Art & Travel

The boy is back in town

Bonn lost its most famous son to the allure of Vienna. Now Bonn is taking him back. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was born in Bonn and spent the first 22 years of his life there. A child prodigy (he played the organ at morning mass aged ten and published his first piano sonatas at twelve),

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Sculpture Garden, Museum Pau Casals, El Vendrell

A Genius Idea

The unique artistry of Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Antoni Gaudí and Pablo Casals took inspiration from the landscape far south of Barcelona, inspiring art and gastronomic adventures in Catalonia’s ‘Landscape of Geniuses’.

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OMG! Van Eyck Was Here

The Belgian city of Gent has begun a year-long celebration of the Flemish Old Master. Showing at the Fine Arts Museum Gent (known by the Flemish acronym MSK) until April 30, Van Eyck – An Optical Revolution is the largest ever gathering of the artist’s works, featuring 13 of the 23 works confidently attributed to

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Altared images

The Belgian city of Gent is celebrating the restoration of the most famous artwork by one of the greatest Flemish Masters. The Fine Arts Museum Gent (known by the Flemish acronym MSK), Belgium’s oldest art museum, is hosting the largest exhibition ever staged of works by the 15th century artist Jan Van Eyck. The Fine

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Made in Marseille

This sweeping view shows MUCEM in the foreground with its footbridge to Fort St Jean, while the harbour entrance behind is overlooked by the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica. Photo: Yoan Navarro France’s oldest city was born around 600BC as the Greek trading post of Massalia. Through the centuries it became a Roman city, an

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Cezanne Country

Home to the artist Picasso that called “the father of us all”, Aix-en-Province celebrates its famous son with a number of landmarks, while a clutch of art and craft museums makes the town a Provencal favourite of art-lovers. Aix town centre has changed little since Paul Cezanne last walked its streets over a century ago.

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Art in Arles

From Greek trading post to Roman colony to early Christian metropolis to rich agricultural centre from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance to the capital of the Camargue at the head of the Rhone delta, Arles is one of the jewels of Provence. A stroll through Arles’ historic town centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,

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Rembrandt’s Early Years

PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN The Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century was a period of great wealth for Holland, then known as the Dutch Republic, when trade with countries all over the world blossomed. Cities which were sending ships to Asia, Africa and the Americas were among the richest in

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A Passion For Oberammergau

Rarely can such a small town (population around 5,500) have captured the world’s attention like Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps, where every ten years an extraordinary piece of religious pageantry draws visitors from around the globe. Oberammergau (Ober = Upper, Ammer = water, Gau = district) is a pretty cluster of giftshop–lined streets which thrive

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“The World’s Stage”

“Welcome to Salzburg, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.” The flight attendant’s announcement left no doubt as to whose town this was, as the aircraft touched down on an emerald green plain (an ancient lake bed) dotted with cuckoo clock chalets and cradled by a shark’s jaw of jagged Alpine peaks. Mozart’s name runs through Salzburg’s

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Sweet 16 in Paris – Top art venues in the city of light

The brainchild of Bernard Arnault, chairman of the luxury brand conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Sephora, Dom Perignon, Givenchy et al) and France’s wealthiest man, the Louis Vuitton Foundation seems to float like a giant, glass-sailed regatta on its cascading basin of water on the edge of Bois de Boulogne. Louis Vuitton Foundation A 21st

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Van Gogh Comes Home

Towns across the southern Dutch province of Brabant, where Vincent Van Gogh was born, have joined forces in a new programme entitled Van Gogh Brabant to tell the story of his life from childhood to his artistic awakening, while a special exhibition sets out to dispel the image of Van Gogh as an anti-social, tortured

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Bavarian Rhapsody

ORIENTATION Germany’s third largest after Berlin and Hamburg, Munich has been voted the one most Germans would prefer to live in. An extensive, Italian-influenced building programme led by King Ludwig I of Bavaria in the 19th century earned it the moniker of the “northernmost Italian city”. Post-was reconstruction has been aesthetically more successful than in

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With its Art Mile linking some of Germany’s top art galleries and the spectacular new HafenCity, Hamburg is emerging as a great cultural city break destination, writes Ian Sclater

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Madrid’s Magic Mile

Madrid boasts an art walk par excellence in the Paseo del Arte, which links three world class art museums barely ten minutes from one another and all in beautiful buildings adapted for cultural purposes. A half-day in each is a bare minimum to begin to appreciate them. Along with a couple of relative newcomers, they

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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen

Rotterdam Makes It Happen

Rotterdam is not a typical Dutch city. Emerging from its bombed out WWII ruins – reconstruction began just two weeks after the war ended, the ‘fire boundary’ still marked today by small lights in the pavement in the shape of red flames – rather than rebuilding in the image of its past, the city made

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Discover Düsseldorf

Not unlike Cologne some 40-odd kilometres up the Rhine, the glamour days of the Düsseldorf art scene were in the 1970s and ’80s. Like its near neighbour, Düsseldorf lost many artists and galleries to the ‘brain drain’ which sucked them east after 1989 to the reanointed capital, Berlin, drawn by cheap rents and new possibilities.

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The Ludwig Museum is directly behind Cologne’s famous Gothic cathedral, Germany’s most popular visitor attraction.qThe Ludwig Museum is directly behind Cologne’s famous Gothic cathedral, Germany’s most popular visitor attraction.


COLOGNE Cologne is best known for its soaring Gothic cathedral, a World Heritage Site and Germany’s most popular attraction with 6.5 million visitors a year. Look out for the Gerhard Richter-designed window in the south transept, which consists of over 11,000 coloured squares of glass. Starting in the 1960s, Cologne became the art capital of

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