1124| 900th anniversary of the birth of Aliénor d’Aquitaine
Born : 1124, Château de Belin in the Gironde, Aquitaine
Died : April 1st, 1204 in Poitiers
Aliénor d’Aquitaine, also known as Eleanor of Aquitaine was arguably one of the most powerful women in history, being first queen of France and later queen of England. Married to Louis VII, she began her 15-year reign in France and took part in the Second Crusade. Their marriage was annulled in March 1152. Her second marriage was to Henry II of England, with whom she had Richard the Lionheart. She was heavily involved in administering the kingdom, but was also a great patron of the arts, poetry in particular.
January 26, 1824 | 200th anniversary of the death of Théodore Géricault
Born : September 26, 1791 in Rouen, Normandy
Died : January 26, 1824 in Paris
Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault was a French painter and lithographer and one of the pioneers of the Romantic movement. Besides major works such as The Charging Chasseur and the Wounded Cuirassier he is best-known known for his painting of The Raft of the Medusa. All three masterpieces of the Romantic Movement can be seen at the Louvre.
July 12, 1824 | 200th anniversary of the birth of artist Eugène Boudin
Born : July 12th, 1824 in Honfleur, Normandy
Died: August 8th, 1898 in Deauville, Normandy
The French landscape artist Eugène Boudin, was one of the first to paint outdoors, capturing nature through brilliant light while including impressionistic touches. Boudin is best known for his paintings of wealthy vacationers enjoying the beaches of fashionable Deauville & Trouville. In 1858 he met 18-year old Claude Monet and persuaded him to become a landscape painter.4s
April 15, 1874 | 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist Exhibition
The idea for the first Impressionist Exhibition was a direct and defiant response to the Academy des Beaux-Arts’ rejection of these pioneering artist’s work depicting scenes from every day and modern life, for its prestigious annual Salon de Paris exhibition. The first show of the eclectic ‘Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, etc…’ which was founded by Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Edgar Degas among others, was held at the famed Nadar photo studio on the Boulevard des Capucines. A joint exhibit echoing the Nadar show will first held early 2024 at the Musée d’Orsay, then travel to the National Gallery in D.C. | National Gallery release.
November 4, 1874 | 150th Anniversary of the death of Louisy Mathieu
Born : June 17th, 1817, Guadeloupe, FWI
Died : November 4th, 1874, Guadeloupe, FWI
Louisy Mathieu was the first freed slave to be elected to the National Constituent Assembly from 1848 to 1849, during the short lived Second French Republic. 1848 was the year of the second abolition of slavery in France. At 31, his candidacy was supported by, and was elected as substitute, of the famous abolitionist Victor Schoelcher. Schoelcher was elected to represent both Guadeloupe and Martinique, chose to represent Martinique & ceded his seat as representative of Guadeloupe to Louisy Mathieu.
June 6, 1944|80th Anniversary of the D-Day - Normandy landings
After airborne drop behind enemy lines came the early morning D-Day Landings of over 160,000 allied infantries on June 6, 1944. The largest amphibious invasion ever, launched the 80-day battle of Normandy, leading to the liberation of Paris, France and the rest of Europe. To understand this huge undertaking, visitors to the D-Day sites are invited to discover the recently-opened high-tech version of the Arromanches D-Day Museum first built in 1954.
More anniversaries involve the Maeght Foundation, Henri Matisse, Jean Cocteau, the 135th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower,the first Angoulême International Comics Strip Festival and the 100th anniversary of the Paris Olympics and more.
See the full selection of anniversaries from 1124 to 2004 below.