Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #381 - from 26 March 2015 to 1 April 2015

Art Of The Day Weekly

#381 - from 26 March 2015 to 1 April 2015

Louis-Léopold BOILLY (1761–1845), Portraits of the singer and actor Simon Chenard, and the painter François- Pascal-Simon Gérard aka Baron Gérard, ca 1791-96. Black pencil on blue paper, 192 x 280 mm. © Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Salon du Dessin, Paris.


Do you like to draw?

PARIS - It's the first question that comes to mind during this traditional period in which drawings bloom. And the answer is always disappointing: even though the number of manuals and drawing notepads for adults have never been as popular, the reality is elsewhere. The fact is that with all the electronic gadgets, tools with unlimited memories that take photographs of great quality, it is very rare to see a person take out his chalk or black stone for a quick sketch. It is true that the awesome talent of the great masters of the past, from Durer to Géricault, from Thomas Jones to Boldini, can surely be daunting. From the Salon du dessin (the veteran, launched in 1991, with 39 exhibitors for the 2015 edition) to Drawing Now, from DDessin to the Semaine du dessin (with a very wealthy program in the museums), March showers bring back lto life an activity that was losing popularity. " Drawing is the honesty of art", Ingres said. Who can still believe him? Undoubtedly the tens of thousands of amateurs who ensure the unexpected success of these events.

. Salon du dessin at Palais Brongniart, from 25 to 30 March 2015.

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. Drawing Now at Carreau du Temple, from 25 to 29 March 2015.

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. DDessin at Atelier Richelieu, from 27 to 29 March 2015.

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Diego Velázquez, Self-Portrait, ca. 1650, 45 x 38 cm, oil on canvas, Museo de Bellas Artes, Valence, © Museo de Bellas Artes, Valence.

Velázquez, a Spanish master

PARIS – True, the Meninas are not present, nor the Surrender of Breda, the great classics from the Prado which are as impossible to move as the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. But the ones that are here represent a beautiful panorama of Velázquez for the retrospective of the Grand Palais. There are first of all his Caravaggio-influenced beginnings from his travels to Italy, his portraits worthy of his genius -with the joker Pablo de Valladolid who laughs at us - , his close link with the royal court, which pushed him to reproduce his images of the king and his children. We also see his versatility – he is capable of excelling with his bodegones as well as with his nudes (the famous Rokeby Venus from the National Gallery is also here) or equestrian anatomies, as can be seen in his White Horse that wraps up the show. From the Forge of Vulcan to the portrait of Góngora, Velázquez produced numerous icons. Many came from far, many have passionate followers. The latter will experience this exhibition as a targetted pilgrimage, as long as they may go in at a moment of low attendance/
Velázquez at the Grand Palais, from 25 March to 13 July 2015.

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These exhibitions also open this week

Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of Clara Serena Rubens, ca 1616, oil on canvas, 37x27 cm, Collection Prince of Liechtenstein, Schloss Vaduz.

Family reunion at the Rubens'

ANTWERP – We know that Rubens had a legion of assistants and dozens of friends among the most influential citizens of his city. But the prince of painters also had a family: his two wives (Isabella, who died young, then Helene Fourment), his seven children, his brothers-in-law… They are all together once again through the portraits the painter left of all of them. They came in from London, Paris or New York, and are all hanging in the same home they animated with their discussions and their laughter.
Private Rubens. The master paints his family at the Rubens House, from 28 March to 28 June 2015.

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Degas, Impressionist or not?

GIVERNY – It is difficult to classify Degas (1840-1917), one of the greatest names in art of the XIXth century. While he was of course a contemporary and a supporter of his colleagues Monet and Renoir. But he followed another very personal itinerary, both in the themes he chose - nudes, portraits, dance, horses - as in his techniques (his taste for pastels, his search for artificial lighting), which link him with Impressionism as well as to his predecessors Géricault or Ingres. The exhibition, in 80 works, explores all his differences.
Degas, un peintre impressionniste ? at the musée des impressionnismes, from 27 March to 19 July 2015.

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Van der Weyden and his Calvary

MADRID – The completion of an important restoration, that of the Calvary kept at the monastery of the Escorial, is an opportunity for the Prado to present a mini-retrospective of Flemish painter Rogier van der Weyden, one of the pioneers of oil painting. The twenty paintings shown, among them The Deposition from the Prado or the Seven Sacraments from Antwerp underline the painter's influence on the Spanish Renaissance.
Rogier van der Weyden at the Museo del Prado, from 24 March to 28 June 2015.

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Scathing Gillray

OXFORD – it is well known that caricatures are not something new. While the tragedy of Charlie Hebdo is very much alive in people's minds, this retrospective of James Gillray drawings - rarely shown - (from the New College), for the 200th anniversary of his death, shows that in the XIXth century people did not have cold feet to denounce the faults of the powerful, of the aggressive, the wealthy and the rotten elements of society.
Love Bites, Caricatures by James Gillray at the Ashmolean Museum, from 26 March to 21June 2015.

Dosso Dossi (ca 1489–1542), Boy with Basket of Flowers, 1524, oi on panel transferred on canvas, 67,3 x 65,2 cm. Florence, Fondazione di Studi di Storia dell’Arte Roberto Longhi © Studio Sébert Photographes

Longhi rediscovered

PARIS - Today the public at large hardly knows him, but Roberto Longhi (1890-1970) was one of the greatest art historians of the XXth century, the "rediscoverer" of Caravaggio and of Piero della Francesca, an almost faultless eye, as well as a talented writer and an intellectual guide for talents as different from one another as Giorgio Bassani or Pasolini. The various facets of his personality could be seen in the choices he made for his personal collection, kept in his foundation in Florence and of which a selection made the trip to Paris.
De Giotto à Caravage, les passions de Roberto Longhi at the musée Jacquemart-André, from 27 March to 20 July 2015.

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X-ray of a museum

They are among the most visited attractions in the world but the public at large does not really understand how they function. What happens in the backstage area of museums? This documentary looks into an Austrian institution, the Kunsthistoriches Museum of Viena. The photographs, taken over a two year period, followed the renovation works. From the welcoming of a donator offering an imperial costume, to the new hanging of paintings, from often tense budget meetings (for example when the budget of the "Bruegel project" was slashed) to the discussions on a new logo, the director avoided all pomposity. There is no voice over, the only dialogues are those of the employees while a special visitor acts as the court jester: Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, as he came to ask his colleague Sabine Haag an infinity of questions. This has nothing in common with the Russian Ark, by Alexandre Sokourov, that reviewed all the history of Russia in one single vertiginous shot through the Hermitage. This is a crude testimony in a style that is constantly arranged (we remember of course Frederic Wiseman's recent National Gallery) – the "biopic" of a major museum. It's a shame no one looked into Bagdad's museum in time.
The Great Museum by Johannes Holzhausen, showing in French movie theaters as of 4 March 2015.

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Poussin made easy

This book came out for the first time in 1990, and is now at its fourth edition, and owes its longevity to Poussin's new success (and that of the exhibitions that celebrate him, like the one to open at the Louvre next week) as well as to his own qualities. The author is exhaustive and clear, and does not hesitate to use anecdotes (the adventure-filled trip to see the "gentleman from Poitou", the little theater of wax figures) or the judgements of contemporaries. Poussin (1594-1665), the exact contemporary of Velázquez, is placed again in the context of the colony of artists in Rome, where he lived for the greater part of his career, with characters such as Cassiano del Pozzo, Simon Vouet or the Barberini are well-drawn in the background. The themes, so mysterious for us, of the seven sacraments or the love story of Pyramus and Thisbe, are patiently decrypted. This makes a painter held for being "difficult" a little more accessible.
Poussin by Alain Mérot, éditions Hazan, 2015, 332 p., €40

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Elene Usdin - Femmes d'intérieur

31 March 2015 - PARIS - Galerie Esther Woerdehoff

A funny and derisive look at icons of Western art

Our selection of new exhibitions


MILAN – A new museum dedicated to world cultures, the MUDEC, will be inugurated on 27 March 2015.

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PARIS - The new biennial fair Paris Beaux Arts, organized by the Syndicat national des antiquaires, will be held from 1 to 5 April 2015 at the Carrousel du Louvre.

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PARIS - The modern and contemporary art fair Art Paris Art Fair will be held from 26 to 29 March 2015 at the Grand Palais.

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PARIS - The PAD Paris Art+Design, an antique fair, will be held at the Jardin des Tuileries, from 26 to 29 March 2015.

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