New Book | Hyacinthe Rigaud: Le Catalogue Raisonné

Posted in books by Editor on November 25, 2016

Published by Faton and available from Artbooks.com:

Ariane James-Sarazin, Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659–1743): Le Catalogue Raisonné, 2 volumes (Dijon: Faton, 2016), 1408 pages, ISBN: 978-2878441734, 320€ / $395.

2656821Fruit d’années de recherches, l’ouvrage en deux volumes d’Ariane James-Sarazin, archiviste, conservateur en chef du patrimoine et directrice des musées d’Angers, s’impose comme une étape décisive dans l’histoire de l’art moderne. Pour la première fois, l’auteur propose le catalogue exhaustif des oeuvres du grand peintre français Hyacinthe Rigaud (Perpignan, 1659 – Paris, 1743) : plus d’un millier de numéros organisés chronologiquement, tous rigoureusement étudiés, dévoilent bien des aspects méconnus du portraitiste des élites européennes, à travers peintures, dessins, répliques, copies et gravures. Les amateurs d’art exigeants et passionnés y trouveront l’étude la plus complète jamais publiée sur le peintre et son oeuvre, et une analyse inédite de la peinture, de la société au tournant du Grand Siècle et du siècle des Lumières. Le catalogue est précédé d’une biographie complète du peintre, établie avec une méthodologie rigoureuse, déjà saluée par les spécialistes pour les précédents travaux d’Ariane James-Sarazin sur l’artiste, ainsi que d’une étude fouillée sur la clientèle, le processus de création, l’oeuvre et son évolution. De nombreuses annexes complètent cette somme d’érudition : iconographie du peintre, chronologie raisonnée, généalogies, dictionnaire inédit des élèves et collaborateurs, aperçu de la fortune critique, table de concordances avec l’édition des livres de comptes de Joseph Roman en 1919, sources commentées, bibliographie, pièces justificatives et plusieurs index. Marqueur de l’évolution de la mode et des textiles, révélateur des intrigues de Cour, objet du paraître social, symbole de l’image royale, le portrait, miroir des enjeux d’une époque, offre une mine d’informations aux disciplines connexes de l’histoire de l’art.

Exhibition | From Alcove to Barricades, From Fragonard to David

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 25, 2016


Jean-Baptiste Isabey, Academy Figure of a Nude Man Seated, Resting on his Left Arm, 1789, black chalk with stumping and white chalk heightenings on brown paper, 46.8 × 60.7 cm (Collection des Beaux-Arts de Paris / photo Thierry Ollivier)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Now on view at the Fondation Custodia:

From Alcove to Barricades, From Fragonard to David: Drawings from the École des Beaux-Arts
De l’alcôve aux barricades, De Fragonard à David: Dessins de l’École des Beaux-Arts

Fondation Custodia, Paris, 15 October 2016 — 8 January 2017

Curated by Emmanuelle Brugerolles

Renowned for its precious drawings collection, the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris collaborates with the Fondation Custodia in the context of its Bicentennial celebration, presenting this autumn at 121 rue de Lille one of the most glorious components of its collections. With 145 drawings, the exhibition From Alcove to Barricades presents an ambitious historical survey of art in the second half of the 18th century.

Jacques-Louis David, Head of a Plague Victim, 1780, pen and black ink over a sketch in black chalk, 21.3 × 15.2 cm (Collection des Beaux-Arts de Paris)

Jacques-Louis David, Head of a Plague Victim, 1780, pen and black ink over a sketch in black chalk, 21.3 × 15.2 cm (Collection des Beaux-Arts de Paris)

The selected works cast light on a period of historical as well as artistic turmoil. From the last decades of the reign of Louis XV (1715–1774) to the close of the revolutionary period (1789–1799), we observe the transition from a monarchy to the Republic: a world that shifts from the space of the court occupied by the nobility to that of the city where the notion of citizenship prevails. Following suit, the arts pass through multiple transformations. This process was long considered a clear break between two opposing styles: rocaille (or rococo)—defined at the time as a feminine style owing to its arabesques, whims and at times extravagance—and neoclassicism, a masculine style whose noble simplicity is inspired by the Antique.

