A collection of the best art and cultural events held in major cities across Europe. New events are indicated by bolded and underlined headings.
ART: Usually just part of the background, skyscapes take centre stage in a new exhibit at Vienna's Leopold museum, with masterpieces by Paul Cezanne, Rene Magritte, William Turner and Claude Monet on display. The exhibition, entitled "Clouds. Fleeting Worlds", looks at the role of clouds in creating mood and atmosphere in paintings. It runs until July 1.
ART: Dozens of works by Flemish masters such as Rubens, Van Dyck or Jordaens owned by the Antwerp fine arts museum, which is currently closed for renovations, will be on view until late 2016 as they were originally hung -- one above the other right up to the ceiling -- in an old home that once belonged to the city mayor, famed art collector Nicolas Rockox (1560-1640).
EXHIBIT: In "Viva Napoleon?", Antwerp's MAS museum recounts the city's two-decade rule under Napoleon. The 1794-1814 rule had a considerable impact on the city since Napoleon was bent on giving it a key role in his empire, making it his most important military port and helping it regain influence in world trade. Running from March 23 to June 30, paintings, prints, maps, model ships and archive records from this period go on display.
MUSIC: The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons headline at Britain's biggest music festival, Glastonbury, with 135,000 muddy revellers set to turn an idyllic corner of southwest England into a throbbing tent city. From June 28 to 30.
ART: Retrospective of the realist painter George Bellows, who was considered one of the greatest artists in the United States when he died in 1925 at the age of 42. The 38 paintings, 14 drawings and 17 lithographs on show at the Royal Academy reflect the artist's fascination with the urban landscape of New York and the diversity of its inhabitants. March 16 to June 9.
ART: Around 100 works from the Picasso Museum in Paris, including 56 paintings and sculptures, go on display at the Klovicevi Dvori gallery in Zagreb. The exhibition, described as the most expensive in Croatia ever and Picasso's largest in the region, covers the period from 1895-1971. From March 23 to July 7.
ART: US artist Phoebe Washburn's installation in Odense "Pressure Drop for Richard Stands (a history of one thing to another in lemonaideness)" consists of a small apartment occupied by two people everyday from 10:00 am to 5:00pm who will make lunch for themselves, knit, play the guitar or work on the Internet. The installation addresses issues of sustainability, detritus and recycling: the water from the dishwasher is cleansed on its way to a second room via "lungs" and a "heart" and then distributed via many channels to rows of "hospital beds" where plants are grown. At Kunsthallen Brandts until May 26.
PAINTING: As Helsinki's Presidential Palace is being renovated, works normally not easily accessible to the public are put on display at the Ateneum museum. The exhibition will present works by such artists as Albert Edelfelt, Werner Holmberg, Ferdinand von Wright, Hjalmar Munsterhjelm and Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Visitors will also have the chance to learn more about the almost 200-year history of the palace and its important events over the years. Until September 1.
ART: "Keith Haring, The Political Line", an exhibition of Haring's drawings, paintings and sculptures at the Modern Art Museum in Paris, invites visitors to consider the political dimension of his work. The exhibition opened on April 18.
ART: The Louvre presents a major retrospective of the work of Giotto (1267-1337), the Tuscan artist who is widely seen as the master of pre-Renaissance Italian art. Runs from April 17.
ART: The Musee du Quai Branly presents, "The Philippines, Archipelago of Exchange", the first major show in France for two decades to put the spotlight on the art of the Philippines. The exhibition contains over 300 pieces from both public and private collections. From April 9.
ART: Paris's Musee d'Orsay hosts "The Angel of the Odd. Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst" exploring the dark side of Romanticism. The exhibition illustrates the many different expressions of Dark Romanticism, from Goya and Fussli to Ernst and the Expressionist films of the 1920s, through a selection of 200 works that includes paintings, graphic works and films. From March 5.
SEX/NATURE: From the antics of gay seagulls or free-loving chimps, to the mating rituals of the stalk-eyed fly or hedgehog: a Paris show lifts the veil on sex in the animal kingdom, with some 100 specimens on display, many naturalised in the throes of passion. First staged by London's Natural History Museum under the title "Sexual Nature", the show features a now-cult series of films by Isabella Rossellini, "Green Porno", in which she acts out the quirky sex lives of spiders or snails. "Betes de Sexe" runs until August 25, 2013 at Paris' Palais de la Decouverte. Parental guidance: recommended for over-10s with an accompanying adult.
ANTHROPOLOGY: What's in a hairstyle? Dyed, slicked, plaited, frizzy or straight: hair as a clue to the wearer's personality, culture or social status, is the subject of a new exhibition at the Paris museum of tribal arts. "The Art of Hair" brings together more than 280 exhibits at the crossroads between art, fashion, anthropology and social history, at the Quai Branly Museum from September 18 to July 14.
MUSIC: The Bachfest in Leipzig from June 14 to 23 presents works under the motto "Vita Chisti" by Johann Sebastian Bach, who spent more than two decades as cantor at the city's St Thomas Church, as well as other composers.
EXHIBITION: More than 150 pairs of shoes by international designers who think "outside the shoebox" to create experimental and imaginative footwear, exploring the mystical attraction of shoes, not just for women, at the "Stepping Into The Limelight" exhibition at the Grassi Museum in Leipzig until September 29.
