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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