Most Swedes have a portrait by Alexander Roslin in their wallets. But while his famous portraits live on - on Swedish banknotes - his name does not. Radio Sweden's Gaby Katz explores the rediscovery of an artist who put unforgettable images on canvas but who's been forgotten both in Sweden and in his adopted country, France.
The old Flemish master Pieter Paul Rubens is getting a fresh new gloss in a major exhibition in Brussels. The 'Art of Genius' exhibition treats visitors to a discovery tour of Rubens' most creative period when he was working in his Antwerp studio in the 1620s and 30s. There's plenty to feast the eyes on, with Rubenesque beauties shimmering alongside intimate sketches of his children, many of them newly-restored. But even if you're not a big fan of Baroque art, this lavish show proves there's lot more to Rubens than meets the eye. Radio Netherlands reporter Vanessa Mock strolled along some of the paintings with exhibition curator Sabine van Sprang
What is art? An obvious place to look for an answer for the next couple of months is at the Documenta art exhibition in the German town of Kassel. It’s one of the biggest and most important art exhibitions in the world. Taking place just once every five years the Documenta is considered a good indicator of what today’s artists have on their minds.
The Vienna public library is doing its best to shake off its staid image by setting up an erotic telephone hotline. Callers pay money to hear readings from the library's collection of erotic literature. Deutsche Welle’s Kerry Skyring dialled in to find out more.
Globalization is often used as a cover-all word for what's wrong about the modern world. But as societies become more closely knit together - it's easier to work out if life is really greener - or grayer on the other side. The Federation of International Artists and Actors had one such look at conditions around the world and found that people working in the arts - usually considered to be an attractive industry - have to put up with miserable conditions and outright exploitation in many countries. As Radio Sweden's Azariah Kiros reports, the Federation is now working to help organize artists around the world - and to safeguard their interests.
That sound of Polish composer Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki's Third String Quartet played by the American Kronos Quartet, is something you might be hearing more often in the future. After a long period of silence, much of Gorecki's work and that recording in particular, is being re-released: a chance for music lovers everywhere to rediscover his work. Michal Kubicki of Polish Radio’s External Service has been following the development of Gorecki’s career for many years.
World War II is taboo in Europe, particularly in Germany. But a movie released this month breaks the long-standing German taboo against laughing at Adolf Hitler. Making fun of the Nazi Dictator is nothing new in the English-speaking world. Charlie Chaplin did it in "The Great Dictator", as did Mel Brooks in the Producers. Deutsche Welle's Sabina Casagrande has this report about "My Führer--The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler", the new comedy that has sparked a national debate in Germany.
The Little Match Girl is one of Hans Christian Andersen's most popular fairy tales. The little girl selling matches on New Year's Eve lights one after the other in order to capture the illusion of warmth. Like many of Andersen's tales it has a dark and bitter side. The little girl freezes to death in the snow. British songwriter and composer Martyn Jacques captures this fairytale in 12 songs he wrote for a special theatre production. He's performing the Little Match Girl with his trio The Tiger Lillies and touring Europe.
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone goes on holiday in Europe in the summertime. While most Europeans are lazing on the beach, many theatre directors, performers, and festival organisers from across the continent are getting together to share ideas. This cross-cultural collaboration is fostering new artists, creating new works and reinvigorating the ancient art of the theatre.
Travis, Orange Juice, Texas, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub and Franz Ferdinand. These rock bands all have one thing in common - they hail from Scotland's biggest city, Glasgow. Over the past couple of decades, the working class port city has produced an incredible number of critically acclaimed - and commercially successful – rock acts.
With English taking over as the international language of music, throughout Europe it can be difficult to avoid Scottish, English and American bands blaring out of the radio. The situation is slightly different in France where bands singing in English face tough competition from French bands who opt for lyrics in their mother tongue. Find out why at the “Route du Rock” festival in Saint Malo.
Romania's capital Bucharest is home to a small but vibrant underground music scene. Many of the musicians involved in the alternative scene grew up in the suburbs and their lyrics tend to reflect their experiences of social inequality. The bands might not be commercially successful, but their existence is a sign of the vibrancy of Romanian music.
The Basowiszcza music festival in Poland has become a mecca for Belarusian rock fans who can't see their favourite bands at home. Basowiszcza, which has been running since 1990, showcases Belarusian rock acts banned from playing in their homeland by authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.
When night falls in the Serbian capital Belgrade, the whole city gets ready to go out and party. In the summertime, the nightlife takes place outdoors. Many clubs close down their bars and cellars in the town center and move to floating rafts on the banks of the Danube and Sava rivers. Hundreds of rafts line the imposing confluence of the two rivers and offer everything from Gypsy music to electronic beats, grunge and turbo folk - a sort of Serbian ethno-pop.
French President Jacques Chirac inaugurated the Quai Branly indigenous art museum in the capital on Tuesday. Like his predecessor François Mitterrand, who gave Paris the Louvre pyramid, the 235 million Euro museum is Chirac's legacy to the city, in the final year of his presidency. Beyond the post-colonial angst over the concept of a museum devoted to what used to be called primitive art, and is now called indigenous art, what is the Quai Branly like, as a space to visit ? Are the exhibits the stars of the show, or is it the work of Jean Nouvel, the museum's architect, that is stealing the prize?
Who does not have a soft spot for cows? The Masai love them, the Hindus worship them, Andy Warhol drew them. So why not use them to make people happy and raise money for charity? That's the idea of cow parade, the world's largest art event which has been exhibiting life sized cows in cities like London, Tokyo, New York and Barcelona for the last few years. The concept has now come to Paris. Radio France International reports.
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin is plummeting in French opinion polls. After his failure to address youth unemployment, he's been involved in a corruption scandal and accused of secretly investigating numerous politicians, industrialists and senior public servants.
But can his pet project - a huge contemporary art show celebrating French achievement - improve his image? Radio France International investigates.
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