Tag Archive for French Art

NGV Appeal to buy François Marie Poncet’s 1782 Vénus

François Marie Poncet Vénus, Rome, 1782, white marble with grey veins, on a marble plinth with roses and acanthus leaves, Vénus: height 120 cm; plinth: height 100.5 x 45.0 x 45.5 cm

The NGV is asking for donations to support its acquisition of François Marie Poncet’s 1782 ‘Vénus’. Poncet was a French sculptor who was a pupil of the famous Etienne-Maurice Falconet at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris. He left for Rome in 1760 and spent much of his career in Italy. His first fifteen years in Rome seem to have been spent at the fringes of the Académie de France (he had twice entered the Prix de Rome but been unsuccessful), in contact with British, German and Scandinavian Neo-classical artists. In 1771 he was elected to the Accademia degli Arcadi, and on a journey to Paris in 1775, Poncet stopped in Lyon, where he was received (reçu) as a member…

News | NGV announces ‘Degas’ as the 2016 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces Exhibition

Edgar Degas
Family portrait also called The Bellelli family 1858–69
oil on canvas
201 x 249.5 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Lemoisne 79 (RF 2210)
© Musée d'Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

The NGV today announced that next year’s Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition would be Degas: A New Vision. The major retrospective is being developed by both the National Gallery of Victoria and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, it will open in June 2016 in Melbourne and then travel to Houston in October 2016. After two winter exhibitions based around collections (the Prado in 2014 and the Hermitage in 2015) the NGV is returning to an exhibition based around a single artist. The last such exhibition was Monet in 2013, though single artist exhibitions have been few and far between in the NGV’s winter programming. At the same time they are returning to familiar (and typically popular) territory with nineteenth-century French…

WAYLA | Marie-Anne Collot’s Bust of Diderot | Katrina Grant


This weekend is the final weekend of the NGV’s Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great. There are talks, drawing and music events over the weekend (see more here http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/whats-on/programs-events/). I gave a talk at the first Friday Late event on Marie-Anne Collot’s bust of Diderot and thought I would share some of my thoughts on this portrait as a final farewell to the exhibition. In the current exhibition at the NGV of ‘Treasures from the Hermitage’ we enter the exhibition face-to-face with Catherine the Great’s formal royal portrait by Alexander Roslin, a portrait that embodies her position as an autocratic ruler. She is flanked by marble busts of two of France’s leading Enlightenment thinkers, Voltaire and…

Exhibition | Impressions of Paris: Lautrec, Degas, Daumier, Atget | Monash Gallery of Art

impressions of paris

MONASH GALLERY OF ART| 17 July—20 September 2015 The exhibition Impressions of Paris: Lautrec, Degas, Daumier, Atget is now open at the Monash Gallery of Art. The exhibition features over 120 prints, posters and photographs drawn from the collection of the National Gallery of Australia. The exhibition focuses on the work of artists Honoré-Victorin Daumier (1808–1879), Edgar Degas (1834–1917), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864– 1901) and Eugène Atget (1857–1927). Lautrec, Degas and Daumier were consummate draughtsmen whose innovative compositions and embrace of modern subject matter played a significant role in artistic developments in France over the nineteenth century. Atget, the only specialist photographer among these artists, spent much of his life documenting the streets of Paris as they underwent modernisation. The generation…

Lecture | Matisse and the Near East – Petra Chu | NGV International


In the course of his long career, the French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) repeatedly looked at non-Western art for inspiration. Japanese prints, Persian and Indian miniatures, Byzantine icons and mosaics, Chinese brush paintings and art theory, and textiles from across the world, all inspired him at one time or another. Among these varied exotic art forms, Far-Eastern art—Chinese and Japanese–played a unique part in the artist’s career, one coming at the beginning, the other at the end of his career. Both Chinese and Japanese art affected his approach to, and his thinking about, art. But while Japanese art shocked him into an entirely new way of thinking about the relation between representation and reality, Chinese art and, especially art theory,…

Call for Papers | 33rd Conference of the Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies

33rd Annual Conference SE-17 – Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth Century Studies October 16-18, 2014 University of Western Ontario, London, Canada Conference Organizer Jean Leclerc, University of Western Ontario jlecler@uwo.ca Scholars from all disciplines are invited to submit abstracts in French or English (300 words maximum) for presentations relating to the session themes listed below. Please send abstracts by email directly to session chairs by March 7, 2014. Presentations will be of 20 minutes’ duration. 1. Economy and spending / Économie et dépenses Chair / Présidente de session: Nathalie Freidel Université Wilfrid Laurier nfreidel@wlu.ca 2. Center and margins / Centre et marges Chair / Président de session: Jean-Vincent Blanchard Swarthmore College jblanch1@swarthmore.edu 3. Old and New France / Ancienne et…

