Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Power Plays

Henri IV en famille
At the Louvre. From Blouin Art Info:
Louvre Museum, Paris presents “Power Plays,” a group exhibition that focuses on the connection between art and political power. Art, in the hands of patrons, is rendered as a propaganda tool. But it can also transform into a vehicle for protest and subverting the established order. Spanning the period from antiquity up to the present, 40 works from the Musée du Louvre, the Musée National du Château de Pau, the Château de Versailles, and the Musée des Beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris illustrate the evolution of the codes behind the representation of political power.

The exhibition is divided into four sections. The first room, Princely Roles, presents the king’s functions as portrayed through different artistic media. Notable examples are Philippe de Champaigne’s “Louis XIII,” Léonard Limosin’s enamel “Crucifixion Altarpiece,” and the “Triad of Osorkon II” from ancient Egypt. The second room, Legitimacy through Persuasion, focuses on the emblematic figure of Henri IV. It features sculptures by Barthélémy Prieur and François-Joseph Bosio, and paintings by Frans Pourbus the Younger, Ingres, and others. The theme of the third room, The Antique Model, is the equestrian statue, among them the Barberini Ivory leaf, a bronze of Charles the Bald, and François Girardon’s “Louis XIV.” In the fourth room, The Insignia of Power, majestic portraits of monarchs, including Antoine-François Callet’s “Louis XVI,” François Gérard’s “Napoleon I,” and Franz-Xaver Winterhalter’s “Louis Philippe,” are accompanied by the regalia used during the coronation of the kings of France. This final section also highlights the dramatic historical and representational changes that followed the French Revolution. (Read more.)

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