A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary; the largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public; the goal of serving researchers is shifting to serving the general public. There are many types of museums, including art museums, natural history museums, science museums, war museums, children's museums. Amongst the world's largest and most visited museums are the Louvre in Paris, the National Museum of China in Beijing, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. the British Museum and National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and Vatican Museums in Vatican City.
According to The World Museum Community, there are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries. The English "museum" comes from the Latin word, is pluralized as "museums", it is from the Ancient Greek Μουσεῖον, which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses, hence a building set apart for study and the arts the Musaeum for philosophy and research at Alexandria by Ptolemy I Soter about 280 BC. The purpose of modern museums is to collect, preserve and display items of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the education of the public. From a visitor or community perspective, the purpose can depend on one's point of view. A trip to a local history museum or large city art museum can be an entertaining and enlightening way to spend the day. To city leaders, a healthy museum community can be seen as a gauge of the economic health of a city, a way to increase the sophistication of its inhabitants. To a museum professional, a museum might be seen as a way to educate the public about the museum's mission, such as civil rights or environmentalism.
Museums are, above all, storehouses of knowledge. In 1829, James Smithson's bequest, that would fund the Smithsonian Institution, stated he wanted to establish an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge."Museums of natural history in the late 19th century exemplified the Victorian desire for consumption and for order. Gathering all examples of each classification of a field of knowledge for research and for display was the purpose; as American colleges grew in the 19th century, they developed their own natural history collections for the use of their students. By the last quarter of the 19th century, the scientific research in the universities was shifting toward biological research on a cellular level, cutting edge research moved from museums to university laboratories. While many large museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, are still respected as research centers, research is no longer a main purpose of most museums. While there is an ongoing debate about the purposes of interpretation of a museum's collection, there has been a consistent mission to protect and preserve artifacts for future generations.
Much care and expense is invested in preservation efforts to retard decomposition in aging documents, artifacts and buildings. All museums display objects; as historian Steven Conn writes, "To see the thing itself, with one's own eyes and in a public place, surrounded by other people having some version of the same experience can be enchanting."Museum purposes vary from institution to institution. Some favor education over conservation, or vice versa. For example, in the 1970s, the Canada Science and Technology Museum favored education over preservation of their objects, they displayed objects as well as their functions. One exhibit featured a historic printing press that a staff member used for visitors to create museum memorabilia; some seek to reach a wide audience, such as a national or state museum, while some museums have specific audiences, like the LDS Church History Museum or local history organizations. Speaking, museums collect objects of significance that comply with their mission statement for conservation and display.
Although most museums do not allow physical contact with the associated artifacts, there are some that are interactive and encourage a more hands-on approach. In 2009, Hampton Court Palace, palace of Henry VIII, opened the council room to the general public to create an interactive environment for visitors. Rather than allowing visitors to handle 500-year-old objects, the museum created replicas, as well as replica costumes; the daily activities, historic clothing, temperature changes immerse the visitor in a slice of what Tudor life may have been. This section lists the 20 most visited museums in 2015 as compiled by AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association's annual report on the world's most visited attractions. For 2016 figures see List of most visited museums; the cities of London and Washington, D. C. contain more of the 20 most visited museums in the world than any others, with six museums and four museums, respectively. Early museums began as the private collections of wealthy individuals, families or institutions of art and rare or curious natural objects and artifacts.
These were displayed in so-called wonder rooms or cabinets of curiosities. One of the oldest museums known is Ennigaldi-Nanna's museum, built by Princess Ennigaldi at the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire; the site dates from c. 530 BCE, contained artifacts from earlier M
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne's repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are characteristic and recognizable, he used planes of small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne's intense study of his subjects. Cézanne is said to have formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne "is the father of us all." The Cézannes came from the commune of Saint-Sauveur. Paul Cézanne was born on 19 January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence. On 22 February, he was baptized in the Église de la Madeleine, with his grandmother and uncle Louis as godparents, became a devout Catholic in life, his father, Louis Auguste Cézanne, a native of Saint-Zacharie, was the co-founder of a banking firm that prospered throughout the artist's life, affording him financial security, unavailable to most of his contemporaries and resulting in a large inheritance.
