Picture-Perfect Pastimes in Europe’s Cultural Capitals
Tuesday 23, March 2010
It’s week nine of Four Seasons Cultural Capitals programme and nine European properties are shining new light on the region's masterpieces. From the righteously representational to the unashamedly abstract, the Hotels are offering artistic adventures this spring crammed with more colour than Matisse's palette.
Guests drawn to the edgier side of art need look no further than Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf and its private "behind the scenes" tour of East London's coolest galleries and studio collectives. As part of its Gen Y Package, the Hotel can arrange tailor-made tours for teenagers (led by Urban Gentry guides under the age of 23) to check out up-and-coming artists, local gigs and vintage fashions. They'll even provide a Flip Videocam for the day so that budding video artists can upload directly to YouTube or Facebook...which also gives teens a chance of winning a complimentary return stay through the Hotel's “Best Teen Video of the Year” competition. Who says art doesn't pay?
From the warehouses of London's East End to the woodland of Florence's largest private garden, between March and September, Ugo Riva's magnificent sculptures will transform Four Seasons Hotel Florence's 11-acre Giardino della Gherardesca into the city's pre-eminent open-air museum. Think finely draped Madonnas amongst the copses and classically inspired bronzes resting idly in the meadow. After an inspiring few hours amongst the plants and pieces, guests can take a leisurely stroll into Florence - a city packed with more artistic treasures per square metre than any other in the world.
Guests of Four Seasons Hotel Dublin can take a professional art tour this spring without even removing their slippers. After wandering the Hotel's corridors with a professional guide – and pondering the intellectual meaning of works by Louis le Brocquy, Tony O'Malley, Barrie Cooke and Sean Scully amongst others – they can join the same guide for a private tour of Dublin's National Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art. Or drop into the Apollo Gallery to view the creative Gaelic hues of Irish and Ireland-based artists (slippers optional).
For a masterclass in Hungarian holidaying, head to Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest for an artisan adventure with an edge. Start amongst the Hotel's art nouveau architecture and contemporary Hungarian paintings then step out of the frame into a private tour that mixes quirky ateliers and antique-packed salons with a swirl of Szentendre's bohemian backstreets and a peep at the Art Factory's young masters of tomorrow.
Last but not least, discover the refined yet relaxed elegance of the galleries scattered amongst the sloping vineyards around Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche. Wander through modern displays under the shade of the trees at Fayence's ARTPAK (April 2-5) or tour the eclectic exhibition spaces of The Orange Tree Galerie and the surreal sculpture garden of Jas De La Rimade. For an off-the-beaten track insight into the lives of some of the region's most colourful characters, ask the Hotel’s concierge to arrange a private visit to the workshop of one of three local artists: Fortune Evangeliste; Nicola Rosini (whose sculptures can be seen in Monaco’s Opera Gallery) or Anne-Marie Lorin (whose paintings can be seen in the Hotel).
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