Join us to learn about French Art in a fun and friendly environment while sipping a glass of wine

The French art scene has never been closer to Australia than in 2018.  Starting with a dazzling presentation of exquisite jewelry and splendid Ballet Russe costumes by Cartier at the NGA in Canberra, Australian state galleries successively present a wide array of French related visual arts throughout the year.   “La Suite Vollard” in Brisbane, “Japonisme” in Melbourne, Australian John Russell  in Sydney, all highlight the creative  dynamism and artistic attraction of France. Arty Fridays couldn’t miss this opportunity and Florence Thiriot will explore further the artistic scenes surrounding these exhibitions.  In addition, she will also introduce some of her favorites of all times, from epic romantics to despotic genius.

$25 for AF members
$30 for non-members
LOCATION: Alliance Francaise de Brisbane, 262 Montague Road, West End

Upcoming talks


French Revolution & the age of Romantics

FRIDAY 11 MAY - 6:30 PM

Pre-revolutionary French Arts was rather frivolous in its subject matter and highly ornamental.   During the Revolution, educated revolutionaries aspired to new aesthetics, and a series of discoveries in Pompeii had considerable influence on artistic movements in the late 18th century.

David was both a key actor and a witness to the events of his time.  Closely involved in revolutionary politics and a fervent supporter of Napoleon, he went in exile when Napoleon lost power and was succeeded by the younger Delacroix and Gericault, who became leaders of the French Romantic movement.  Together, they produced large-scale paintings that were dramatic, passionate, inspirational, often nationalistic and always highly emotional.  Florence Thiriot will focus on some monumental works from those passionate artists.


FRIDAY 13 July - 6:30 PM

From 25 May to 28 October , the NGV has assembled works from artists impacted by the “discovery” of Japanese art , and will present its collection of  decorative arts, works on paper, paintings, fashion and textiles, photography and Japanese art. 

 The Japonist wave surged in Europe in the late 1860s, brought through universal exhibitions in London and Paris.   Japanese prints echoed the sensitivity and artistic exploration of the XIXth century artists and immediately influenced French painters, particularly the young independents.   Its influence lasted until the late 1920s.  From Monet to Picasso via Toulouse Lautrec, from Gauguin to Kandinsky via Matisse, “Japonisme”   was embraced by four generation of artists  and Florence will present their works and fascination for the “extreme East”.

AUSTRALIAN  Impressionists in Europe.  From Outback to Riviera


John Russell, who was close to Gauguin and Rodin and spent extended time in France, is the subject of a retrospective at the Art Gallery of NSW between 21 July and 11 November. Although he spent more time there than most of his contemporary artists, he wasn’t the only one  to take a trip to France, and Florence will focus on the French interludes of some Australian artists.

Anyone who thinks Australian Impressionists exclusively described dappled light on Coogee beach would be disappointed - or not- that a large number of their works depict Europe, specifically France.   Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder and particularly John Russell were crucial figures in the Australian art scene indulging a “French escape”, rubbing brushes with Sisley, Monet, Van Gogh or Matisse and drawing “sur le motif” French Riviera breeze on plein-air paintings that looked nothing like the Australian bush they were used to describe. 
A European tour was a common and exiting coming of age ritual for the members of the School of Heidelberg, a break away from the Australian outback to less rugged landscapes.   Later on, others artists came as Anzacs and formed less leisurely impressions of Northern France.



Fernande, Eva, Olga, Marie-Thérèse, Dora, Françoise, Geneviève, Jacqueline... Picasso couldn’t live without women but entertained complicated relationships with his successive Muses, never without one or several female companions, more than often an abusing lover.  "Women are machines for suffering," 61 yo Picasso told his 40 years younger mistress Françoise Gilot , “ For me there are only two kinds of women, goddesses and doormats".

In this talk Florence Thiriot will focus on the great Artist’s obsessive and immensely productive representations of his wives and lovers, from images of exquisite tenderness to destructive brutality as his successive relationships evolved over time.

PRICE/SESSION (including a glass of French wine!)
: $25 for AF members / $30 for non-members

Florence Thiriot  is a French teacher at the Alliance Française de Brisbane who is passionate about art.

She comes from a family of Art specialists and took her passion for visual arts across several continents.  After growing up in the shadow of the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Florence spent her life exploring art across Europe, West Africa and finally Australia.

Florence will not just share her passion for French Art art with you, she'll give you an insight into the history and context surrounding art in France (sociological, political etc..)  as well as an insider’s guide to the best museums and galleries in Paris (not just the Musée d’Orsay or the Pompidou Center!).


past talks



What an  outstanding fate of that Ambroise Vollard , the Art dealer who revealed Cézanne, Renoir, Gauguin and Matisse, but also and especially Picasso, whom he encouraged  to realize the most beautiful series of engravings of the XXth century,  including the famous  Vollard  “Suite” (continuation), currently on display at GOMA.

In this Arty Friday, Florence Thiriot will relate the tale and influence of a visionary man, a mythical art dealer,  the ultimate collector’s eye, who played a major role in the recognition  of Modern Art and organized  the first exhibitions  of Van Gogh, Cézanne , Gauguin and the Nabis, Picasso, Matisse...

Order your tickets for this session here:
AF Members
Non AF Members

Contact Us

Alliance Francaise de Brisbane
262 Montague Road,
West End, QLD 4101.

Tel: (61-7) 3844 4460

Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 9.00 am to 6.30 pm
Saturday: 8.00 am to 12.30 pm
Closed Saturdays outside teaching terms.


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Level One, 2 Edward Street
Brisbane QLD 4000

Please address all queries to the West End office
(no office in the City, just classes)


375 Hamilton Road
Chermside QLD - 4032

Please address all queries to the West End office 
(no office in Chermside, just classes)

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