Paris at the Bendigo Gallery

We have just spent a few days in Bendigo (Victoria’s third largest regional city) where there is still a strong history of gold mining. We had a sunmptuous dinner at our favourite regional restaurant (The Woodhouse) with its fine steak meals as well as a few hours at the Bendigo Gallery which is one of the finest public gallerys in Victoruia. It is currently featuring a curated exhibition of Life in Paris between 1850 and 1920. Many public buildings have adopted the theme of this exhibition.

Bendigo Visitors Centre dressed in the theme of the exhibition

Exhibits in the Bendigo Gallery

A variety of paintings depicting life in Paris

From 1850 to 1920, Paris underwent remarkable transformations that profoundly shaped its cultural, architectural, and social landscape. This period witnessed the city’s evolution from a pre-industrial capital to a modern metropolis, renowned for its contributions to art, literature, and urban planning.

Perfumerie with bottles, counter and chairs

In the mid-19th century, Paris was a bustling city with narrow, medieval streets and overcrowded neighborhoods. In 1853, Emperor Napoleon III appointed Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann to oversee an ambitious urban renewal project. Haussmann’s renovation dramatically changed the face of Paris by creating wide, straight boulevards and avenues that improved traffic flow and provided scenic vistas. Notable examples include the Boulevard Haussmann and Avenue de l’Opéra. The renovation also included the creation of parks that provided much-needed green spaces for recreation. Additionally, Haussmann modernized the city’s infrastructure with improved sewage systems, aqueducts, and public facilities.

A painting of life along the erly Champs Elysee

The period from the late 19th century to World War I is often referred to as the Belle Époque, a time of cultural flourishing and optimism in Paris. During this era, Paris became a hub for artists and writers. Iconic structures like the Eiffel Tower, completed in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle, symbolized modern engineering prowess. The Paris Métro, inaugurated in 1900, revolutionized urban transportation. The city’s cafés, theaters, and cabarets became centers of social life, with the Moulin Rouge, opened in 1889, epitomizing the vibrant nightlife.

A painting showing the building of the Eiffel Tower

The early 20th century saw continued cultural innovation and the impact of global conflicts. The outbreak of World War I in 1914 had a profound impact on Paris. The city endured German aerial bombings and became a center for military and medical operations. The war also strained resources and led to significant human and economic losses.

From 1850 to 1920, Paris transformed into a modern, vibrant city renowned for its cultural achievements and architectural innovations. This period laid the foundation for Paris’s reputation as a global center of art, literature, and urban design, influences that continue to resonate in the city’s character today.

Black and White photo of the Arc de Triumph

Day Dress – fashion oif the late 1800s

Embroidered Evening Dress from 1880

Before buildings had street numbers, they were identified by symbols that illustrated their type of business. These objects represent the business of a snail merchant.

A painting depicting industrial activity on the River Seine

This exhibition highlights paintings, fashions and objects from those grand days. We could relate to then many places as we have visited them more than once. overall, it was a wonderful exhibtion at which to spend some time.

One thought on “Paris at the Bendigo Gallery”

  1. It was a wonderful exhibition, Thanks fr sharing the photos, my phone was low on battery so I missed getting the photos.

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