5 European Cities Perfect for Art Lovers

Know your Picasso from your Picabia

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As our world becomes more global and interconnected, the outreach of art and culture has expanded tenfold (in-part thanks to the forever growing contemporary art market). 

And what better way to choose your summer holiday destination than to find a place that’s beautiful, but can also fulfill your aesthetic needs. 

Here are our five favourite holiday destinations to jet off to this Summer.

Parisart-paris-xippaHome to Van Gogh, Cézanne, Rousseau, Picasso, Matisse and Modigliani among countless others, for centuries Paris has been the social hub of art. Parisian art as we know it today was cultivated between the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, the Louvre and artistic and literary salons. From Romanticism to Impressionism and Surrealism, beyond art history, a plethora of styles have arisen from the city, and can still be found today. Apart from staple classics Paris is still the hive of new artistic activity, with Galerie Xippas in the cool Marais art of the city being the spot for multimedia contemporary international art. Another must is the  Galerie Kamel Mennour — located in the heartbeat of Saint-Germain this gallery focuses on emerging artists such as Lee Ufan and Anish Kapoor, and on using the gallery space as installation.

Londonart london white cubeCool since conception, London is an ever-changing city that reflects in its art. With world famous art schools such as the Royal Collage of Art (RCA) for fine art and Central Saint Martins (CSM) for fashion, London is a particularly great to spot new and emerging artists, usually from all corners of the globe. For instance, the Arab contemporary art world has found a happy place in West London’s Mosaic Rooms. However, for something a bit more different, The White Cube, Maureen Paley Gallery, South London Gallery and Chisenhale Gallery offer quick exhibition changeovers showcasing the absolute latest contemporary art has to offer. 

BarcelonaWhilst many cities confine their artworks to museums, Barcelona itself is an immersive exhibition. It’s world famous architecture was largely designed by Catalan Gothic and the modernist Gaudí, whose Parc Güell, Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Familia in particular are the most iconic tourist attractions in the city. For cool galleries that won’t have you walking around in the sweltering sun, look for further than Blue Project Foundation, a multidisciplinary art venue supporting emerging artists with residences and home to the best vegan cafe in town. 

Florenceart florence uffiziPerhaps one of the most illustrious cities in art history, Florence is the home of arguably the world’s most famous sculpture Michaelangelo’s David, as well as Ghiberti’s famous Gates of Paradise and da Vinci’s Annunciation. Not necessarily a city for contemporary art – Florence is the literal source of renaissance art so head to the Uffizi and marinate in iconic works by Botticelli, Caravaggio and Raphael. Due to this rich history, Florence is still dedicated to cultivating a new generation of artists, such as spaces like BASE – Progetti per l’Arte which is a non-profit space for contemporary art collectives. 

Berlinart berlin eigenWhilst all the other cities carry archival and ancient steam, Berlin is the home of the new. With museums almost exclusively contemporary art based (such as the KW Institute for Contemporary Art), Berlin celebrates the unknown artist and its art scene is not banked so much on institutions. You can’t talk about art and Berlin without mentioning the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall (also known as East Side Gallery) is the world’s longest and largest open-air gallery in the world. Stretching the length of the Berlin wall is a show of graffiti and art activism, with iconic murals such as Dmitri Vrubel’s 1990 Lord Help Me To Survive This Deadly Love picturing a kiss between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German President Erich Honecker. Apart from the iconic open-air gallery, it is worth visiting the Contemporary Fine Arts – CFA, a world-class gallery committed to intermedial art, working across mediums. Also – EIGEN + ART. Instrumental in Berlin’s art scene, the lab has been key in elevating the career of some of Berlin’s foremost contemporary artists such as Stella Hamberg, Uwe Kowski and Neo Rauch.

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