Seminar | Visual Manipulation and Auto/Biography | Sydney Intellectual History Network

Madame, Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate, Duchess of Orléans, in Hunting Dress by Louis-Ferdinand Elle, 1673 Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin

Visual Manipulation and Auto/Biography The first seminar for 2014 in Auto/Biography and History series sponsored by the Global Sensibilities Group within the Sydney Intellectual History Network at the University of Sydney. Barbara Gaehtgens | 1643 or How to Represent the Queen’s New Power? Mark De Vitis | Madame as the Marquise: The Politics of Making a Mockery at the Court of Louis XIV This seminar will combine the work of two art historians researching the visual self-representation of royal woman at the French court during the seventeenth century. Dr Gaehtgens (an independent scholar based at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles) explores how Anne of Austria used multiplied images as visual propaganda to change her image from a widowed…

Short Course | The Age of Impressionism – France & Australia | Monet’s Garden

John Russell, Peonies and head of a woman, c. 1887, oil on canvas, NGV, Melbourne The Joseph Brown Collection. Presented through the NGV Foundation by Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE, Honorary Life Benefactor

Presented by art and cultural historians this series of lectures will delve into the social and cultural world of the Impressionist era in Paris and will address how the Australian artists connected with their international contemporaries. In conjunction with Australian Impressionists in France exhibition.   Sat 3 Aug, 2pm From the Gare Saint Lazare to Giverny We will trace Claude Monet’s artistic and personal journey as he moved ever further from Paris via Argenteuil, Vetheuil to Giverny and became increasingly engrossed in the study of landscape and light. Speaker: Sylvia Sagona, Fellow, The University of Melbourne Sat 10 Aug, 2pm The word and the image Emile Zola, art critic and champion of the Impressionists, wrote a series of now famous…

Melbourne Winter Masterclasses by Melbourne Uni and NGV | Making Sense of Monet

Monet, Rouen Cathedral

Making Sense of Monet The University of Melbourne in partnership with the NGV International The Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne is delighted to present masterclasses in Art History, Philosophy, Classics, Screen Studies, Creative Writing, History and Archaeology, with some our most celebrated teachers and public intellectuals. Making Sense of Monet (July 13 – 14, 2013) The Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria is delighted to present Making Sense of Monet, a weekend of masterclass exploring Monet and his time, with acclaimed historian Peter McPhee AM, philosopher Dr Anya Daly, expert in French Impressionism Sylvia Sagona, and curators from the NGV International. For details, see: http://arts.unimelb.edu.au/masterclasses/making-sense-monet For other…

Exhibition Review | Monet’s Garden at the National Gallery of Victoria. Reviewed by David R. Marshall

Unknown Claude Monet outside his house at Giverny 1921 autochrome 18.0 x 24.0 cm Musée d'Orsay, Paris © Patrice Schmidt /musée d'Orsay distribution RMN

The latest NGV exhibition is, again, sourced largely from a secondary French museum (the Musée Marmottan Monet, henceforth MMM). Monet exhibitions have traditionally draw large crowds, and are much loved by gallery directors needing to feed the political machines to which they are beholden that equate numbers with success. But if ‘Monet’ is the brand of brands for art exhibitions, for organisers there is the problem of finding new ways to give a Monet show intellectual credibility and thematic coherence, while marketeers may feel the need to enrich a brand that runs the risk of becoming stale. And, given the economics of international exhibitions in Australia, the bulk of the works need to come from a single source. Hence Monet’s Garden.

‘Monet’s Garden’ is an idea rich in possibilities: it connects cultural tourism (a trip to Giverny) with high-art glorification of artistic genius. While previous NGV exhibitions have emphasised, through videos, places associated with the objects on display (notably the Musée Moreau in the Moreau exhibition and Malmaison with Napoleon), Monet’s Garden takes the place/artwork nexus one step further. I once taught a subject in art history on the history of gardens called Visions of Paradise: Art of the Garden, a title stolen from a picture book by Marina Schinz, and did a week on Monet and Giverny. One of the essay questions was whether Monet was a better gardener than painter. This generated some interesting responses. By asking this question one is forced to look at his Giverny paintings differently: as topographical painting, subordinate to the place represented, rather than a this-is-a-work-of-genius painting. It is quite intriguing, after studying the now well-known colour photos of Monet in his garden nearest the house (e.g. pp. xxiv-xxv of the catalogue) (Fig. 1), to be able to identity what the paintings actually represent. The strength of Impressionism was that it accepted the facts and went from there, so that its underpinning of visual factuality is there if you choose to look. A visit to the waterlily pond at Giverny makes you realise that his Nymphéas paintings are much more realistic than you had thought when you saw them in a gallery (Figs. 3, 14). This helps us to see Monet differently: as the last of the estate topographers, rather than as a wannabee modernist abstractionist.

