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An exhibition to see and to hear!

For its second major artistic exhibition, La Cité du Vin reveals the richness of the links between music and wine through a sensitive, audiovisual journey, which in turn calls to mind the arts of painting, music and the stage. From the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century, reminders of the association between wine and music, inspired by antiquity, are numerous and appear in renewed forms in all circles, whether princely, bourgeois or popular.

Dionysus (Bacchus for the Romans) is the god of wine and of creative inspiration. In its allegorical forms, music is itself frequently associated with wine, love and sensuality. Based on the custom of amorous meals in songs and the conviviality of banquets, taverns and cabarets, the alliance of wine and music goes back centuries and finds expression in all social strata. We find these mythical and symbolic references at the heart of great pictorial works, but also in popular imagery, the decoration of everyday objects, in ballets and operas as well as in repertoires of songs, either published or in the oral tradition.

The exhibition reflects this profusion through six themed sections and nearly 150 works from French and European collections. Recordings of operas, excerpts of ballets and unpublished drinking songs are offered for listening and form musical interludes along the journey.

vin et musique vin et musique


The scenography has been designed by architect-scenographer Loretta Gaïtis, who has carried out projects for the Musée d’Orsay, the Grand Palais and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. For this exhibition, she has joined forces with graphic designer Savannah Lemonnier and lighting designer Philippe Collet.

In a warmly coloured atmosphere, progress through the exhibition is at the pace of each section, allowing time for pauses and musical interludes. Extracts from scores and illustrated music books become the backdrop of the scenography. Perspective and a play on transparency gradually reveal sets of objects staged in vast showcases, picked out by the light.


An audio tour is set up throughout the exhibition. Eight individual listening points and three collective listening stations play extracts from major musical works (Lully, Rameau, Massenet, Duvernoy...), video recordings of great operatic arias (Puccini, Verdi) and original recordings of drinking songs.


A tour has been specially designed for young visitors (from 8 years old). Through the exhibition, with the help of a booklet and a selection of flagship objects, they discover the history of musical instruments and genres, and the variety of stage sets, costumes and costume jewellery.


  • Section 1: Dionysus: triumphs and bacchanalian processions
  • Section 2: Dance: bacchanalia, ballets, popular dances
  • Section 3: Love and Drunkenness
  • Section 4: Character figures and Allegories
  • Section 5: Concerts and Amorous meals
  • Section 6: Banquets, Taverns and Cabarets

Photo gallery

Scientific Committee

Florence Gétreau, exhibition curator, emeritus research director with the CNRS at the Institute of research in musicology, has formed a scientific committee bringing together personalities well-known in their discipline:

  • Christophe Vendries, Professor of Roman history, university of Rennes 2
  • Philippe Morel, Professor of modern art history, university of Paris I
  • Laurence Decobert, Curator, Bibliothèque national de France
  • Emmanuel Reibel, Professor of Musicology, university of Lyon
  • Laurent Croizier, Deputy Director, Directorate of development and communication Opéra national de Bordeaux

Crédits photos :

- Les Chanteurs, Gerrit van Honthorst (1590-1656) / Milieu du XVIIe siècle / Huile sur toile / Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts / © Photo Alain Basset - Lyon MBA
- Musicien à l’alcool gai, Atelier de Hendrick ter Brugghen (1588-1629) / Début du XVIIe siècle / Huile sur toile, Musée de Boulogne-sur-Mer / © Photo Nicolas Nicostrate
- Le Cortège du boeuf gras, dit aussi La Fête du vin / Maître des cortèges / Vers 1640 / Huile sur toile, Paris, Musée national Picasso : © RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-Gilles Berizzi
- Virginal double / Martinus van der Biest / Anvers, 1580 / Bois peint, Nuremberg, Germanisches / National museum, Allemagne / © Photo GŸnther Kÿhnel
- Un Festin de noces de village / Nicolas Lancret (1690-1743) /1735 Huile sur toile / Angers, Musée des Beaux-Arts / © RMN-Grand Palais / Benoît Touchard
- Bacchanale / Michel-Ange Houasse (c. 1680-1730) 1719 / Huile sur toile / Madrid, Museo nacional del Prado / © Federico Pérez

Production / Mécénat