His mother, Anne Elisabeth Honorine Aubert, was "vivacious and romantic, but quick to take offence". It was from her that Cézanne got his vision of life, he had two younger sisters and Rose, with whom he went to a primary school every day. At the age of ten Cézanne entered the Saint Joseph school in Aix. In 1852 Cézanne entered the Collège Bourbon in Aix, where he became friends with Émile Zola, in a less advanced class, as well as Baptistin Baille—three friends who came to be known as "les trois inséparables", he stayed there for six years. In 1857, he began attending the Free Municipal School of Drawing in Aix, where he studied drawing under Joseph Gibert, a Spanish monk. From 1858 to 1861, complying with his father's wishes, Cézanne attended the law school of the University of Aix, while receiving drawing lessons. Going against the objections of his banker father, he committed himself to pursuing his artistic development and left Aix for Paris in 1861, he was encouraged to make this decision by Zola, living in the capital at the time.
His father reconciled with Cézanne and supported his choice of career. Cézanne received an inheritance of 400,000 francs from his father, which rid him of all financial worries. In Paris, Cézanne met the Impressionist Camille Pissarro; the friendship formed in the mid-1860s between Pissarro and Cézanne was that of master and disciple, in which Pissarro exerted a formative influence on the younger artist. Over the course of the following decade their landscape painting excursions together, in Louveciennes and Pontoise, led to a collaborative working relationship between equals. Cézanne's early work is concerned with the figure in the landscape and includes many paintings of groups of large, heavy figures in the landscape, imaginatively painted. In his career, he became more interested in working from direct observation and developed a light, airy painting style. In Cézanne's mature work there is the development of a solidified architectural style of painting. Throughout his life he struggled to develop an authentic observation of the seen world by the most accurate method of representing it in paint that he could find.
To this end, he structurally ordered. His statement "I want to make of impressionism something solid and lasting like the art in the museums", his contention that he was recreating Poussin "after nature" underscored his desire to unite observation of nature with the permanence of classical composition. Cézanne was interested in the simplification of occurring forms to their geometric essentials: he wanted to "treat nature by the cylinder, the sphere, the cone". Additionally, Cézanne's desire to capture the truth of perception led him to explore binocular vision graphically, rendering different, yet simultaneous visual perceptions of the same phenomena to provide the viewer with an aesthetic experience of depth different from those of earlier ideals of perspective, in particular single-point perspective, his interest in new ways of modelling space and volume derived from the stereoscopy obsession of his era and from reading Hippolyte Taine’s Berkelean theory of spatial perception. Cézanne's innovations have prompted critics to suggest such varied explanations as sick retinas, pure vision, the influence of the steam railway.
Cézanne's paintings were shown in the first exhibition of the Salon des Refusés in 1863, which displayed works not accepted by the jury of the official Paris Salon. The Salon rejected Cézanne's submissions every year from 1864 to 1869, he continued to submit works to the Salon until 1882. In that year, through the intervention of fellow artist Antoine Guillemet, he exhibited Portrait de M. L. A. Portrait of Louis-Auguste Cézanne, The Artist's Father, Reading "L'Événement", 1866, his first and last successful submission to the Salon. Before 1895 Cézanne exhibited twice with the Impressionists. In years a few individual paintings were shown at various venues, unti
Pierre-Auguste Renoir known as Auguste Renoir, was a French artist, a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty and feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau." He was the father of filmmaker Jean Renoir and ceramic artist Claude Renoir. He was the grandfather of the filmmaker Claude Renoir, son of Pierre. Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France, in 1841, his father, Léonard Renoir, was a tailor of modest means, so in 1844, Renoir's family moved to Paris in search of more favorable prospects. The location of their home, in rue d’Argenteuil in central Paris, placed Renoir in proximity to the Louvre. Although the young Renoir had a natural proclivity for drawing, he exhibited a greater talent for singing, his talent was encouraged by his teacher, Charles Gounod, the choir-master at the Church of St Roch at the time. However, due to the family’s financial circumstances, Renoir had to discontinue his music lessons and leave school at the age of thirteen to pursue an apprenticeship at a porcelain factory.
