Exhibition La passion de la liberté. Des Lumières au romantisme

June 19 to October 13


For its second cultural season, the City of Bordeaux has chosen the universal theme of liberty.

What could be more natural in the land of Montesquieu, who in the 18th century witnessed the flourishing of a host of academies and Masonic lodges devoted to championing the arts, letters and sciences?

The "Port of the Moon" (as the historic centre of Bordeaux was also known) enjoyed a real heyday in the Age of Enlightenment – "this brilliant nebula" as George Sand so aptly put it. The Grands Hommes district at the heart of the city still bears the marks of this Enlightenment culture. Both linked to this seminal period in our history (the first for being the heir of the Central Arts Museum created in the wake of the Revolution and the second for occupying a townhouse dating from the end of the Ancien Régime since 1924), the Museum of Fine Arts and the Decorative Arts and Design Museum have joined forces – with the exceptional partnership of the Louvre museum – to organise an exhibition celebrating a passion for liberty spanning a century, from the Enlightenment to Romanticism.

Multidisciplinary in the spirit dear to the encyclopaedists, it gathers together almost 300 works and objects of art dialoguing on themes that are all semantic variations on liberty, taken not only in terms of its political and philosophical meaning, but also its economic, sociological, aesthetic and ideological dimensions. In this context, liberty is elevated to a real way of thinking, living, creating and even dreaming. Some forty masterpieces from the Louvre's Painting, Sculpture, Graphic Arts and Decorative Arts departments have been brought together for the first time with a selection of major works drawn from the rich municipal collections. This exhibition is the first phase of a three-year partnership linking the City of Bordeaux with the prestigious Parisian institution.


Pratical information 

Gallery of Fine Arts, Place du Colonel Raynal, 33000 Bordeaux. Tel : 33 (0)5 56 96 51 60 

Open everyday except Tuesdays and Bank holidays. Open on July 14th and August 15th. From 11am to 6pm.

Admission : 7€ (concession : 4€)




Around the exhibition 


  • Every Sunday: a guided tour in English at 3:30 pm. 


  • Booklet on loan in english (at the information desk)


Jacques-Louis David, La mort de Marat 1793, Copyright RMN Grand Palais. Photo Martine Beck Coppola

Jacques-Louis David, La mort de Marat 1793, Copyright RMN Grand Palais. Photo Martine Beck Coppola