Bastille Day: Celebrate French Independence with Rienzi July 7, 2020

Mark your calendars, Rienzi enthusiasts, for Bastille Day on July 14! Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts, is hosting virtual, art-inspired activities and entertainment to commemorate France’s national holiday.

Musical Performance by Ars Lyrica
Tuesday, July 14, 6 p.m.
Experience Ars Lyrica, a group of Houston-based musicians who specialize in Baroque-era music. Inspired by Bastille Day, this virtual performance features an array of classical French music, including Claude Balbastre’s March des Marsellois et l’Air Ça-ira (organ solo), Jean-Baptiste Barrière’s Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Continuo (Livre 1, no. 2), and Ignaz Pleyel’s Trio in D Major, Op 29.

Performed with traditional French instruments, the Balbastre and Barrière pieces, recorded at St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston, feature the harpsichord and baroque organ. The Pleyel work, recorded at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, features the fortepiano. See the performance here!

Bastille Day Quiz
Put your knowledge of French history, art, and culture to the test with this downloadable quiz featuring works of art from the Rienzi Collection: Bust of Madame du Barry, Dinner Plate from the “Empress Catherine” Service, Pair of Sauceboats, Captain Peter Hawker of the 14th Light Dragoons, Pair of Bergères.

Art Activity: Bastille Day Tricolor Cockade
Create and don your own tricolor cockade, a circular knot of ribbons fashioned after the first French cockade. Made in July 1789, it was a symbol of hope for freedom and democracy. See how to make your own cockade, using this how-to video and downloadable instruction guide.

Learn more about Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts