Enfilade

Exhibition | Elegance and Intrigue: French Society in Prints and Drawings

Posted in exhibitions by InternRW on July 14, 2016

2015.21_w

Charles Thévenin, The Storming of the Bastille, 14 July 1789, etching, 1790, sheet: 41.6 × 58.5 cm
(The Cleveland Museum of Art, 2015.21)

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From the The Cleveland Museum of Art:

Elegance and Intrigue: French Society in 18th-Century Prints and Drawings
The Cleveland Museum of Art, 16 July — 6 November, 2016

Curated by James Wehn

Sumptuous designs, classical tales, political zeal, and erotic rendezvous pervade this selection of more than ninety prints, drawings, and decorative objects from the final decades of the ancien régime through the French Revolution and the early years of Napoleon’s empire.

Zephyre and Flore

Jean François Janinet, after Antoine Coypel, Zephyre and Flore, ca. 1776, color wash-manner etching and engraving with applied gold leaf; 33.3 × 26.5 cm (The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1987.91)

In celebration of the CMA’s centennial year, Elegance and Intrigue: French Society in 18th-Century Prints and Drawings showcases works from the museum’s collection, including a rare impression of Jean-Antoine Watteau’s etching The Clothes Are Italian, several prints and drawings by court favorite François Boucher, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s ravishing drawing Invocation to Love.

At the heart of the exhibition is a selection of color etchings and engravings meticulously crafted to imitate chalk and gouache drawings, a trend in elite home décor at the time. Charles Thévenin’s expressive etching The Storming of the Bastille captures a sense of revolutionary spirit, while Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier’s Tureen, a quintessential masterpiece of silverwork fashioned for the English duke of Kingston, is displayed alongside Gabriel Huquier’s etching featuring two views of the tureen set in a lavish rococo interior.

James Wehn’s extended description of the exhibition is available here.

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Exhibition | A Civic Utopia: France 1760–1840

Posted in exhibitions by InternRW on July 14, 2016

The display is part of Somerset House’s larger celebration Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility, marking the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s inspirational text, Utopia—with a varied and vibrant programme of special events, exhibitions, new commissions, and activities across the entire site, spanning the realms of art, literature, society, fashion, design, architecture, theatre, and film.

A Civic Utopia: France 1760–1840
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 8 October 2016 — 8 January 2017

Curated by Nicholas Olsberg

Jean Charles Delafosse, Project for a Prison (exterior view, rear), 18th century (London: Courtauld Institute of Art)

Jean Charles Delafosse, Project for a Prison (exterior view, rear), 18th century (London: Courtauld Institute of Art)

A Civic Utopia: France 1760–1840  examines the place of architecture in establishing the notion of public life. Bringing together a number of drawings of public buildings and spaces from the late Ancien Régime through to the early years of King Louis-Philippe in France, the display explores the idea of a ‘scientific’ city, in which rational and symbolic expressions of civic life established a pattern for the improvement of society. If Utopia is defined as the imagining of a comprehensive ideal system or pattern of civil organisation, then we can see this French vision as utopian, in which public places and buildings function to encourage the moral character of society.

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