Home > Current events > The Genius Of Bologna Drawings From The Xviith And Xviiith Centuries From The Public French Collections

Drawings from the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries
from the public French collections


A superb panorama of drawings in Bologna and the Emilia region in the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries

Annibale Carracci Study sheet for The Derision of Christ Black stone and white chalk on blue paper. Later annotation in pen: Annibale Carache
Photo, Musée de Grenoble

The musée des Beaux-Arts has dedicated a large part of its program of 2006 to Italian art. After “Mirror of time. Master pieces from the museums of Florence” it now looks at the major masters of the artistic scene in Bologna. This event, an initiative of the Louvre museum, and directed by Catherine Loisel-Théret, is part of an ambitious project of seven exhibitions organized through France from October 2006 to February 2007. It is dedicated to drawing in Italy in the baroque period, and offers a unique vision of the wealth of the patrimony of the French public collections.

The ideal virtues of the work of art

At the beginning of the XVIIth century, Bologna is the scene of an historical artistic reform, based on the practice of drawing according to nature. Surrounded by brilliant disciples, the three cousins Annibale, Ludovico and Agostino Carracci gave a new life to the great classic ideal of the Renaissance by adapting it to the sensibility of the Counter-Reform and the expressive demands of the baroque period. Thanks to them, drawing once again found the place Michel-Angelo and Raphael had given it: it is the chosen instrument that allows the artist to explore the visible world and at the same time it embodies the ideal virtues of the work of art.

One of the major poles of the Italian artistic scene

For over two centuries the names of Carracci, of Domenichino, Guercino and Guido Reni contributed to the influence of a city that became one of the major poles of the Italian artistic scene. Generations of French painters and art connoisseurs placed these brilliant Bolognese artists, famous throughout Europe, at the front row of the peninsula’s artistic Pantheon, next to Michel-Angelo, Raphael and Titian.

A panorama that spans over two centuries

The hundred eight sheets presented in Rouen make up a magnificent panorama of drawing in Bologna and the region of Emilia in a period that spanned over two centuries. The Louvre museum closely associated to this event by agreeing to an exceptional loan of over twenty- five sheets. But the exhibition has also been the opportunity for a deep search throughout France that has led to the discovery of various works of art unseen to this day, found in drawings chests of museums and public libraries.


Catalogue of the exhibition directed by Catherine Loisel. With a detailed note on each of the drawings presented in the exhibition, and appended an additional list of Italian drawings kept in the French public collections, as well as a bibliographic note. 24 x 22,5 cm Italian format, 264 p. Alain de Gourcuff publishing house. Distributed by Inter forum 35 €

This exhibition has been awarded the "Exhibition of national Interest " label by The Musées de France service in the French Ministry of Culture, and received extra funding from the State

Illustration : Gaetano Gandolfi Tête d’enfant: Mauro Gandolfi Black stone and red chalk, stump in red chalk and stump in black stone. Annotation in black stone: Mauro Gandolfi Lyon, musée des arts décoratifs, photo P.Verrier

To see more illustrations, click on VERSION FRANCAISE at the top of this page

MUSÉE DES BEAUX-ARTS DE ROUEN Esplanade Marcel Duchamp, 76000 Rouen
INFORMATION: Tel : 02 35 71 28 40
OPENING HOURS: Open eveyday (except on Tuesday) from 10 am to 6 pm.
ADMISSION FEES: Full price: 4.5€; Concessions: 3€; Exhibition + Museum: 6€; Concessions: 4€
CURATORSHIP: Catherine Loisel, Curator in chief at the graphic arts section, musée du Louvre.
Diederik Bakhüys, Curator of the drawing section at the musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen.
PRESS CONTACTS: Virgil Langlade in charge of communication at the museums of Rouen
Tel: 02 35 71 28 40 Fax: 02 35 15 43 23
E-mail : vlanglade@rouen.fr
Thomas Fournet, Communication assistant
E-mail : tfournet@rouen.fr