Peupler les cieux

Directed by Bénédicte Gady

The French style ceiling has a flat background, based on joists, often decorated with a stencil. The Italian style ceiling is volted, covered with frescoes and stucco. In the middle of the XVIIth century, Parisian palaces turned away from the former and chose the latter. Unfortunately it is not easy to become familiar with these major civilian decorations, done by "stars" such as Le Brun and Mignard or by long forgotten artists such as Nicolas Loir and Jean Cotelle. Indeed many have disappeared and tose which have survived are generally hard to access – aside from the rooms in the Louvre and other National palaces or the recreation of La Rivière at the Carnavalet museum. It is now with peparatory drawings, collections of motifs or previously canvases that we can best imagine the variety and the magnificence of these ceilings. The exercice requires a certain capacity of abstraction and after reading this catalogue one should complete it ideally with the visit of the exhibition at the musée du Louvre, until 19 May. The private homes of La Vrillière (today the Banque de France), Brûlart, de Bullion, de Hirsch or of the Petit Vendôme… As non-specilists we -and others- would have appreciated a map of Paris with the location of the main sites and possibly the opening hours tthe public, if they can be visited.

Peupler les cieux, directed by Bénédicte Gady, Louvre éditions/Le Passage, 2014, 320 p., €37.

Peupler les cieux - Directed by Bénédicte Gady

Review published in the newsletter #345 - from 8 May 2014 to 14 May 2014

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