Wednesday, July 11, 2018

"In Society"

From Blouin Art Info:
The Louvre in Paris is showcasing its glorious collection of European pastels from the 17th and 18th centuries in its exhibition titled “In Society.” The works on display illuminate the genius of celebrated artists Rosalba Carriera, Maurice Quentin de La Tour, Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin, Jean-Baptiste Perronneau, Jean-Etienne Liotard, Jean-Marc Nattier and Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun. The exhibition also shows works by some of the lesser known artists of the time. Mostly featuring artists of the Enlightenment society, the exhibits at “In Society” dates from the time of Louis XV and Louis XVI. The works can be displayed for only short periods because of its extreme fragility.

“These pastels illustrate the genius of the artists who produced them as artworks in their own right rather than preparatory studies enhanced with color. Many of them still have their original frame, and sometimes their original glass,” writes the Louvre. “The exhibition takes a new look at masterpieces such as Maurice Quentin de La Tour’s Portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour, and features new acquisitions such as Simon Bernard Lenoir’s portrait of the actor Lekain. It is also an opportunity to compare these works by French artists with others by eminent international pastel artists such as Rosalba Carriera in Venice, Jean-Etienne Liotard in Geneva and John Russell in London.”

The exhibition presents over 120 pastels from the Louvre’s collection, mostly dating from the 18th century ― the golden age of pastel ― together with works that may have been looted during WWII and was entrusted to the Louvre in 1949. The show is organized to celebrate the publication of curator Xavier Salmon’s inventory of the museum’s extraordinary collection of pastels that amount to a staggering number of 160 works. (Read more.)

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