Although Renoir displayed a talent for his work, he tired of the subject matter and sought refuge in the galleries of the Louvre. The owner of the factory recognized his apprentice’s talent and communicated this to Renoir’s family. Following this, Renoir started taking lessons to prepare for entry into Ecole des Beaux Arts; when the porcelain factory adopted mechanical reproduction processes in 1858, Renoir was forced to find other means to support his learning. Before he enrolled in art school, he painted hangings for overseas missionaries and decorations on fans. In 1862, he began studying art under Charles Gleyre in Paris. There he met Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille, Claude Monet. At times, during the 1860s, he did not have enough money to buy paint. Renoir had his first success at the Salon of 1868 with his painting Lise with a Parasol, which depicted Lise Tréhot, his lover at the time. Although Renoir first started exhibiting paintings at the Paris Salon in 1864, recognition was slow in coming as a result of the turmoil of the Franco-Prussian War.
During the Paris Commune in 1871, while Renoir painted on the banks of the Seine River, some Communards thought he was a spy and were about to throw him into the river, when a leader of the Commune, Raoul Rigault, recognized Renoir as the man who had protected him on an earlier occasion. In 1874, a ten-year friendship with Jules Le Cœur and his family ended, Renoir lost not only the valuable support gained by the association but a generous welcome to stay on their property near Fontainebleau and its scenic forest; this loss of a favorite painting location resulted in a distinct change of subjects. Renoir was inspired by the style and subject matter of previous modern painters Camille Pissarro and Edouard Manet. After a series of rejections by the Salon juries, he joined forces with Monet, Sisley and several other artists to mount the first Impressionist exhibition in April 1874, in which Renoir displayed six paintings. Although the critical response to the exhibition was unfavorable, Renoir's work was comparatively well received.
That same year, two of his works were shown with Durand-Ruel in London. Hoping to secure a livelihood by attracting portrait commissions, Renoir displayed portraits at the second Impressionist exhibition in 1876, he contributed a more diverse range of paintings the next year when the group presented its third exhibition. Renoir did not exhibit in the fourth or fifth Impressionist exhibitions, instead resumed submitting his works to the Salon. By the end of the 1870s after the success of his painting Mme Charpentier and her Children at the Salon of 1879, Renoir was a successful and fashionable painter. In 1881, he traveled to Algeria, a country he associated with Eugène Delacroix to Madrid, to see the work of Diego Velázquez. Following that, he traveled to Italy to see Titian's masterpieces in Florence and the paintings of Raphael in Rome. On 15 January 1882, Renoir met the composer Richard Wagner at his home in Sicily. Renoir painted Wagner's portrait in just thirty-five minutes. In the same year, after contracting pneumonia which permanently damaged his respiratory system, Renoir convalesced for six weeks in Algeria.
In 1883, Renoir spent the summer in Guernsey, one of the islands in the English Channel with a varied landscape of beaches and bays, where he created fifteen paintings in little over a month. Most of these feature Moulin Huet, a bay in Saint Martin's, Guernsey; these paintings were the subject of a set of commemorative postage stamps issued by the Bailiwick of Guernsey in 1983. While living and working in Montmartre, Renoir employed Suzanne Valadon as a model, who posed for him and many of his fellow painters. In 1887, the year when Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee, upon the request of the queen's associate, Phillip Richbourg, Renoir donated several paintings to the "French Impressionist Paintings" catalog as a token of his loyalty. In 1890, he married Aline Victorine Charigot, a dressmaker twenty years his junior, along with a number of the artist's friends, had served as a model for Le Déjeuner des canotiers in 1881, wit
Hyacinthe Rigaud was a French baroque painter most famous for his portraits of Louis XIV and other members of the French nobility. Hyacinthe Rigaud was born in Perpignan, the grandson of painter-gilders from Roussillon and the elder brother of another painter, he was trained in tailoring in his father's workshop but perfected his skills as a painter under Antoine Ranc at Montpellier from 1671 onwards, before moving to Lyon four years later. It was in these cities that he became familiar with Flemish and Italian painting that of Rubens, Van Dyck and Titian, whose works he collected. Arriving in Paris in 1681, he won the prix de Rome in 1682, but on the advice of Charles Le Brun did not make the trip to Rome to which this entitled him. Received into the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in 1710, he rose to the top of this institution before retiring from it in 1735. Since Rigaud's paintings captured exact likenesses along with the subject's costumes and background details, his paintings are considered precise records of contemporary fashions.
