• Mari Bruno

Van Gogh, La nuit étoilée: an incredible experience in Paris

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

A complete immersion in the paintings of one of the greatest painters in the world: this is the proposal of the exhibition Van Gogh, La nuit étoilée, shown on Atelier des Lumières, in Paris, until the end of 2019.

Entering the exhibition area of the digital art museum, we only have an idea of the size of what used to be an old foundry factory from the 1800s. After it closed, reopened as a tool manufacturing company, and spent 13 years closed, the building was discovered in 2013 by Bruno Monnier, president of Culturespaces. After four years of renovation, a good part of its 33,647 square feet has been converted into the screens, projectors and sound systems that make up the Atelier des Lumières.

This background makes all the difference, because a place like this is needed to immerse the visitors in the works of art. The exhibition is, to say the least, incredible and one of the most different experiences we've ever had. The dark space is soon replaced by van Gogh's lines, colors and shapes, which cover the floor and all the walls of the space.

Accompanied by music combined especially with the paintings, the animated projections explore the painter's repertoire - from his first to last works, including Sunflowers, Starry Night (that names the exhibition), Bedroom in Arles, and The Potato Eaters.

It's impossible not to be moved by the digital exhibition and not feel like part of the works. But what we like most about Van Gogh, La nuit étoilée is that you can enjoy it as you like. You can walk through space, stand, sit on the floor or on benches, or on a higher floor - and each experience is different from the one before.

If you're going to Paris, don't miss the Atelier des Lumières. We have a few tips:

1. Buy tickets online and in advance. It sounds basic, but there is a wave of super tourism in Europe (especially during the summer) and we saw long lines at Parisian attractions (and we went in April/May, off season!).

2. Try to arrive at the Atelier des Lumières at opening time. In Van Gogh, La nuit étoilée, there were no fixed showtimes. The exhibition was continuous and visitors could enter at any time. So, arriving early makes a difference because you can have different experiences – sitting, standing or walking through space – and this is only possible if you arrive early. When we left, everyone was seated, so whoever arrived later sat down too. On its website, the museum recommends visiting hours from 12 pm to 2 pm.


Where to stay in Paris: classic vs. modern

We visited the French capital in April and, as we divided Paris into two different moments (two days at the beginning of the trip and three at the end), we stayed in two hotels: Jules et Jim and Le Littré.

On opposite sides of the River Seine and in excellent neighborhoods, the hotels offer two opposite experiences (the first is modern and cool and the second is classic and luxurious), but together they bring some of the best qualities of the French hospitality.

photos and vídeos: Mariana Bruno and Fabio Calderon

article originally published by Follow The Colours