The old ones are the best, from the US to Brussels

GERMANY

GERMANY

24 July-13 October, Robert Mapplethorpe, Guggenheim, Berlin

New Yorker Robert Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989 aged just 43, is best known for his arresting images of nudes and flowers. Inspired by Renaissance sculpture, he famously said that he wanted people to see his work "first as art and second as photography" and during his short career captured a host of rock stars in predominately black and white images. This exhibition studies the human form and delves into the relationship between Mapplethorpe's photographs and sculptures with 16th-century Dutch and Flemish engravings, and French and Italian sculpture. Daily 11am-8pm, Thursdays until 10pm. Admission is €3 (£2.10), free on Mondays. Further information: www.deutsche-guggenheim.de

USA

14 September -5 December, Byzantium and the West, J Paul Getty Museum, LA

This exhibition explores how the Byzantine Empire interacted with the West during its zenith after the fall of the Roman Empire. The West, in particular Germany and Italy admired Byzantine art, and their own art often imitated its style. The work focused on the Orthodox Church and incorporated depictions of icons in its frescoes and mosaics. The exhibition brings together 17 manuscripts and various extracts from documents, books and paintings from the 11th to the 17th century revealing the civilisation's far-reaching cultural influences and its status as the new Rome until its fall in 1453 to the Ottoman Turks. Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays 10am-6pm, until 9pm Fridays-Saturdays, closed Mondays. Admission free. Further information: 001 310 440 7300; www.getty.edu/museum

BELGIUM

15 September-27 February, Tatu-Tattoo, Cinquantenaire Art and History Museum, Brussels

Traditionally, the Cinquantenaire Museum displays artefacts from ancient civilisations, but from September it will be taken over by an unusual exhibition dedicated to the cultural taboo of body art and tattoo. All sorts of tattooed objects will be on display from sculptures to photos, textiles, ceramics and even mummies. The focal point will be the controversial tattooed taxidermied pigs by artist Wim Delvoye. The history of body art is charted from ancient Egypt to the "tattooed ladies" of the late 19th century and modern day adornments. Explanations of the biological and dermatological processes and the effects of permanent ink on the skin are also explored. Tuesdays-Fridays 9.30am-5pm, Saturdays-Sundays 10am-5pm, closed Mondays. Admission €3.75 (£2.70).

FRANCE

Until 12 September, Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris

For anybody who missed the V&A's retrospective of the iconic French photographer Guy Bourdin's work last year, here is a chance to view it in his home town. Bourdin's career included a period as a fashion photographer at Italian and British Vogue during the 1970s, and later French Vogue, where he worked for 30 years. He was also commissioned for countless advertising campaigns. His imposing and surreal images have become much admired and much copied. This exhibition displays many of his fashion photography, sketches, and films. The museum opens Tuesdays-Fridays 12-7pm, until 9.30pm Tuesdays, Saturdays-Sundays 10am-7pm. Information: 00 33 1 47 03 12 50; www.jeudepaume.org

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