside of Russia. Expect French works by Manet, Rodin, Monet, Pissarro, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Bonnard, and Matisse, alongside Russian talents such as Malevich, spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Treasures of the Al Thani Collection
Step back in time over 5,000 years ago to appreciate a series of diverse artworks created across numerous civilizations. The Al Thani Collection, established by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, is on permanent display for the first time at Hôtel de la Marine. Highlights include the ancient carving of an Egyptian royal and a jade wine cup dating back to the Mughal Emperor Jahangir.
Marcel Proust, Un Roman Parisien
Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the famous French writer’s birth, the exhibition Marcel Proust, Un Roman Parisien is at the historic Musée Carnavalet in the Marais. It explores the Parisian world of Proust (1871–1922), who was born and died here, and the importance of the city in his acclaimed novels. Exhibits include paintings, sculptures, photos, manuscripts, clothes, furniture, and accessories, plus a recreation of his bedroom.
Thierry Mugler, Couturissime, Musée des Arts Décoratifs
French fashion designer Thierry Mugler died in January, making this Musée des Arts Décoratifs retrospective extra emotional. Thierry Mugler, Couturissime celebrates the creativity of this radical talent, who launched his fashion house in the Seventies and was synonymous with theatrical Eighties silhouettes and powerful femininity. Ready-to-wear, haute couture, stage costumes, photos, fragrances, catwalk shows, music videos, and projections tell the story of his art and collaborations. There’s also a tribute to the late designer Alber Elbaz at Palais Galliera.
Les Mondes Surréalistes d’Elsa Schiaparelli
Celebrating the inspiring work of daring Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli, this retrospective shows how her relationship with the Parisian avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s influenced her work. Discover her taste for spectacle, innovative fantasy, and an innate sense of femininity in her sophisticated designs, which sit alongside paintings, sculptures, perfumes, and photos by her contemporaries, such as Jean Cocteau and Elsa Triolet.
Edmund de Waal, Lettres à Camondo, Musée Nissim de Camondo
Lovers of contemporary ceramics and sculpture will enjoy this touching, subtle exhibition by British craft talent Edmund de Waal at atmospheric Musée Nissim de Camondo, one of Paris’s best-kept secrets. Edmund de Waal, Lettres à Camondo responds to this remarkable house museum and the Jewish family that once owned it. Art collector Moïse de Camondo’s son Nissim was killed in the First World War; his daughter and her family later died in Auschwitz. Vessels, letters, and benches by de Waal dot the rooms and courtyard, spanning porcelain, gold, oak, and stone, expressing this trauma and loss.
Yves Saint Laurent AUX MUSÉES
Paris art exhibitions don’t come more ambitious than this city-spanning showcase, devoted to the legendary French fashion designer. Yves Saint Laurent aux Musées unites six museums that inspired the designer – Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay, Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Musée national Picasso-Paris and Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris – to mark six decades since the YSL label’s first fashion show. Each museum pairs pieces by Saint Laurent with works or artists in their collection, from Mondrian to Matisse, Dufy, and Picasso, picking up on fascinating themes.
Frida Kahlo, Beyond Appearances
Explore the private side of Frida Kahlo’s life through more than 200 objects from Casa Azul, the house where she was born and brought up. This exhibition moves away from the clichés attached to her personality, letting the visitor perceive a visual narrative of the influential artist’s life and understand how she traced and cultivated her image through dress, painting, and experiences.
We trust you will enjoy some of these outstanding Paris art exhibitions. Meet the masters in the spotlight at the city’s major museums this year. Delights range from pioneering Impressionists to the creative genius of Yves Saint Laurent and Antoni Gaudí.