Exhibition // Baroque during the Enlightenment // Masterpieces in Paris Churches

Exhibition // Baroque during the Enlightenment // Masterpieces in Paris Churches

Baroque during the Enlightenment - 18th Century Masterpieces in Paris Churches
March 21th to July 16th 2017

Petit Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill
75008 Paris

. www.petitpalais.paris.fr/en

For the first time the Petit Palais is offering the public a spectacular ensemble of 18th-century religious paintings created for the churches of Paris. Through some  200  works  the  museum  will reveal the  significance  and  diversity  of  artistic output in Paris from the Regency to the French Revolution: from such heirs to the age of Louis X I V as Largillière and Restout to the exponents of rocaille, from Lemoine to Carle Van Loo, and the best of Neo-Classicism, from Vien to David. Produced in partnership with C O A R C (Conservation of Religious and Secular works of Art for the City of Paris), this exhibition is  an  extension  of  the  one  at  the  Musée  Carnavalet  (Paris)  in  2012,  which  focused on 17th-century painting in Paris churches and the rediscovery of an enormous, little-known heritage.

The emphasis of 18th-century French painting was more on the sophistication of the fête galanteand the portrait than the elaborateness of great religious art.  Outside  the  Salon  season,  however,  it  was  in  the  churches  of  Paris  that  art  lovers  could  view  contemporary  painting, and so  the  city’s  artists gave of their best there. Indeed, parishes and congregations bent on renovating  the  capital’s  places  of  worship  were  among  the  main  sponsors of history painting, and it is this forgotten segment of 18th-century art that «Enlightenment Baroque» aims to reassess.

In  a  spectacular  decor  evocative  of  the  inside  of  a  church  and  its  related  spaces – the chapels and the sacristy, for example – the exhibition itinerary highlights numerous masterpieces, often very large, that have benefited from  unprecedentedly  thorough  renovation.  In  addition  to  the  pictures  still  to  be  seen in  churches  today,  the  exhibition  brings  together  works  which  since  the  Revolution have  been  scattered.  The  masterpieces  come  from institutions (the Louvre, the Château de Versailles and the art museums of Lyon, Rennes, Marseille, Brest and elsewhere), churches and cathedrals nearby (Saint Denis and Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, for example), or further away (Mâcon, Lyon).

Divided  into  eight  sections,  the  itinerary  delights  the  eye  with  the  finesse  and varying styles of altarpieces, the colourful grace of François Lemoine, Jean-François de Troy and Noël Hallé, and the unadorned Neo-Classicism of Drouais and, of course, David, whose large portrait of Christ closes the exhibition. There  are  also  references  to  ornamental  ensembles,  some  of which,  like  Charles  Natoire’s  decor  for  the  Chapelle  des  Enfants  Trouvés  have  been  lost  or  destroyed.  Other  sections  are  devoted  to  images  of  the  new  saints  of  the  Counter-Reformation,  smaller  works  intended  for  private  devotion,  commissioning procedures and the restorations that took place at the time in ancient buildings like the Invalides. Along  the  way  viewers  will  find  two  educational  spaces,  one  given  over  to  restoration campaigns and the other to religious imagery. Visitors will also be able to take part in guided tours of various religious edifices in Paris.

This  groundbreaking  panorama  of  religious  painting  in  18th-century Paris  is  nothing  short  of  a  revelation:  the  pictures  brought  together  for  the  occasion  have  been  endowed  with  an  unsuspected  vividness  of  colour harking back to what we find so agreeable in the art of the Age of Enlightenment.






Des oeuvres qui pourraient vous plaire :

Broise Okuuchi

Broise Okuuchi

Claire Moog

ClaireMoog

Laurent Allory

Laurent Allory

Dominique Emard

Dominique Emard

Shelley

Shelley