Paris is close and easy to get to; it’s the most visited city in Europe and one of the most beautiful. For artists though it’s appeal is the superb art. One hundred years ago Paris was the centre of the art world, and its museums and galleries contain the most fantastic examples of modern and contemporary art.
On tour this year were 11 Sixth form artists, supervised by Mr Nairne and Ms Hellberg. We met at St Pancras and by the afternoon were checked into our very comfortable hostel and went straight onto museum no one of our itinerary.
Centre Pompidou provided an amazing start, with stunning art from Picasso, Matisse, Delaunay, Boltanski, and Messager, from the 20th Century on one floor, followed by more contemporary work on another. The next two days packed in a further five galleries where we saw work from the impressionists in the Musee D’Orsay, a superb but crowded exhibition of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, The Picasso Museum, The Maison Européenne de la Photographie, and an exhibition by contemporary sculptor Kiki Smith.
Friday afternoon was spent around Montmartre with Old Cranleighan Jack McNiven who lead one of his Parisian Draw and Discover tours, allowing us to get our sketchbooks going. We used the evenings to take first a boat trip on the Seine and on the following day a night time ride up La Tour Eiffel. Food is one of the great French pleasures and we enjoyed crepes, macarons and hand-crafted ice cream as we walked the streets between galleries. The weather had been good for most of our time but we finished on a Sunday morning in the rain hunting down bargain vintage clothing in the shops of Montmartre.
The students’ enthusiasm, even late into the evenings, and their engagement in a very busy schedule made the trip enormous fun and worthwhile.