Arranged according to seven thematic chapters—academic training, Roman sojourn, genre scenes, history painting, landscape in France, architectural drawing, and decorative arts—the exhibition reveals a more complex situation.

The great number of masterpieces assembled here for the first time evoke this diversity of styles and approaches. They also enable us to follow the careers of the artists who played a role in these developments. We discover them during their training at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in their large-format nude studies after live models and drawings done for the competition for a Tête d’expression (a face depicting an emotion). A number of awards established in the second half of the 18th century, aimed at inspiring emulation among the Academy’s pupils in order to regenerate the arts, offered young artists opportunities to gain recognition.

We then follow these draughtsmen to Palazzo Mancini, the seat of the Académie de France in Rome, where they were pensionnaires. Whether copies of ancient and modern masters or views of classical ruins, gardens and recently discovered sites, the Beaux-Arts sheets reveal the motifs that impressed French artists during their stay in Italy.

Anne-Louis Girodet, Étude pour la Scène de déluge, figure de la mère, pierre noire et rehauts de craie blanche, 53.7 x 43.9 cm

Anne-Louis Girodet, Étude pour la Scène de déluge, figure de la mère, pierre noire et rehauts de craie blanche, 53.7 × 43.9 cm (Collection des Beaux-Arts de Paris)

On their return to France we see these artists obtain official recognition through important State commissions and trying to satisfy the changing taste of connoisseurs. Employing the strategies of history painting—expressive intensity, narrative clarity and theatrical layout—Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725–1805) renews the genre scene, evoking everyday dramas in moralising tones. His art, admired by the public of the Salon and Denis Diderot, is illustrated in the exhibition by a number of drawings.

Ranging from the scenes à la grecque by Joseph-Marie Vien (1716–1809) to the large neoclassical compositions by Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825) that inspired an entire generation of painters, the drawings shown in the next section allow us to follow the evolution of history painting as it gradually leaves behind amorous and sensual mythological subjects to explore heroic scenes drawn from ancient history. Indeed, since the mid-18th century rocaille art was highly criticised by scholars, such as the German art historian Winckelmann, and members of the artistic community. The Academy sought to resume ties with the Grand Genre by proposing Antiquity as the model to follow, as it had been in Poussin’s day.

Whether impressive designs—sometimes several metres long—sketched for the competitions organised by the Académie royale d’architecture, or inventions of imaginary buildings in the manner of Piranesi’s capricci, most of the works that introduce the sixth chapter of the exhibition are sheer graphic elaborations. They attest to the autonomy of architectural drawing in the second half of the 18th century and the beginning of a new form of urban planning around public buildings that offered citizens a richer social and cultural life.

In the exhibition’s final section, devoted to the decorative arts, many drawings are preparatory for engravings forming collections of models, a flourishing genre at the time, while others were used directly to make furniture or ornaments. Through these works we can measure the influence of classical art in the evolution of the repertory of decorative motifs. Although characterised by a return to the straight line and a certain restraint, neoclassicism remained open to the lasting taste for the pleasing and the exotic, the legacy of the rocaille style.

From academic exercises to large-format preparatory studies for paintings, sculpture, furniture and architecture, these drawings thus encompass all the arts. They place us at the heart of the artistic practices and creative processes prevalent in a society undergoing profound transformations.

Emmanuelle Brugerolles, ed., De l’alcôve aux barricades, De Fragonard à David: Dessins de l’École des Beaux-Arts (Paris: Beaux-Arts de Paris éditions, 2016), 400 pages, ISBN: 978 2840564904, 39€.


Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine, Sepulcral monument: Section of the overall monument and elevation of the central pyramid, 1785, pen and black ink, grey wash, 76.5 x 275 cm (Collection des Beaux-Arts de Paris)






Prado Commission Awarded to Norman Foster and Carlos Rubio

Posted in museums by Editor on November 25, 2016


Foster + Partners and Rubio Arquitectura, ‘Hidden Design’: Winning Proposal for the Restoration and Remodeling of the Salón de Reinos Museo del Prado, announced November 2016.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Press release (24 November 2016) from the Prado:

Architects Norman Foster and Carlos Rubio have been announced as winners of the projects competition to remodel the Hall of Realms at the Museo del Prado. The Museum will exhibit the winning proposal along with those of the other seven teams of finalists from 1 December.

vistainterior-salon-reinosIñígo Méndez de Vigo, Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, led the plenary meeting of the Royal Board of Trustees of the Museo del Prado in which the jury announced the winner of the international competition for the architectural restoration and museological remodelling of the Salón de Reinos [Hall of Realms] of the former Buen Retiro palace. The winning proposal is the one presented by the team of Foster + Partners LTD and Rubio Arquitectura SLP, as decided at the jury’s meeting on 22 November.

The winning proposal, entitled Hidden Design, makes maximum use of the building’s museological aspect and creates a large entrance atrium on the south façade, making this space semi-open and permeable to the exterior but sufficiently controlled for it to function to protect the original façade of the Hall of Realms, the windows and balconies of which will be reinstated. Emerging over the top of this façade will be a large exhibition space on the third floor, which is higher and wider than the present one, forming the roof of the atrium and a terrazza facing the Museum’s ‘campus’. The winning design fully responds to the spatial requirements specified by the Museum for this project, without the need to excavate new basement levels. It emphasises the historical spaces that form the core of the building, particularly the Hall of Realms. Similarly, it strengthens and consolidates the identity of the Museo del Prado campus, proposing a pedestrian section of the Retiro Park—Paseo del Prado axis along calle Felipe IV which will revitalise its connection with the city.

In its decision statement the jury singled out the principal merits of this project as the high quality of the architectural proposal, which respects and emphasises the pre-existing structure, adapting it to present-day requirements; the intelligent way in which this project meets museological requirements; the skilled integration of the building into its surroundings and into the overall context of the Museo del Prado campus; and the project’s efficient cost study.

The aim of the competition of which the winner has now been announced and which was originally published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado on 1 March 2016, was to select the architectural team to devise the project to restore and refit the Hall of Realms, part of the lost Buen Retiro palace and the former home of the Museo del Ejército [Army Museum]. This building was formerly passed to the Museo del Prado in October 2015.

The competition, entered by 47 teams of architects, has consisted of two parts. The first, open part ended in June with the selection of eight teams:

These teams devised their proposals for the second phase, presenting them on 31 October. In its decision statement, jury singled out the quality of all the projects presented, which will be displayed in the Cloister of the Museum’s Jerónimos Building from 1 December. Preparation of the project will commence in 2017 and is expected to take about 16 months. Building work will begin in 2018.


UTE: Foster + Partners LTD – Rubio Arquitectura SLP

This is a temporary alliance of the architectural studios Foster + Partners and Rubio Arquitectura. Foster + Partners was founded in 1967 by Norman Foster (born Manchester, 1935). With its headquarters in London, it has offices in 14 cities around the world including Hong Kong, New York, São Paulo, Singapore, and Madrid. Among Foster + Partners’ most important projects for museums are those undertaken for the Carré d’Art (Nîmes, 1993), the Great Court and Sainsbury Galleries in the British Museum (London, 2000), the Robert and Alene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C., 2007), the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, 2010), the Lenbachhaus (Munich, 2013), and the Imperial War Museum (London, 2014). Among numerous awards and honours, Norman Foster received the Pritzker Prize in 1999, the Mies van der Rohe Award for Contemporary Architecture in 1990, and the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects in 1994. The Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts in 2009 recognised his entire career as an architect.

Rubio Arquitectura was founded in 2014 by the architect Carlos Rubio Carvajal (born Barcelona, 1950) and has its headquarters in Madrid. The studio is currently working on various projects in Spain and abroad, including Russia and Saudi Arabia. Awards include the COAM Architecture Prize in 1989.





%d bloggers like this: