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8Art and children in the Marmottan Museum


monet-01.jpgIf you visit Paris in spring or beginning of summer, do not miss the unique art exhibition in the Marmottan museum. In the fancy neighbourhood of embassies, in the street Louis Boilly, the exhibition called „L’Art et l’Enfant“ (Art and a Child) presents children seen and painted by the master artists from the Middle Ages till 20th century. Le Nain, Philippe de Champaigne, Chardin, Greuze, Corot, Daumier, Millet, Manet, Cézanne, Monet, Morisot, Renoir, Bastien-Lepage, Pelez, Bonnard, Vallotton, Maurice Denis, Matisse, Picasso, Chaissac, Dubuffet. 

You are in Paris with children, you have already visited Disneyland or it’s not your Parisian objective, your opinion is that children should be exposed early to the art, the exhibition in the  Mamottan museum is a great plan.
You go through the paintings and the rooms chronologically. From the Jesus child, through Renaissance representation of royal children, portraits of Louis XIV and Philippe II., you get to the time of the Industrial revolution, when the bourgeoisie puts to the forefront the motherhood, tenderness, passing of the father’s knowledge to children.
monet-02.jpgWith a fascination I look at the Chardin’s painting, a boy playing with a twirler on the working desk. He observes with concentration the movements of twirler, he is alone, in the background there is a pen in the ink-bottle, parchment and books represent the importance of education.
Looking at the paintings, you think about the social development in history, how the look on children and the living conditions of children have been changing. When they were given to the nanny from the moment they were born, when they were a centre of attention and care of the whole family, when they found themselves on the barricades during the revolution years, when because of poverty they were selling flowers in the streets.
Impressionists bring a family intimacy; they capture playing children, moments with parents.
monet-03.jpgThe exhibition is advertised in Paris with posters with the Renoir’s painting of a little girl in a dress with a red ribbon around the waste. Face and arms of the girl are white as porcelain, in a right hand she holds a screaming bird and with her left hand she unveils a curtain. In her face there is something flirtatiously feminine.
With my daughter we were standing for a long moment in front of the Berthe Morisot’s painting, her girl in a brown hat and white dress, playing in the sand. The exhibition comes to its end with Picasso’s paintings and his declaration that he spent his whole life to learn to paint as children.
80 paintings, eight centuries accompany you through a social history in art from March 10th till July 3rd 2016.
Address: Marmottan-Monet Museum 2 rue Louis Boilly, 75016 Paris
Opening hours: from Tuesday till Sunday, from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.
Source of information: blog of Thierry Hay on Culturebox