Paris, by way of Denver


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Francophiles rejoice: Three exhibits devoted to French art are coming to the Denver Art Museum, reflecting everything from 17th-century painting to Impressionism to works on paper. And big names like: Monet, Pissarro, Géricault, Ingres, David, Boucher, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir and even French import Van Gogh.

Sadly, the trio — dubbed Passport to Paris — won't open until Oct. 27, but that doesn't mean you can't start planning now. Here's the museum's press info on the three shows:

Court to Café: Three Centuries of French Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum
Court to Café features 50 masterpieces from the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn. The artworks visually unfold the richness of French painting, ranging from the 17th through the early 20th century and include religious and mythological subjects, portraits, landscapes, still lifes and genre scenes. Nicolas Poussin, François Boucher, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Claude Monet are among the masters represented. This exhibition tour is the first time that all of these works have been shown as a group and is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue titled Masters of French Painting, 1290-1920: At The Wadsworth Atheneum, by Eric M. Zafran.

Following the social history of French art, the exhibition will take viewers through six themed sections. Each area reveals the cultural shifts of the period and how they were reflected in art from the time of the absolute monarchy to the café society of Paris.

Nature as Muse: French Impressionist Landscapes
Nature as Muse displays the stunning work of 19th century Impressionist artists. Focusing on landscape paintings, the exhibition will feature about 36 artworks from a Colorado collector and the DAM’s own holdings. Impressionists focused on a specific time and place and, for the first time, artists could take their easels and paints and work outside, free from the constraints of studio space and light. Utilizing loose brushstrokes and a soft color palette, the Impressionists told the story of the French countryside through their canvases. Artists on view include Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley.

Drawing Room: An Intimate Look at French Drawings from the Esmond Bradley Martin Collection
Inspired by the drawings cabinets of gentlemen and connoisseurs, this exhibition will offer a space where visitors can get close to artworks whose intimate nature invites contemplation and close up viewing. Curator Angelica Daneo points out the immediacy of a work-on-paper where little separates the viewer from the direct hand of the artist. Comprised of approximately 39 works-on-paper, the exhibition includes a range of techniques from rapid sketches to finished pastels. Many artists represented in the exhibition Court to Café also appear in this show including François Boucher, Jacques-Louis David, Théodore Géricault, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley. The artworks represent exquisite examples of draughtsmanship by some of the most celebrated French masters and allow an in-depth look into the creative process of artists. The entire exhibition is drawn from the private collection of Dr. Esmond Bradley Martin. Martin is a world authority on the illegal trade in wildlife products. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue written by Kathleen Stuart, curator of the Berger Collection at the DAM.

And some images:

Edgar Degas
  • The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1945.209, from the Wadsworth Atheneum.
  • Edgar Degas, "Dancers with Fans," about 1899. Pastel on paper.

Antoine Watteau
  • Lent by Dr. Esmond Bradley Martin
  • Antoine Watteau, "Standing Woman Holding a Fan," about 1719. Red and black chalk, with graphite, on paper.

Claude Monet
  • The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1948.116, from the Wadsworth Atheneum.
  • Claude Monet, "The Beach at Trouville," about 1870.

Click here for more information.


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