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Gustave Moreau has divided followers; those who admire his skill as a painter and fanatic of detail, often going brochure: moyen age, cluny over the border to kitsch; and those who admire his imagination, who see it as going over the border to surrealism.

You may not appreciate Moreau's versions of mythological subjects, but you have to admit he knew how to paint them. Before his death in 1891, he taught at the Beaux-Arts, and Matisse, Georges Rouault and Albert Marquet were among his students. As fanatically elaborate as he could be, he could also do swift and alive watercolors - for you to see nearly side-by-side with the paintings in this entertaining exhibition.

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
Until 4. January 1999. Entry Clemencéau. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 17 17.

Moreau donated his residence to the city or the state in 1897 and this began as the Musée Gustave Moreau in January 1903. In 1991 it was opened to the public, which has paid it scant attention. This museum-residence is at 14. rue de la Rochefoucauld, Paris 9. Info. Tel.: 01 48 74 38 50.

Two Big Painters; Master and Student

They never met, except in this exhibition in the Musée d'Orsay, but Jean-François Millet, who lived from 1814 to 1875, had a big influence on Vincent Van Gogh, born in 1853, dead in 1890.

Lightning hit Van Gogh at an exhibition of Millet's designs and pastels in 1875, just a few months after the death of the latter. At the time, Van Gogh was hustling paintings for an art dealer - he didn't begin painting until 1880.

This exhibition places similar paintings by the two artists side-by-side for the viewer to draw obvious conclusions - of the inspirations Van Gogh drew from Millet; to finally gain his own identity - showing also how artists learn from each other. The comparisons do not lessen Van Gogh's stature; they undoubtedly increase that of the less well-known Millet.

This is one of the fall season's big shows, so all the business of making advance reservations applies. Entry charge: 40 francs, reduced: 30 francs. Catalogue: 190 francs.

Musée d'Orsay
1. rue de la Légion-d'Honneur, Paris 7. This exhibition continues until 3. January 1999. Open daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 18:00; on Sundays from 9:00 to 18:00 and on Thursdays until 21:45. Info. Tel.: 01 40 49 48 73.

Architectural Genius - François Mansart

Mansart, who was born 400 years ago, is not be confused with his grand-nephew who borrowed his name, nor with the style of roof, called 'mansard.'

brochure: moyen age, cluny He was, though, the architect responsible for Paris' Hôtel Guénégaud des Brosses, the Maison de Mansart, parts of the Hôtel Carnavalet, the Hôtel Tuberf-Palais Marazin, the Eglise du Val du Grace and the Hôtel de La Vrilliére, actual headquarters of the Banque de France.

Outside of Paris, the Château de Belleroy, the Château de Maisons and the Château de Blois, were designed by Mansart. This exhibition displays 40 original designs, some tools of the trade such as drawing tables, and photos of the buildings as they are today. There are also several models of his buildings.

This exhibition is assembled from items belonging to the Bibliothèque Nationale, Stockholm's National Museum, the graphic arts department of the Louvre and the National Archives, just around the corner.

Hôtel de Rohan
87. rue Vielle du Temple, Paris 3. Métro: Hôtel de Ville or Saint-Sébastien Frossiart, or bus 29. The exhibition continues until Sunday, 17. January 1999. Except Mondays and holidays, open daily from 12:00 to 18:00. Info. Tel.: 01 40 27 62 18.

Remembering Cocktails

This is a poster exhibition, featuring a lot of the drinks you may wish you never heard of - and probably quite a few that are familiar to you. The posters are drawn from the Bibliothèque Forney's collection of 15,000, plus a few are borrowed from the Publicity Museum. Some date from the debut of the poster itself, in the 1880's, and go up to the 1960's.

While the posters present a sort of a social history - cocktails are good/bad for you! - they also display invention, fantasy and good feelings. Today's ads for water can do this too, but water itself can't, as hard as I try it to think it can.

Bibliothèque Forney
1. rue du Figuier, Paris 4. Métro: Pont Marie. This exhibition continues until Saturday, 5. December. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 13:30 to 20:00. Info. Tel.: 01 42 78 14 60.

Daylight On Hidden Art

This stuff - described as 'Laves Emaillées' - enameled washes? - was done for the Saint Vincent-de-Paul church in the 11th arrondissement by Jules Jollivet, at the end of the last century. Somehow the works were accepted and hung up, but the priests running the place told mothers to tell their daughters not to 'raise their eyes' to them.

So they were taken down and stored in a celler for 138 years. Now they are on display again. I haven't seen them myself yet, so I don't know what you should tell your daughters. To be seen in the restored atelier of Ary Scheffer, in this museum.

