“Saint Louis” exhibition at the Conciergerie
A major exhibition entitled "Saint Louis" will be held in the Hall of Men-at-Arms at the Conciergerie from 8 October to 11 January 2015.
This will be the culminating point of the events organised by the Centre des monuments nationaux to celebrate the 8th centenary of the birth of Louis IX in 1214.
At the age of 12, in 1226, Louis became King of France as Louis IX, in what went on to become one of the longest and most remarkable reigns in medieval France. He became a model and source of prestige for the kingdom and the Capetian dynasty, both as a king and as a saint subsequent to his canonisation just 27 years after his death.
In this exhibition the Centre des monuments nationaux explores who Saint Louis really was. Frequently the vision we have of him has been substantially moulded by the historiography and by later representations we have of him.The exhibition is divided into three parts "Working back from the myth surrounding the saint to the man himself", "From the earthly kingdom to the Heavenly Jerusalem", and "The mirror of the world". It provides a new perspective on Louis IX and on his exceptional destiny, examining the foundations of the myth before going back to the man himself so as to look at the facts about his unfinished journey to deliver Jerusalem, an undertaking in which faith and power were inextricably linked. The last part of the exhibition examines the influence he had on the remarkable artistic developments of his era.
And where better to understand Saint Louis and the issues that faced 13th-century France than in the Conciergerie, the royal residence on which he left his stamp and where he built his greatest masterpiece, the Sainte-Chapelle ? He was responsible for extending and embellishing the former Palais de la Cité, and for the time of the exhibition it will act as the showcase for 130 remarkable works which stand testimony to the intellectual energy and grace that invigorated Parisian art during his reign, and which are on loan from the collections of the greatest cultural institutions in France and abroad.
An excellent way to take the experience further after attending the exhibition is to visit the Sainte-Chapelle, the emblematic monument of Saint Louis's reign. Scientists have recently studied it in numerous research projects, as recounted in the extracts screened at the exhibition and taken from the documentary produced for the occasion by Gédéon Programmes, “Saint Louis, à la lumière de la Sainte-Chapelle”, to be broadcast by Arte on 12 October. Visitors will also be able to travel through time thanks to a 3-D reconstitution of the architecture of the Palais de la Cité, including parts of it which no longer exist today, thanks to a partnership between the Centre des monuments nationaux and Dassault Systèmes Passion for Innovation Institute. These 3-Dexperiences are presented both at the end of the exhibition and in the Sainte-Chapelle.
2, boulevard du Palais
Open every day from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm except on 25 December and 1 January From 9.30 am to 6.00 pm – last admittance at 5.00 pm Night-time opening every Wednesday until 8.00 pm
Admission fees and rates
From 9,50 €