Petit Palais

Free tour – 10th of May

How was the Petit Palais built?

In 1897, the architect Charles Girault won a competition to draw the plans of the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais. Together with the Alexandre-III bridge, they were revealed at the 1900 Universal Exhibition. This exhibition was inaugurated by Emile Loubet, who was the incumbent President of the IIIrd Republic.

How was the Petit Palais received?

The Petit Palais was strongly acclaimed : it was considered the nec plus ultra of the Universal Exhibition. Its success was partially due to the eclectic architectural style developed by Charles Girault, visible with the stucco decorations, the mosaic on the ground and the stain-glass. Thanks to its success, it became the Fine-Arts museum of the city of Paris in 1902.

How did the Petit Palais acquire its collection?

It started with the city of Paris’s own collection. Thanks to its success at the Universal Exhibition, donations flocked. The Dutuit borthers specifically offered 20,000 art pieces. Nowadays, the Petit Palais compte owns 40,000 works of art covering from the Antiquity to 1920.

What activities does the Petit Palais offer?

The Petit Palais offers sculpture, drawing, engraving, sketches, woodcut and writing workshops. The museum also organizes multi-sensorial visits adapted to visual impairments, as well as “baby visits” for sensorial awakenings to art. It is also possible to access Art History classes and History conferences.

SAMA For All at the Petit Palais :

On Tuesday May 10th, we organized a free tour at the Petit Palais, in order to develop the cultural mediation skills of our beneficiaries by enriching their knowledge of the cultural patrimony present in the museums of the city of Paris.

We started our visit with the sculpture by Paul Roussel « Baby’s dance » (1910).

We appreciated « The Halles » (1895) by Léon Lhermitte. This painting is famous due to its ability to realistically transcribe the bustle of the Halles market and value the work of farmers.

We then compared portrayals of different XIXth century women with « Madame de Lancey » (1876) and « Portrait of Madame Edgar Stern » (1889) by Charles Durand (known as Carolus-Duran). We saw « Portrait of Sarah Bernardt » (1876), which is referred to as the « Joconde of the Petit Palais », by Georges Clairin, a close friend of the actress.

We continued the visit with impressionist works of art : « Sun set on the Seine at Lavacourt, winter effect » (1880) by Claude Monet and « The Church of Moret » (1894) by Alfred Sisley.

To finish, we observed « Still-life of fruits and flowers » (between 1624 and 1700) by Isaak Soreau.


Exhibition : The origins of the world. The invention of nature in the 19th century May 19 – July 18, 2021

 The visit to the Musée d’Orsay

Wednesday 06/30/2021

The first visit of the Cultural Mediation Initiation Training Programme “MAHATTA had yesterday morning.

The students of the program were able to take advantage of the exhibition “Les origines du Monde. Les inventions de la nature au XIXe siècle.” at the Musée d’Orsay.

An hour and a half our visit was like a journey through history where science and the arts came together to enrich this exhibition.

This exhibition analyses the relationship between the arts and the sciences, at a time when a number of issues are emerging, of which we are still the heirs.

Finally, it is the century in which Darwin’s theory on species definitively disrupts man’s place in the world, said Laurence des Cars – president of the Orsay and Orangerie museums.

Placing man in nature, not at the centre but in a continuity that precedes and surpasses him, the theory of evolution elaborated by Charles Darwin (1809-1882) in the nineteenth century comes to upset the perspectives of the world view.

In a century already subject to many changes, political, industrial, sociological, this scientific revolution comes in turn to feed the imagination of artists who seize in their own way this questioning on the origins. Laura Bossi- Musée d’Orsay.

The tree of life

The tree’s motif to depict the unity and diversity of life was proposed in 1809 by Jean Baptise de Lamark (1744-1829). Charles Darwin sketched evolutionary trees in 1837. But it is with its publication the origin of the species (1859) that the family tree is necessary to explain why the species come down from a single progeny group into genera.

STORYTELLERS of lock down.

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For April 2021, SAMA For All gives the floor to its members. Only one theme: Dare to tell oneself.

Discover their stories about lock down