Rigaud was born with the Catalan name Jyacintho Rigau or Jacint Rigau i Ros This is variously translated as Híacint Francesc Honrat Mathias Pere Martyr Andreu Joan Rigau – in Perpignan, which became part of France by the Treaty of the Pyrenees shortly after his birth. Rigaud was baptised with his Catalan name in the old cathédrale Saint-Jean de Perpignan on 20 July 1659, two days after his birth at rue de la Porte-d'Assaut, he would not have become French had not Roussillon and the Cerdanya been annexed to France the following 7 November thanks to the Treaty of the Pyrenees. That Treaty put an end to the wars that had taken place between France and Habsburg Spain since 1635 and married King Louis XIV of France to the infanta Maria Theresa of Spain. Hyacinthe's father, Josep Matias Pere Ramon Rigau, was a tailor in the parish of Saint-Jean de Perpignan, "as well as a painter", descended from a line of well-established artists in the Perpignanian basin, commissioned to decorate several tabernacles and other panels for liturgical use.
Few of these have survived to the present. Hyacinthe's grandfather, Jacinto major, more Jacinto's father, Honorat minor, were heads of the family and the local art world from 1570 to 1630. Working for the collège Saint-Éloi in his city since 1560, acting as representative of its guild of painters and gilders, on 22 November 1630 Jacinto major and other gilders and colleagues participated in the development of the statutes and minutes of the city's collège Saint-Luc. Honorat minor is identified as the painter of The Canonisation of Saint Hyacinthe in Perpignan's Dominican convent and now at Joch, the tabernacle of the church of Palau-del-Vidre and the retable at Montalba near Amélie-les-Bains; the father of Honorat minor is identified as the painter of the retable of Saint-Ferréol in the église Saint-Jacques de Perpignan and in the couvent des Minimes, whilst Honorat major is identified as the painter of the paintings of the retable of the église Saint-Jean-l'Évangéliste at Peyrestortes. On 13 March 1647 Hyacinthe's father Matias daughter of a carpenter.
Widowed shortly after, he decided to speedily remarry, to Maria Serra, daughter of a Perpignan textile merchant, on 20 December 1655. In 1665, he acquired a house "en lo carrer de las casas cremades" and received the income from a parcel of vineyards in the Bompas territory. By his second marriage, he acquired a house on place de l'Huile, but he soon sold it. Little is known about Rigaud's activities in Lyon, due to the lack of surviving documents. However, as per tradition, artists from Montpellier had strong ties with this city, as had, for example, Samuel Boissière, trained in there, in Lyon; the identity of Rigaud's future depicted models shows that he worked for the city's cloth merchants, whose flourishing trade had long since given the city its profitable income. If they had only been registered from 1681 onwards, the date when he moved to Paris, his "youthful" portraits were pre-dated, like those of Antoine Domergue, the king's councillor and provincial governor of Lyon, in 1686, "Mr Sarazin de Lion", of a famous dynasty of bankers of Swiss origins, in 1685.
Rigaud's portrait of Jean de Brunenc, painted in 1687, a silk merchant and consul of Lyon, assembles all the ingredients for which the painter was successful. In her thesis on the engravers from the Drevet family, Gilberte Levallois-Clavel revealed certain aspects of the private relations between Rigaud and Pierre Drevet. In 1681, when Hyacinthe Rigaud decided to move to Paris, inspired by Drevet, attracted to the capital, he had established a good reputation amongst the local clientele, from Switzerland to Aix-en-Provence. Going back to the artist's biography, Dezallier d'Argenville states that one of Rigaud's main reasons for his 1695 voyage was to paint his mother's portrait: "He painted her from many angles, had her marble bust made by the notable Coysevox, his cabinet's ornament for the rest of his life". In his first will, dated
The Rhône is one of the major rivers of Europe and has twice the average discharge of the Loire, rising in the Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps at the far eastern end of the Swiss canton of Valais, passing through Lake Geneva and running through southeastern France. At Arles, near its mouth on the Mediterranean Sea, the river divides into two branches, known as the Great Rhône and the Little Rhône; the resulting delta constitutes the Camargue region. The name Rhone continues the name Latin: Rhodanus in Greco-Roman geography; the Gaulish name of the river was *Rodonos or *Rotonos. The Greco-Roman as well as the reconstructed Gaulish name is masculine; this form survives in the Spanish/Portuguese and Italian namesakes, el/o Ródano and il Rodano, respectively. German has adopted the French name but given it the feminine gender; the original German adoption of the Latin name was masculine, der Rotten. In French, the adjective derived from the river is rhodanien, as in le sillon rhodanien, the name of the long, straight Saône and Rhône river valleys, a deep cleft running due south to the Mediterranean and separating the Alps from the Massif Central.