Exhibition Review | The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Death and Disaster. Reviewed by Katrina Grant

Fig. 2 Albrecht Dürer, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,  from The Apocalypse, published 1498, woodcut. National Gallery of Victoria.

The ‘Four Horsemen’ exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria draws together a rich, varied and evocative selection of images of death: the horseman crushing rich and poor alike beneath the hooves of his skeletal horse; the shadowy figure stalking the young and the beautiful; the horrors of war; the terrors of the final Apocalypse.

Exhibition Review | Radiance: The Neo-Impressionists. Reviewed by David R. Marshall

Georges Seurat, 'The Seine at Courbevoie', 1885 (La Seine à Courbevoie).  Oil on canvas, 81.4 x 65.2 cm. Private collection, Paris

Radiance. The Neo-Impressionists Reviewed by David R. Marshall Radiance: The Neo-Impressionists. National Gallery of Victoria, 16 November 2012 – 17 March 2013 Impressionism was killed by theory, the theory that gave the Neo-impressionists their identity. Neo-Impressionist theory picked up on Impressionism’s naturalism and acute observation of outdoor light effects (coloured shadows and so forth) and married them to contemporary colour theory. The result was a pseudo-scientific artistic practice that proved to have interesting artistic possibilities wholly at odds with the theory that underpinned it. The science was the idea of optical mixing of colours and the theory of complementary contrasts. These were set out by in a book published forty years earlier by Michele-Eugène Chevreul, who had been director of…

Napoleon Colloquium at NGV International

Jacques Louis-David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps.

Napoleon Colloquium Saturday 22nd September An afternoon forum exploring the art, artists and their world in the time of Napoleon with three lectures on portraiture, Jacques-Louis David – painter of the French Revolution and decorative arts at the Napoleonic court. Speakers:  Dr Frank Heckes, Honorary Research Associate, La Trobe University | Jacques-Louis David: Painter of the French Revolution and of Napoleon Dr Vivien Gaston, Honorary Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne | Portraits of perfection: Ideal and reality in the Napoleonic era Dr Matthew Martin, Assistant Curator Decorative Arts and Antiquities, NGV | The bare necessities: Luxury travel accessories as courtly portraits in the Napoleonic Age Dr Elizabeth Cross, Senior Researcher, NGV and Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Head of Multimedia | Napoleon’s Letter’s to Josephine: Portrait of…

Philosophy Short Course | Perspectives on Napoleon

Jean-Baptiste ISABEY (after) Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul, in the gardens of Malmaison 1804 coloured engraving 67.0 x 46.4 cm Napoleonmuseum Thurgau, Schloss und Park Arenenberg, Salenstein Acquisition 1975

Philosophy Course: Perspectives on Napoleon NGV International September 9, 16, 23 & 30 When asked in the 1970s if he thought the French Revolution had succeeded or failed, Mao Tse Tung famously answered ‘It’s too soon to tell’. The complexities of the compact knot of history from 1793 to 1812 are involved enough to allow of a multiplicity of interpretations and the decisions we make in making these interpretations remain in turn decisive for our self-understanding today. As a focal figure concentrating the contradictions of his times, Napoleon Bonaparte can himself be viewed from several different perspectives. In the first three lectures, we shall consider the different perspectives of Hegel, of Goethe, and of Nietzsche upon Napoleon, exploring the contrasting significance Napoleon had…

Bastille Day at the NGV

FRANCE The storming of the Bastille prison and the arrest of its governor, Bernard-René de Launay, 14 July 1789 (Prise de la Bastille et arrestation du gouverneur M. de Launay, le 14 juillet 1789) (1789) oil on canvas 57.0 x 73.0 cm	 Versailles, musée national du château (MV 5517) © RMN (Château de Versailles) - Gérard Blot

Bastille Day at the NGV To celebrate Bastille Day this Saturday, July 14th, the NGV International will be open until midnight with all tickets to the current winter masterpiece exhibition Napoleon: Revolution to Empire only $10 each from 5pm till midnight (until sold out more details here). As well as the Napoleon exhibition there are a range of programs. Some highlights include: Tours of the NGV Heroes and Legends Volunteer Guided Tours at 5.30pm, 6pm, 6.30pm, 7pm, 7.30pm & 8.30pm – Free, Meet Foyer, Ground Level NGV Collection Highlights Volunteer Guided Tour 5.30pm, 6pm, 6.30pm, 7pm & 7.30pm – Free, Meet Foyer, Ground Level Director’s Final Tour: Some recent acquisitions & re-attributions 9–10pm – Join Dr Gerard Vaughan, NGV Director on a…