Exhibition | The Orléans Collection

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 5, 2018

This fall at NOMA:

The Orléans Collection
New Orleans Museum of Art, 26 October 2018 — 27 January 2019

Curated by Vanessa Schmid

Guido Reni, The Meeting of David and Abigail, 1615–20, oil on canvas, 61 × 65 inches (Norfolk, VA: Chrysler Museum of Art).

At its founding in 1718, New Orleans was named for the French Regent, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans (1674–1723). A formidable personality, Philippe II’s legacy is his patronage of the arts: architecture, painting, furniture, music, dance, and theatre. In celebration of the tricentennial of the city that bears his regal title, NOMA will present an exhibition of selections from the Duke’s magnificent personal collection. This international loan exhibition will bring together masterpieces by Veronese, Valentin, Poussin, Rubens, and Rembrandt that formerly graced the walls of the Palais Royal in Paris.

The quality of the Orléans Collection was universally praised during Philippe II’s lifetime and its stature is attested by the astounding 772 paintings inventoried at his death. Although originally bequeathed to the duke’s heirs, in the 1790s the family hastily sold the collection to raise money during the French Revolution. The subsequent sales became a watershed event in the history of collecting and museology. The exhibition and its accompanying scholarly catalogue will explore exceptional aspects of the collection through four guiding themes: the Palais Royal and its grand redecoration as a center for the arts and exchange in Paris; the diplomatic and personal display of the collection in public and private spaces; the Duke of Orléans’ personal taste and psychology as a collector; and the fame and impact the collection had for contemporary visitors, artists, and collectors in Paris.

No exhibition of this fascinating subject has been undertaken and this project offers an exceptional opportunity for new scholarship, with a catalogue structured to maximize scholarly research and publish new research about Philippe II’s collection. The Orléans Collection will bring together, for the first time since its 1790s dispersal, a representative group of forty works that tell the story of its formation and character.

Vanessa Schmid with Julia Armstrong-Totten and essays by Jean-François Bédard, Kelsey Brosnan, Alexandre Dupilet, Nicole Garnier-Pelle, Françoise Mardrus, Rachel McGarry, and Xavier Salomon, The Orléans Collection (London: D. Giles Limited, 2018), 288 pages, ISBN: 978-1911282280, $55.

As described in John Kemp’s article for New Orleans Magazine (May 2018):

In addition to luxurious and historic artwork, the show also will explore the duke’s artistic tastes and psychology as a collector, the Palais-Royal as a center for the arts in Paris, how the duke displayed his collection in private and public spaces in the palace, the history of the collection, court life, the collection’s reputation based on earlier writings and Parisian guidebooks from the early 1700s, and, finally, the collection’s influences on 18th-century artists in Europe…

The full article is available here»

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