Before railroads and highways were developed, the Rhône was an important inland trade and transportation route, connecting the cities of Arles, Valence and Lyon to the Mediterranean ports of Fos-sur-Mer, Marseille and Sète. Travelling down the Rhône by barge would take three weeks. By motorized vessel, the trip now takes only three days; the Rhône is classified as a Class V waterway for the 325 km long section from the mouth of the Saône at Lyon to the sea at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône. Upstream from Lyon, a 149 km section of the Rhône was made navigable for small ships up to Seyssel; as of 2017, the part between Lyon and Sault-Brénaz is closed for navigation. The Saône, canalized, connects the Rhône ports to the cities of Villefranche-sur-Saône, Mâcon and Chalon-sur-Saône. Smaller vessels can travel further northwest and northeast via the Centre-Loire-Briare and Loing Canals to the Seine, via the Canal de la Marne à la Saône to the Marne, via the Canal des Vosges to the Moselle and via the Canal du Rhône au Rhin to the Rhine.
The Rhône is infamous for its strong current when the river carries large quantities of water: current speeds up to 10 kilometres per hour are sometimes reached in the stretch below the last lock at Vallabrègues and in the narrow first diversion canal south of Lyon. The 12 locks are operated daily from 5:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. All operation is centrally controlled from one control centre at Châteauneuf. Commercial barges may navigate during the night hours by authorisation; the Rhône rises as an effluent of the Rhône Glacier in the Valais, in the Swiss Alps, at an altitude of 2,208 metres. From there it flows south through Gletsch and the Goms, the uppermost, valley region of the Valais before Brig. Shortly before reaching Brig, it receives the waters of the Massa from the Aletsch Glacier, it flows onward through the valley which bears its name and runs in a westerly direction about thirty kilometers to Leuk southwest about fifty kilometers to Martigny. Down as far as Brig, the Rhône is a torrent.
Between Brig and Martigny, it collects waters from the valleys of the Pennine Alps to the south, whose rivers originate from the large glaciers of the massifs of Monte Rosa and Grand Combin. At Martigny, where it receives the waters of the Drance on its left bank, the Rhône makes a strong turn towards the north. Heading toward Lake Geneva, the valley narrows, a feature that has long given the Rhône valley strategic importance for the control of the Alpine passes; the Rhône marks the boundary between the cantons of Valais and Vaud, separating the Valais Chablais and Chablais Vaudois. It enters Lake Geneva near Le Bouveret. On a portion of its extent Lake Geneva marks the border between Switzerland. On the left bank of Lake Geneva the river receives the river Morge; this river marks the border between Switzerland. The Morge enters Lake Geneva at a village on both sides of the border. Between Évian-les-Bains and Thonon-les-Bains the Dranse enters the lakewhere it left a quite large delta. On the right bank of the lake the Rhône receives the Veveyse, the Venoge, the Aubonne and the Morges besides others.
Lake Geneva ends in Geneva. The average discharge from Lake Geneva is 251 cubic metres per second. In Geneva, the Rhône receives the waters of the Arve from the Mont Blanc. After a course of 290 kilometres the Rhône leaves Switzerland and enters the southern Jura Mountains, it turns toward the south past the Bourget Lake which it is connected by the Savières channel. At Lyon, the biggest city along its course, the Rhône meets its biggest tributary, the Saône; the Saône carries 400 cubic metres per the Rhône itself 600 cubic metres per second. From the confluence, the Rhône follows the southbound
Simon Vouet was a French painter and draftsman, who today is best remembered for helping to introduce the Italian Baroque style of painting to France. Simon Vouet was born on January 1590 in Paris, his father Laurent taught him the rudiments of art. Simon's brother Aubin Vouet and his grandson Ludovico Dorigny were painters. Simon began his painting career as a portrait painter. At age 14 he travelled to England to paint a commissioned portrait and in 1611 was part of the entourage of the Baron de Sancy, French ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, for the same purpose. From Constantinople he went to Venice and was in Rome by 1614, he remained in Italy until 1627 in Rome where the Baroque style was becoming dominant. He received a pension from the King of France and his patrons included the Barberini family, Cassiano dal Pozzo, Paolo Giordano Orsini and Vincenzo Giustiniani, he visited other parts of Italy: Venice. He was a natural academic, who absorbed what he saw and studied, distilled it in his painting: Caravaggio's dramatic lighting.
Vouet's immense success in Rome led to his election as president of the Accademia di San Luca in 1624. In 1626 he married Virginia da Vezzo. Despite his success in Rome, Vouet returned to France in 1627, following pressing recommendations from the Duc de Béthunes and a summons from the King. A French contemporary, lacking the term "Baroque", said, "In his time the art of painting began to be practiced here in a nobler and more beautiful way than before," and the allegory of "Riches" demonstrates a new heroic sense of volumes, a breadth and confidence without decorative mannerisms. Vouet's new style was distinctly Italian, he adapted this style to the grand decorative scheme of the era of Louis XIII and Richelieu and was made premier peintre du Roi. Louis XIII commissioned portraits, tapestry cartoons and paintings from him for the Palais du Louvre, the Palais du Luxembourg and the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. In 1632, he worked for Cardinal Richelieu at the Château de Malmaison. In 1631 he decorated the château of the président de Fourcy, at Chessy, the hôtel Bullion, the château of Marshal d'Effiat at Chilly, the hôtel of the Duc d’Aumont, the Séguier chapel, the gallery of the Château de Wideville.
In Paris, Vouet was the fresh dominating force in French painting, producing numerous public altarpieces and allegorical decors for private patrons. Vouet's sizeable atelier or workshop produced a whole school of French painters for the following generation, through Vouet, French Baroque painting retained a classicizing restraint from the outset, his most influential pupil was Charles le Brun, who organized all the interior decorative painting at Versailles and dictated the official style at the court of Louis XIV of France, but who jealously excluded Vouet from the Académie Royale in 1648. Vouet's other students included Valentin de Boulogne, Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy, Pierre Mignard, Eustache Le Sueur, Nicolas Chaperon, Claude Mellan and the Flemish artist Abraham Willaerts. Gardener André Le Nôtre a landsscape architect, studied in his studio. Vouet was a friend of Claude Vignon. A number of Vouet's decorative schemes have been lost but are recorded in engravings by Claude Mellan and Michel Dorigny.
1990: retrospective of Simon Vouet's work at the Galeries nationales of the Grand Palais. 2002-2003: Simon Vouet ou l'éloquence sensible at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, devoted to drawings from his French period now in the collection of the Staatsbibliothek in Munich. 2008-2009: Simon Vouet, les années italiennes, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, in collaboration with the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'archéologie de Besançon. Palais de la Justice Palais Cardinal, Musée des hommes illustre The Châteaux de Rueil Château de La Muette Château-Neuf de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, The Four Cardinal Virtues Château de Fontainebleau Residence of Chancelier Séguier Residence of Maréchal de La Meilleraye Residence of Président Tuboeuf Church of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs à Paris, The Assumption, Apostles at the Tomb of the Virgin Church of Saint-Etienne à Chilly-Mazarin, Burial of Christ Hôtel-Bullion Church of Saint-Merry à Paris, Saint Merry releasing the Prisoners Renaud and Armide, Renaud in the arms of Armide, Louvre Moses saved from the waters The Life of Ulysses Saint Sebastian, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Saint Peter visiting Saint Agatha in Prison, 1624 Intelligence and Will, Capitoline Museums, Rome Virgin and Child à la rose, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Marseille Hesselin Virgin and Child, Louvre Sainte Marie Madeleine, National Gallery, Rome Allegory of the Fine Arts, National Gallery, Rome Allegory of Peace, National Gallery, Rome Allegory of Charity, Museum of Draguignan Diana, Somerset House, London Virgin and Child with an Angel, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen Suicide of Lucretia, Narodni Gallery, Prague Roman Charity, Musée Bonnat, Bayonne Burial, Fitzw
Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault was an influential French painter and lithographer, whose best-known painting is The Raft of the Medusa. Although he died young, he was one of the pioneers of the Romantic movement. Born in Rouen, France, Géricault was educated in the tradition of English sporting art by Carle Vernet and classical figure composition by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, a rigorous classicist who disapproved of his student's impulsive temperament while recognizing his talent. Géricault soon left the classroom, choosing to study at the Louvre, where from 1810 to 1815 he copied paintings by Rubens, Velázquez and Rembrandt. During this period at the Louvre he discovered a vitality he found lacking in the prevailing school of Neoclassicism. Much of his time was spent in Versailles, where he found the stables of the palace open to him, where he gained his knowledge of the anatomy and action of horses. Géricault's first major work, The Charging Chasseur, exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1812, revealed the influence of the style of Rubens and an interest in the depiction of contemporary subject matter.
