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Art in Paris - Great exhibitions in autumn 2019

Leonardo da Vinci at the Louvre.

Degas at the Opera at the Musée d’Orsay.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and El Greco at the Grand Palais.

Francis Bacon at the Centre Pompidou.

  • 'Life' among the Connoisseurs; or Dick Wildfire & his Friends in the Grand Gallery at the Louvre, aquatint 1822 by George Cruikshank.
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After le retour, the return to normal life after the mass exodus over the summer, Paris offers a feast of exhibitions in the autumn. In 2019 the Paris museums will, as usual, be unveiling a splendid array of exhibitions. With their own rich holdings these museums are able to take their pick of the finest works of the world’s great museums.

This year’s major shows are devoted to some of the greatest names in Western art and are sure to attract record numbers of visitors from around the globe.

At the Louvre, there will be show devoted to Leonardo da Vinci on the 500th anniversary of his death, while the sumptuous Belle Époque Grand Palais, constructed for the Paris World Exhibition of 1900, will present dramatically contrasting shows of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who celebrated the pleasures of Fin-de-Siècle Paris, and the profoundly religious and mystical El Greco.

The Musée d’Orsay, which houses the world’s greatest collection of Impressionist and early modern painting in a spectacular converted railway station, will present Degas at the Opera, while the Centre Pompidou, the iconic architectural masterpiece of Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, will offer a survey of the most internationally celebrated British painter of the 20th century, Francis Bacon.

Day 1

Take the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris at c. 10.30am. Continue by coach to the Centre Pompidou where an exhibition dedicated to Francis Bacon highlights his late works from 1971 until his death in 1992.

Day 2

Begin at the Musée d’Orsay, home to the world’s finest collection of Impressionism, also displaying Degas at the Opera. In the afternoon, the first of two visits to the Grand Palais to study the work of Cretan-born El Greco, regarded as a genius of the Spanish School.

Day 3

In the morning return to the Grand Palais for an exhibition dedicated to the painter and printmaker, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Lunch in the restaurant of the Grand Palais precedes a visit to the collections of the nearby Petit Palais. 

Day 4

Marking the 500th anniversary of his death, visit the blockbuster Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the Louvre, with time afterwards for independent exploration of the magnificent collection. Return to London by Eurostar, arriving at c. 5.45pm.

Price, per person

Two sharing: £1,880 or £1,710 without Eurostar. Single occupancy: £2,150 or £1,980 without Eurostar.


Return rail travel (Standard Premier) by Eurostar from London to Paris; private coach for transfers; hotel accommodation; breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine, water, coffee; all tips; all admissions; all taxes; the services of the lecturer and tour manager.


Hotel Édouard 7, Paris: a comfortable 4-star hotel, located on the Avenue de l’Opéra, a short walk from the Louvre. Single rooms are doubles for sole use.

How strenuous?

Visits require a fair amount of walking and standing around. You need to be able to lift your luggage on and off the train.

Are you fit enough to join the tour?

Group size

Between 10 and 20 participants.

Travel advice

Before booking, please refer to the FCDO website to ensure you are happy with the travel advice for the destination(s) you are visiting.

Patrick Bade is an excellent art historian. His love for the subject is infectious and he shares his wealth of knowledge and stories with humour and pure enjoyment for all.