The Women of Paris in Pictures exhibition

2nd December 2005 at 00:00
Remember Quentin Blake drawing on the walls of London's National Gallery in 2001, to encourage children and adults to read the stories in art? Now the first children's laureate has been given carte blanche to do the same in Paris, for the reopening of the Petit Palais at the Musee des Beaux-Arts next week. The Women of Paris in Pictures exhibition curated by Blake (December 10 to February 12) features works by Renoir, Degas and Cassatt alongside lesser-known 19th and 20th-century paintings from the Petit Palais reserve collection, selected, says Giles Chazal of the Petit Palais, for "the power to charm". As Blake works on the final touches this weekend, M Chazal intimates in a devastatingly Parisian manner that "the walls of our galleries have begun to float into the clouds, and the ladies of the banks of the Seine to talk, discuss, argue, laugh, cry, sing".

That sounds like a Christmas holiday trip waiting to happen, if not an art or modern languages school visit for early next term. Even if you can't manage either, Blake's catalogue for the Petit Palais show (pictured) is published in the UK by Frances Lincoln, pound;9.99.

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