This youthful success and monumental, was followed by a change in direction: for the next several years Géricault produced a series of small studies of horses and cavalrymen. He exhibited Wounded Cuirassier at the Salon in 1814, a work more labored and less well received. Géricault in a fit of disappointment entered the army and served for a time in the garrison of Versailles. In the nearly two years that followed the 1814 Salon, he underwent a self-imposed study of figure construction and composition, all the while evidencing a personal predilection for drama and expressive force. A trip to Florence and Naples, prompted in part by the desire to flee from a romantic entanglement with his aunt, ignited a fascination with Michelangelo. Rome itself inspired the preparation of a monumental canvas, the Race of the Barberi Horses, a work of epic composition and abstracted theme that promised to be "entirely without parallel in its time". However, Géricault returned to France. In 1821, he painted The Derby of Epsom.
Géricault continually returned to the military themes of his early paintings, the series of lithographs he undertook on military subjects after his return from Italy are considered some of the earliest masterworks in that medium. His most significant, most ambitious work, is The Raft of the Medusa, which depicted the aftermath of a contemporary French shipwreck, Meduse, in which the captain had left the crew and passengers to die; the incident became a national scandal, Géricault's dramatic interpretation presented a contemporary tragedy on a monumental scale. The painting's notoriety stemmed from its indictment of a corrupt establishment, but it dramatized a more eternal theme, that of man's struggle with nature, it excited the imagination of the young Eugène Delacroix, who posed for one of the dying figures. The classical depiction of the figures and structure of the composition stand in contrast to the turbulence of the subject, so that the painting constitutes an important bridge between neo-classicism and romanticism.
It fuses many influences: the Last Judgment of Michelangelo, the monumental approach to contemporary events by Antoine-Jean Gros, figure groupings by Henry Fuseli, the painting Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley. The painting ignited political controversy when first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1819. While in London, Géricault witnessed urban poverty, made drawings of his impressions, published lithographs based on these observations which were free of sentimentality, he associated much there with the lithographer and caricaturist. After his return to France in 1821, Géricault was inspired to paint a series of ten portraits of the insane, the patients of a friend, Dr. Étienne-Jean Georget, a pioneer in psychiatric medicine, with each subject exhibiting a different affliction. There are five remaining portraits from the series, including Insane Woman; the paintings are noteworthy for their bravura style, expressive realism, for their documenting of the psychological discomfort of individuals, made all the more poignant by the history of insanity in Géricault's family, as well as the artist's own fragile mental health.
His observations of the human subject were not confined to the living, for some remarkable still-lifes—painted studies of severed heads and limbs—have been ascribed to the artist. Géricault's last efforts were directed toward preliminary studies for several epic compositions, including the Opening of the Doors of the Spanish Inquisition and the African Slave Trade; the preparatory drawings suggest works of great ambition. Weakened by riding accidents and chronic tubercular infection, Géricault died in Paris in 1824 after a long period of suffering, his bronze figure reclines, brush in hand, on his tomb at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, above a low-relief panel of The Raft of the Medusa. Ciofalo, John J; the Raft: A Play about the Tragic Life of Théodore Géricault Eitner, Lorenz, "Theodore Gericault", Salander-O'Reilly Whitney, Gericault in Italy, New Haven/London: Yale University Press Riding, Christine, "The Raft of the Medusa in Britain", Crossing the Channel: British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism, Tate Publishing French painting 1774–1830: the Age of Revolution.
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