At the musée du Louvre
Starting March 29, 2019
Over the course of 2019, the Musée du Louvre is celebrating the Pyramid’s 30th anniversary.
Announced in September 1981 by French President François Mitterrand, the Grand Louvre project had the aim of devoting the whole palace, up until then partially occupied by the Ministry of Finance, to the museum. This immense construction project provided an opportunity to redesign visitor reception and the display of the artworks. Ieoh Ming Pei, the American architect of Chinese descent, conceived of a simplified entrance to the museum and proposed the construction of a glass pyramid in the center of the Cour Napoléon.
This project stirred up a great deal of controversy in the press, with criticism of the architect’s bold intervention on a monument emblematic of the history of France. The Pyramid nevertheless embodies the Louvre’s identity, rooted in history and firmly open to the world.
The Hittite empire, a great rival power of ancient Egypt, ruled over Anatolia and held sway over the Levant until about 1200 BC. Its demise gave rise to Neo-Hittite and Aramean kingdoms in modern-day Turkey and Syria, heirs of the political, cultural, and artistic traditions of the fallen empire.
The exhibition invites visitors to rediscover the mythic sites of this forgotten civilization, such as the majestic remains of the Tell Halaf site, located near the current Turco-Syrian border. This major Syrian heritage site was discovered by Max von Oppenheim, who conducted excavations there from 1911 to 1913. The large sculptures, which adorned the palace of the Aramean king Kapara, were brought back to Berlin where they were exhibited, then very heavily damaged in WW2 bombings. An incredible conservation project carried out in the early 2000s made it possible to rehabilitate them.
The history of this collection makes for compelling testimony to the ongoing efforts to preserve endangered heritage sites, past and present. The Louvre is strongly committed to this cause, particularly in war-torn countries, by mobilizing the international community and, most recently, by participating in the creation of ALIPH in 2017 (International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas.)
October 24, 2019–February 24, 2020
Exhibition curators: Vincent Delieuvin, Department of Paintings, and Louis Frank, Department of Prints and Drawings.
This unprecedented retrospective of da Vinci’s painting career will illustrate how he placed utmost importance on painting, and how his investigation of the world, which he referred to as “the science of painting,” was the instrument of his art, seeking nothing less than to bring life to his paintings.
The exhibition is the culmination of more than ten years of work, notably including new scientific examinations of the Louvre’s paintings, and the conservation treatment of three of them, allowing for better understanding of da Vinci’s artistic practice and pictorial technique. Clarification of his biography has also emerged through the exhaustive reexamination of archival documents. The exhibition will paint the portrait of a man and an artist of extraordinary freedom.
Time slot tickets required for admission.
February 21 – May 20, 2019
Exhibition curator: Jean-Gérald Castex, Department of Prints and Drawings, Musée du Louvre.
The exhibition gathers some 120 works, including nearly 70 engraved plates from these three historical collections of the Louvre Chalcographie, presented alongside drawings from the Musée du Louvre’s Department of Prints and Drawings, and prints from the Edmond de Rothschild collection and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
ANTOINE-JEAN GROS AND THE SCHOOL OF DAVID
June 27 – September 30, 2019
Exhibition curator: Laura Angelucci, documentary researcher in the Department of Prints and Drawings, Musée du Louvre.
Designed to accompany the publication of the General Inventory of the Drawings of Antoine-Jean Gros at the Louvre (scheduled for June 2019), this presentation of some forty artworks from the museum will allow for an overview of the painter’s career, highlighting his talents as a draughtsman, little known to the public. A number of paintings will be on display alongside the drawings, retracing the career of the painter, who inspired the first generation of Romantics, including Géricault, from the time of Gros’s training in David’s atelier (starting in 1785) to his encounter with Bonaparte in Milan in late 1796. Certain drawings recall his great mastery in depicting Bonaparte’s military triumphs. The exhibition will conclude with examples of the call to order that Gros imposed upon his painting following the fall of the First Empire (1814), and with the Restoration of the Bourbon Monarchy (1815). These drawings paradoxically herald the peak of his career under the reigns of Louis XVIII (1815-1824) and Charles X (1824-1830).
June 27 –September 30, 2019
Rotonde Sully south
Exhibition curator: Pierre Rosenberg, Honorary President-Director of the Musée du Louvre.
The Louvre is continuing its presentation of the Mariette Collection, shifting the spotlight to drawings by the great Italian masters, following its focus on French drawings in 2011.
The last representative of an illustrious dynasty of print-sellers, admitted as a “free associate” to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Pierre-JeanMariette (1694–1774) was a printmaker and draughtsman, translator and art critic, tireless letter writer, and, perhaps above all, one of the greatest drawing collectors of all time.
While Mariette sought to create a universal collection that embodied the history of drawing as best possible, and accumulated works by the greatest figures to do so, he had a clear preference for Italy. In order to highlight the portion of the Mariette Collection that provided its creator with the greatest pleasure, and was furthermore coveted throughout Europe, the Musée du Louvre will present some sixty works from its own collections by the greatest Italian artists: Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian, Veronese, the Carracci, Reni, Guercino, and more.
OFFICER & GENTLEMAN IN THE 19TH CENTURY: THE HORACE HIS DE LA SALLE COLLECTION
November 7, 2019 – February 10, 2020
Rotonde Sully north
Exhibition curators: Laurence Lhinares, research fellow in the Department of Prints and Drawings, and Louis-Antoine Prat, art historian and President of the Amis du Louvre.
The importance of the role of private collectors in the creation of public drawing collections in France is well known, in particular thanks to the many homages paid to Everhard Jabach, Pierre-Jean Mariette, