Hi Frugalistas! If you saw my review of the Gustav Klimt exhibition at the Ateliers des Lumières in Paris last year, you’ll know I rated it a must do in Paris. For their 2019 exhibition, the Ateliers is featuring Van Gogh. If you are planning a trip to Paris, are interested in art exhibitions in Paris, or just love art, the Van Gogh exhibition is a current exhibition in Paris you will want to see. And yes, the Ateliers des Lumières remains most of the most unusual things to do in Paris.
About the Van Gogh exhibition
Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night is the 2019 exhibition at the Atelier des Lumières in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Housed in a 19th century foundry, the Atelier is a unique space. It is the only digital art centre in Paris that focuses exclusively on immersive exhibitions and has the world’s largest permanent multimedia installation covering 3 300 square metres of space – including on the floors and on walls up to 10 metres high. The Atelier alone makes the exhibition one of the most unique things to do in Paris.
The exhibition also features the short program, Dreamed Japan, Images of the Floating World. As a special extra, there are some special evenings featuring the Klimt exhibition from 2018 (until November 2019. This needs to be booked separately).
How to book tickets for the Van Gogh exhibition Paris
The best way to visit the Van Gogh exhibition is to book your tickets on line on the Atelier des Lumières website. We booked our timed entry tickets online. This exhibition has been particularly popular, so do not assume you will be able to arrive at the booking office and buy a ticket for same day. Arriving in the late afternoon for our booking, the exhibition was sold out for the day, with entry for pre-purchased timed entry tickets only. And checking the Ateliers website to write this post, at the time of writing, it is possible to only purchase tickets online.
Although we booked our tickets while we were away, there was no need to worry about printing tickets – I scanned our tickets from the email I received without any problems.
A normal adult admission is €14.50 with discounted tickets available for families, children and those over 65 years.
My experience of the Van Gogh exhibit in Paris
While there are many different things to do in Paris, I do think the Vincent Van Gogh exhibition Paris must be one of the best exhibitions in Paris now.
The exhibition runs on a continuous loop, so once you are inside you will notice the exhibition happening all around you immediately. Upon entering, the first thing I noticed was how dark it was. Then I saw flowers. Flowers emerging on the walls and floors everywhere. They were even on the old foundry chimney stack. There was music playing, and a constant play of images emerging and retreating on the walls.
Like the Klimt exhibition before it it’s quite hard to explain the Vincent Van Gogh exhibit Paris and do it justice. The art surrounded us, and wrapped us up in a gorgeous blanket of constantly evolving colours, textures and images. Because the art is digital, rather than the actual paintings, it is big, bright and constantly playing with its audience. As you would expect, all the well known Van Gogh art is there – the sunflowers, the irises, the interiors, and as the name of the exhibition would suggest, Starry Night also features. But there are also less well known pieces, such as his farm worker pieces. There are also the well known Van Gogh self portraits. I don’t think it makes much difference if you see this Van Gogh exhibition before, after or even instead of, the Van Gogh pieces at the Musée d’Orsay.
Book Orsay tickets here
The Atelier itself is a large open space, with a mezzanine. Visitor numbers were well controlled so we were never crowded in and always had a perfect view of the show. MissG and Mr Frugalfirstclass enjoyed sitting against the wall, letting the art cover them. There is not a lot of seating, but I managed to grab a spot. I must admit I quite liked watching the art cross people’s faces as they watched.
In addition to the Van Gogh, your ticket also includes the wonderful Dreamed Japan, Images of the Floating World. The waves crashed, fish swam and leapt from the water, and kimono clad Japanese ladies fanned. Do make sure you stay to watch this shorter exhibition.
First time visitors to Paris tend to head to the “big ticket” art galleries in Paris like the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay. While they are very tempting, I do think that even if you are a first time visitor Van Gogh in Paris really is one of the best art exhibitions Paris has to offer at the moment. It really is extraordinary in every sense.
Practical information for visiting the Van Gogh exhibition – booking your Vincent Van Gogh Paris exhibition 2019 tickets
The Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night is at the Atelier de Lumières, located at 38 rue St Maur in the 11th arrondissement. Rue St Maur is a long street, with the Atelier being located at the southern end of the street. For this exhibition, I’m recommending booking a late afternoon/early evening entrance. After the exhibition, take the approximately 15 minute walk down to Le Bistrot du Peintre, for a traditional French bistrot meal, in a traditional French bistrot – thoroughly recommended. Le Bistrot du Peintre is located at Avenue Ledru-Rollin, only a few steps from the Ledru-Rollin Metro.
The exhibition is showing until 31 December 2019.
The exhibition is wheelchair accessible, although prams and strollers are not permitted.
Like most timed entry admissions, once you are inside the Atelier your Vincent Van Gogh Paris tickets are good for as long as you would like to stay.
Author’s note: We booked and paid for our own tickets to this exhibition.