School Art Trips to France
As one of the largest countries in Europe, the number of paintings and sculptures as well as architecture across the French Republic is phenomenal. Paintings from 40,000 BC can be found in Languedoc but when one really thinks of France and art, thoughts immediately turn to the French renaissance painters, to the Neoclassicists, the Romanticists and latterly to the Impressionists of the twentieth century. Many artists have flourished in the dynamic and free thinking environment of France and experimental and forward thinking art has always been welcomed. A visit to France is a trip into a world of art, history and human expression.
At the centre of French and, arguably, European art, Paris has always been synonymous with an open mindedness that has drawn artists to it. The cultural heritage on every Parisian street corner speaks volumes for a city that has museums, buildings and monuments dedicated to those who have taken art to new highs and in new directions. Thanks to a rich history, Paris has had many patrons through the centuries who have preserved and commissioned art which can now be seen in the palaces, churches and museums of the city.
Visit Options - Paris
Musée du Louvre
As the most visited museum in the world, the Louvre building has been standing in one form or another since the twelfth century when it was built as a defensive fortress. Although transformed since that time, the museum came into existence during the first republic and, but for a few closures, has remained as the central location in France for collecting scientific and artistic items. There are now 35,000 objects in eight sections spread over three wings of the palace. Perhaps the most famous of these items is da Vinci’s Mona Lisa but other notable works by Delacroix, Vermeer, Bellini and Caravaggio as well as the Venus de Milo are on display. The Egyptian, Roman and Eastern collections are also immense in their number and quality and a visit to the Louvre will leave all art students with a strong desire to return.
Situated in the former railway station, the ‘Gare d’Orsay’, the museum is most associated with being the home of impressionist works by significant artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Works by Monet, Cézanne and Degas showcase the emphasis of light, movement and even time which became synonymous with the Impressionist style. As a study of French, mainly Paris based artists, the Musée d’Orsay stands alone as a unique and exceptional shrine.
This biographical study of Pablo Picasso displays a vast number of his works alongside poignant and descriptive explanations of what was happening in the artist’s life and how his view on art was developing. By placing the works and reviews of the time alongside those of Picasso, any student can see how abstract art was viewed, celebrated or maligned and how it continued to grow.
As the home of the National Museum of Modern Art, no building could sum up its contents so well as the Georges Pompidou Centre. The coloured tubes and mechanical systems that cover the building turned architecture and the building inside out and is a great precursor of what awaits inside. Different exhibitions are arranged each year and in the past the building has hosted works by Jackson Pollack and David Hockney as well as instrumental artists from the past including Kandinsky, Warhol and Dalí.
Palais de Versailles
When Louis XIV commissioned the construction of a building that would represent his absolute monarchy and his position as God’s representative on earth, the result was the magnificent palace at Versailles. As befits the residence of the former kings of France, the many rooms available to visit are diverse and fascinating as are the number of works on display which total over six thousand. Although still used for political functions, the palace and its gardens now attract thousands of visitors keen to see the hall of mirrors, the grand apartments and the opera house once visited by French royalty.
Excursions - Paris
Sat beside the River Seine, the Eiffel Tower is often the picture postcard image associated with Paris. Opened in 1889, it has since had over two hundred million visitors and was the world’s tallest building until 1930. From the top, visitors can take in amazing views over Paris.
Arc de Triomphe
Constructed as a memorial to all the lives lost in the name of France, the huge arch which stands in the middle of ‘Place Charles de Gaulle’ also acts as a history of the wars that have been fought since its erection in 1806. At the bottom of the arch is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a poignant tribute to the lives lost during the First World War. From the top, visitors can see along the Champs-Elysées as well as watching traffic converge from the twelve roads that focus on the arc. It’s fair to say that a bump or two will be witnessed.
The celebrated main thoroughfare in Paris is known to the French as ‘the most beautiful avenue in the world'. With the Arc de Triomphe at one end, Place de la Concorde at the other and numerous chic boutiques and cafes all along, there is nothing to suggest that they are not right. The chestnut trees that align the street give a distinct character and a spree along the shops make for a great afternoon.
Montmartre and the Sacré Cœur
The area of Montmatre is renowned for the Bohemian activities and artist residents who lived in the area when it began to really grow in the nineteenth century. Due to its former situation outside of the city of Paris it avoided paying the Parisian tax and so grew as an area for revelry. When artists such as Dalí, Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec decided to use the area as their base, it became an artistic centre and continued to gain notoriety for its nightlife further enhanced by the Moulin Rouge and Chat Noir cabarets. Atop the principal hill of Paris, the white Sacré Cœur is a notable and visible landmark which despite having its routes in the French revolution, was only finished in 1914.
A great example of Gothic architecture, the flying buttresses were some of the first of their kind. Originally built in the twelfth century, the church has gone through several eras of disrepair, most notably in the nineteenth century when Victor Hugo penned his famous novel, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, partly to encourage interest in the building. Today it is owned by the French state but the Roman Catholic Church retains sole use at no cost.
How better to explore Paris than by open top boat along the River Seine? With the river providing the focus for the early settlement of the city, the boat trip allows visitors to see many of the popular Parisian hotspots including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre and Les Invalides.
Modern art or a day of fun? The rides and entertainment of euro Disney make for a distracting and enjoyable day out of the city.
Sample Itinerary - Paris
All of our tours are bespoke, therefore the itinerary below is simply an example; the duration, educational visits, leisure excursions and accommodation centre used will be selected to match the requirements of your group. Please contact us to discuss your bespoke itinerary.
Arrival by flight or coach, afternoon cruise on the Bateaux Mouches
Visit the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre Dame
Visit the Musée D’Orsay, Pompidou Centre and then Montmartre
Morning visit to Champs-Elysées and Arc de Triomphe before evening departure