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Paris Modernity Expo at the Petit Palais

The Petit Palais, after dazzling art lovers with the exhibitions "Paris Romantique (1815-1858)" and "Paris 1900, the Spectacle City", closes his trilogy in apotheosis with the last part, "(The) Paris of modernity (1905-1925) ".

From the Roaring Twenties to the Belle Époque, Paris continues to play the role of global artistic magnetism. As a World City, it stands as both the home of effervescent innovation and the cradle of unparalleled cultural influence.

Date: Temporary exhibition from November 14, 2023 to April 14, 2024

Location: Petit Palais

Desire:Paris trilogy, artistic journey, painting

The exhibition, an immersive experience, reveals nearly 400 works by artists such as Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Marcel Duchamp, Marie Laurencin, Fernand Léger, Tamara de Lempicka, Amedeo Modigliani, Chana Orloff, Pablo Picasso, Marie Vassilieff, and many others. In addition to these dazzling creations, the exhibition presents outfits by Paul Poiret, jewelry from Cartier, a plane from the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget, and even a car on loan from the National Museum of automobiles in Mulhouse.

Touring fashion, cinema, photography, painting, sculpture, drawing, dance, design, architecture and industry, the exhibition brings to life the frenetic creativity of the years 1905-1925 .

Robert Delaunay - The woman and the tower
Robert Delaunay - The woman and the tower

This artistic journey, both chronological and thematic, finds its originality in its geographical anchoring, the Champs-Élysées district. This emblematic place, at the heart of modernity, was the scene of the latest creations presented at the Salons d'Automne et des Indépendants at the Grand Palais, exhibiting works by Rousseau, Matisse, van Dongen, and others.

The Petit Palais played a crucial patriotic role during the First World War, exhibiting mutilated works and organizing Mimi-Pinson cockade competitions. In 1925, it was the center of the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, a melting pot of Art Deco, international avant-garde and traditional pavilions.

The tumultuous history of "Paris of modernity" is marked by "piles" artistic, scandals such as the "cage aux fauves", "Kubism" by Braque and Picasso, or the erotic Nijinsky as a faun for the creation of The Rite of Spring by the Ballets Russes in 1913.

Modernity is also expressed through technological and industrial progress. The route, complete with an airplane and a Peugeot car, reveals the lasting influence of exhibitions dedicated to cycles, automobiles and aviation on artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Robert Delaunay.

The exhibition also highlights the crucial role of women during this period from 1905 to 1925. Artists such as Marie Laurencin, Sonia Delaunay, Jacqueline Marval, Marie Vassilieff, and Tamara de Lempicka contributed fully to the avant-gardes artistic.

From the lowlands to social circles, personalities like Max Jacob or Gertrude Stein have built bridges. Social developments from 1905 to 1925 were remarkable, and figures such as Josephine Baker and the flapper silhouette symbolized female emancipation.

Philippe Pumain's immersive scenography immerses visitors in this hectic era, accompanied by films by René Clair, Fernand Léger and Charlie Chaplin.


  • Annick Lemoine, director of the Petit Palais, general commissioner

  • Juliette Singer, chief heritage curator, scientific commissioner

Date: Temporary exhibition from November 14, 2023 to April 14, 2024

Location: Petit Palais

Desire:Paris trilogy, artistic journey, painting

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