Bendigo Art Gallery to present Paris: Impressions of Life 1880-1925 from March 2024

BAG-Jean-Béraud-The-Entrance-to-the-1889-Universal-Exhibition-1889Exclusive to Bendigo Art Gallery, a journey through the streets of historic Paris will be brought to life in Paris: Impressions of Life 1880-1925 from March 2024.

Featuring more than 170 works of art and artisanal objects from the renowned collection of the Musée Carnavalet – History of Paris, the exhibition reflects on the period of great social change, urban development and artistic innovation which shaped modern Paris and continues to capture the global imagination.

The oldest municipal museum in Paris, the Musée Carnavalet i History of Paris was founded in 1866 to document the history, built environments and unique character of Paris during a period of rapid modernisation. Located in the protected heritage district, the Marais, the museum is home to over 620,000 works of art and artefacts from the Mesolithic period to the present day.

“Paris has historically stood at the epicentre of the art world and we’re bringing that history and culture to regional Victoria in the latest Bendigo International Collections exhibition,” said Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos.

“It’s a major coup for the region to have an exhibition from the oldest museum in Paris arrive at Bendigo Art Gallery and I’m sure it will deliver dividends for local businesses, tourism to the region and the economy.”

Jessica Bridgfoot, Director of Bendigo Art Gallery said it was an honour to work with this iconic museum to create an exhibition that captures the spirit and confidence of Paris as it flourished during this prosperous period.

“Paris is without doubt one of the world’s most picturesque and captivating cities, and the exhibition distils its beauty and energy, from the busy banks of the Seine, bustling marketplaces, grand boulevards, idyllic public gardens and the bohemian Montmartre area, as it was portrayed by some of the most influential artists and artisans of the period. This is a rare opportunity for audiences to take a promenade through turn-of-the-century Paris, a dynamic time when the city courted the attention of the world,” said Jessica.

Valérie Guillaume, Director of the Musee Carnavalet, said the exhibition is an invitation for visitors to explore the role this leading tourist destination has played in influencing global design and architecture.

“The Carnavalet Museum tells the story of Paris and the Parisian,” said Valérie. “The Eiffel Tower is the city’s symbol. Since 1991, the banks of its river, the Seine, have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unfolding across the banks is a succession of architectural masterpieces from the Middle Ages to the present day.”

“Some buildings, such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral, became a reference for the spread of Gothic architecture; the place de la Concorde or the perspective of the Invalides have influenced the town planning of many European capitals,” she said.

Across seven themed pathways Paris: Impressions of Life 1880-1925 presents artisan street signs, historic couture, decorative arts, and everyday ephemera alongside paintings by artists including Jean Béraud, the pre-eminent painter of Parisian life in the Belle Époque, Maurice Utrillo and Paul Signac, pioneer of the artistic technique of pointillism, as well as vibrant graphic prints by Toulouse-Lautrec and his contemporaries.

Together they offer diverse insights into the events, locations, and everyday encounters that have come to define this foundational era in one of the most famed and alluring cities of the world.

Paris: Impressions of Life 1880–1925 is curated by Valérie Guillaume, Director of the Musee Carnavalet – History of Paris, Anne-Laure Sol, Curator of Paintings and Stained Glass, assisted by Lara Cavallo and Bendigo Art Gallery curator Clare Needham.

Paris: Impressions of Life 1880-1925 is the latest instalment in the Bendigo International Collections exhibitions delivered with support from the Victorian Government.

Paris: Impressions of Life 1880-1925
Bendigo Art Gallery, 42 View Street, Bendigo
Exhibition: 16 March – 14 July 2024
Entry fees apply

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Jean Béraud, The Entrance to the 1889 Universal Exhibition 1889 (detail), oil on wood. Musée Carnavalet. © CCO Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet – Histoire de Paris