EXhibition // In the Drawing Room - Masterpieces from the Prat Collection // PETIT PALAIS - PARIS

EXhibition // In the Drawing Room - Masterpieces from the Prat Collection // PETIT PALAIS - PARIS

In the Drawing Room  - Masterpieces from the Prat Collection - 16 June to 04 October 2020

Petit Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill
75008 Paris

. www.petitpalais.paris.fr

The Petit Palais is pleased to present a new exhibition de-voted to the Prat Collection, undoubtedly one of the most remarkable  ensembles  of  French  drawings  dating  from  the  17th  to  the  early  20th  century.  Begun  in  the  1970s  by  Louis-Antoine  and  Véronique  Prat,  it  is  the  first  private  collection to have been the subject of an exhibition at the Louvre  in  1995.  Twenty-five  years  later,  the  Petit  Palais  intends  to  bear  witness  to  the  vitality  of  the  collection,  which has been added to in recent years with some major works, on display for the first time. The 184 pieces shown here  include  some  of  the  most  important  drawings  by  Callot,  Poussin,  Le  Brun,  Watteau,  Prud’hon,  Ingres,  De-lacroix, Redon, Cézanne and Toulouse-Lautrec.

A panorama of French drawing from 1580 to 1900
The Prat Collection focuses on the drawing work of the French school prior to 1900 and offers an overview that  is  especially  representative  of  three  centuries  of  French  art,  from  Callot  to  Seurat.  The  exhibition  invites the public to follow this chronological thread with several thematic explorations.The exhibit opens with a series of drawings from the 17th century that bear witness to the influence of Italy on French artists like François Stella in the late 1580s, whose work on display here is the oldest in the collection. Le Lorrain, Jacques Callot, Poussin of course, and Vouet also crossed the Alps into neighbouring Italy and the influence of this journey can be seen in their drawings.
The following section presents several sketches or preparatory drawings for the decoration at Versailles by Le  Brun, Coypel and La  Fosse.  In  their  selection  of  pieces,  the  two  art  collectors  have  always  privileged  works that are significant in terms of art history and some of their more famous drawings are connected to the genesis of several seminal works in French painting.

Next, the exhibition explores the Rococo style with its representations of courtly and love scenes by Wat-teau and Boucher. Continuing this tour of the 18th century, the drawings of Quentin de La Tour, Chardin, Natoire and Greuze may all be said to evoke the beginnings of realism and the search for a psychological candour in portraiture, as well as drawing from real life, or indeed the whimsical works of Fragonard.

The  exhibition  then  examines  the  return  of  the  antique  influence  in  drawings,  as  can  be  seen  in  several  pieces by Jacques-Louis David, including a preparatory sketch for La Douleur d’Andromaque (Andromache Mourning Hector). At the same time, other artists such as Boilly or Prud’hon were in the process of honing their own distinctive style. The early 19th century was also marked by the tensions between the affirmation of the Neoclassical style and the emergence of Romanticism.

The drawings by Gros, Géricault and three beautiful ensembles by Ingres, Delacroix and Chassériau de-monstrate a panoply of aesthetic trends that permeated this rich period. The exhibition goes on to examine academicism and realism after 1850 in the works of Corot, Courbet, Millet, Daumier, Carpeaux, Gustave Doré and Puvis de Chavanne.
A remarkable selection of drawings by writers complement this panorama with some magnificent wash and ink  works  by  Victor  Hugo  and  Baudelaire,  along  with  Symbolist  pieces  by  Redon  or  Gustave  Moreau’s literary-inspired art.
The exhibit ends with the shift towards modernity seen in the offerings by Manet, Degas and Rodin. Experi-mental works by Seurat and Cézanne bring this presentation to a remarkable conclusion and form a fitting flourish  to  a  collection  developed  and  grown  with  the  greatest  of  care  by  two  passionate  and  committed  collectors.