Musée de la Vie Romantique
16. rue Chaptal, Paris 9. Métro: Pigalle. Until Sunday, 17. January 1999. Except Mondays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:40. Info. Tel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

Traipsing Through Fancy Hotels

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the palace known locally as the Hotel Ritz. From 'Palais' to 'Palace' is the name of this exhibition about Paris' grand hotels, which really are 'hotels' and are sometimesbrochure: parc de bercy called 'palaces' - as opposed to 'hôtels' which are mere town-houses, but sometimes bigger that the 'palaces,' also-known-as 'ritzy hotels.'

The 19th century was characterized by a very few extremely rich people who made their money from industry or finance, and the remainder of mankind who were paid a dollar a day if they were paid at all.

Paris was popular with 'les riches' during the last round of the '90's and 13 of their favorite palaces are presented here, along with older grand 'hôtels,' transformed into commercial hotels. Documents on show include photos of banquets, menus, brochures and other souvenirs of an age we will not see again - not even if we can afford to stay at the Hotel Ritz today.

Musée Carnavalet - Historie de Paris
23. rue de Sévigne, Paris 3. Métro: Chemin-Vert, or bus 29. Until Sunday, 24. January 1999. Except Mondays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:40. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 21 13.

Rites et Festins de la Chine Antique

This is also known at 'Bronzes du Musée de Shanghai' - plus there is a mention that the museum where it is being shown is having its 100th anniversary. I do not know Chinese art objects at all, but judging from the length of this expo, these are important items that you would otherwise have to travel to Shanghai to see.

Musée Cernuschi
7. avenue Vélasquez, Paris 8. Until 10. January 1999. Open daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:40. Métro: Villiers.

Batéké

One word is enough for this exhibition of works by the painters and sculptors of central Africa. There are 240 pieces on display, many seen in public here for the first time; many coming from European collections.

Musée National des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie
293. avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12. Métro: porte Dorée. Until 4. January 1999. Open, except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 17:30; until 18:00 on weekends. Info. Tel.: 01 43 46 51 61.

Long-Run Events

Théâtres des Sens

This has already been open for many months now, but is probably still worth a visit, especially if it is raining as it seems to be doing all the time now.

If you think the French are pretty good at making fancy stuff for high prices, and you are either a dreamer or rich or have managed to keep from being beaten up in the market lately, then this is probably a real treat of an exhibition.

Les Quatre Théâtres des Sens
Palais de la Découverte, avenue Franklin-Roosevelt, Paris 8. Métro: Franklin-Roosevelt. This show runs until 3. January 1999. Open from Tuesday to Saturdays, from 9:30 to 18:00; on Sundays from 10:00 to 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 40 74 89 00.

The Pompidou Centre - Where's Beaubourg?

The interior of this museum has been undergoing interior renovations since October 1987. Many of the museum's collections will be on view at other museums in Paris, at other cities in France and other countries - until the renovations are completed.

In front of the museum there is a tepee - see photo in this week's 'Au Bistro' column - which hasposter: salon de patrimoine information about the centre, presented in a multimedia form. The public library remains open at 11. rue Brantôme, just to the north of the museum. The south gallery will be showing 'Dijon/Le Consortium.Coli' in November and David Hockney arrives in January 1999. The Atelier Brancusi also remains open.

Musée d'Art Moderne

This Ville de Paris museum is showing a selection from Beaubourg, through to 19. September 1999. Currently, the 1920's are represented by Braque, Masson, Miro, Magritte, Ernst, Derain and Fautrier. In November a new cycle starts with Nouveau Realisme and Arte Povera.

Pierre Huyghe, Dominique Gonzalez-Foester and Philippe Parreno are young French artists whose works are also currently on display, until 29. November.

Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
11; avenue du Président Wilson, Paris 16. Open Tuesdays to Friday from 10:00 to 17:30; Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 18:45. Special openings on 1. and 11. November. Info. Tel.: 01 53 40 00.

On the Boards - Théâtres:

The Théâtre de la Cité Internationale has a winter program which has already begun. Electre, by Hugo Hofmannsthal, directed by Michel Cerda, is playing now, until Friday, 20. November. This theatre has a dance program too, which begins on Saturday, 21. November. 'Carmen Linares' is a musical, which begins on Thursday, 3. December.

Théâtre de la Cité Internationale
21. boulevard Jourdan, Paris 14. Closest transit stop is Cité Universitaire on the RER line 'B.' For the full program, call Info. Tel.: 01 43 13 50 50.

On the Floor - Dancing:

The Théâtre de la Ville et des Abbesses is another municipal centre for the performing arts - theatre, dance, music, 'world music,' and singing - and its 1998-1999 season has a program of 87 events, for which I do not have a single detail, yet.

Théâtre de la Ville et des Abbesses
29. - 31. rue des Abbesses, Paris 18. Métro: Abbesses. Info. Tel.: 01 42 74 22 77.

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