MUSIC: Leipzig, the hometown of German opera great Richard Wagner, celebrates the 200th anniversary of his birth with a series of exhibitions on his illustrious but controversial legacy. "The Wagner Myth" at Klinger Forum looks at the impact of the composer's music on visual art, with works from the likes of Anselm Kiefer, Jonathan Meese and Thorsten Brinkmann that take inspiration from the world of Wagner. Until July 7.
EXHIBITION: Frankfurt's Jewish Museum shines a spotlight on anti-Semitic stereotypes, in particular those linked to wealth and greed. "Jews. Money. An Introduction" at the former Rothschild palace in Germany's banking capital examines the image of Jews and finance from the Middle Ages through the propaganda of the Nazis, "to reflect on the images that are still in our heads today". Until October 6.
ART: Pictures, private photos, books, album covers and films by Germany's late, self-declared "exhibitionist" artist Martin Kippenberger are on display to mark what would have been his 60th birthday, in "Martin Kippenberger: sehr gut/ very good" which explores the prolific artist's private and public persona at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. Until August 18.
VENICE: Biennale art festival with thousands of works by hundreds of artists on display in parks and palazzi, including installations by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei and the first-ever Vatican pavilion.
The festival -- entitled "The Encyclopedic Palace" this year -- runs from June 1 until November 24 and is expecting 500,000 visitors.
OPERA: A performance of Richard Wagner's "Lohengrin" opens the opera season at La Scala in Milan on December 7, with a 2012/2013 programme to celebrate the 200th anniversary from the birth of Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi.
The season also coincides with the 70th birthday of La Scala's Argentinian-Israeli musical director Daniel Barenboim.
ART: "Munch 150", the largest ever exhibition of the paintings of Edvard Munch (1863-1944), is staged to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the artist universally famous for his masterpieces such as "The Cry." About 270 paintings and drawings will be presented to the public, at two different venues: The Oslo National Gallery for the period 1882-1903 and the Munch museum for the period 1904-1944. June 2 to October 13.
FILM: Twelfth edition of Transylvania's international film festival, one of the biggest in eastern Europe. May 31–June 9.
MUSIC/DANCE: One of Spain's top flamenco festivals, Suma Flamenca, brings top singers, dancers and guitarists to theatres and cafes in and around Madrid. Highlights include turns by veteran singers Carmen Linares and Jose Merce at the Teatros del Canal, plus visiting groups from Israel and Bulgaria playing exotic forms of the tragic gypsy art form. June 3 to 30.
ART: Madrid's Thyssen Bornemisza Museum hosts Spain's first show dedicated to Camille Pissarro, one of the pioneers of Impressionism, aiming to rescue him from the shadow of his famous friend Monet.
The 70 works on display include breathtaking country landscapes such as "Field of Cabbages, Pontoise" from the museum's collection, as well as cityscapes from later in his career.
June 4 to September 15.
ART: Madrid's Reina Sofia modern art museum hosts loans from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection focusing on the distinctive 1940-1970 period in Latin American Art. The Cisneros Foundation, a major resource of Latin American art, says it is also due to make a series of extended loans to the Spanish museum. Exhibition from January 23 to September 16.
MUSIC: The Stockholm Early Music Festival is the largest even for baroque, renaissance and medieval music in the Nordic countries. Set in the Swedish capital's Old Town, highlights include Les Arts Florissants, Freiburger Barockorchester and Anonymous 4. The international dimension is varied - from visiting artists from India to Latin American baroque music and a traditional Inca ritual. June 4 - 9.
MUSIC: The world's first museum devoted to the Swedish pop legends ABBA opens on May 7. It features permanent exhibitions on the famous foursome and their influence, as well as on Swedish popular music more generally.
HISTORY: In "Images of Christina – Queen of Sweden, Queen of Rome", the Royal Armoury in Stockholm focuses on a 17th-century icon who challenged all the century's norms. Christina's abdication, her conversion to Catholicism and "male" behaviour is explored in images, books and on film. Until January 5, 2014.
INNOVATION: The "100 Innovations" exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Technology showcases the 100 top innovations of all time, as voted for by the Swedish people. Visitors can continue to vote at the museum and online to influence what is on display. Alongside familiar favourites are the next generation of innovations, some still on the drawing board, or little more than a smart idea jotted down on a crumpled napkin. Runs until 2015.
SOUND EXHIBIT: "Our Sound Heritage" is an exhibit aimed at showing how sounds contribute to shaping our identities. Presented by Switzerland's National Sound Archives, which are celebrating their 25th anniversary, the exhibit includes sounds, melodies, music and speech from across Switzerland, highlighting the small, central European country's vast cultural diversity. The interactive exhibit urges visitors to try to identify audio recordings, and presents songs spanning a century of Swiss musical history, as well as recordings of the country's most beautiful fairy tales and legends. At the Swiss National Museum in Zurich from April 26 through August 25.
ART: Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei co-curates the FUCK OFF 2 exhibition at the Groninger Museum in the northern Netherlands. Contemporary Chinese artists question the sociological, environmental, legal, and political climate in China today, in a sequel to a quickly censored exhibition held in Shanghai in 2000. To November 17. www.groningermuseum.nl
PERFORMING ARTS: The Netherlands' oldest and largest performing arts festival, the Holland Festival, featuring performances ranging from the Algerian version of the Buena Vista Social Club, El-Gusto, to world-famous choreographer Benjamin Millepied's latest enterprise, the L.A. Dance Project. Different locations in Amsterdam. June 1-26.
ART/MUSIC: Twente Biennale continues in the eastern Netherlands, promising controversial exhibitions, lectures and performances, in an urban renewal area in the eastern city of Enschede. Until June 9.
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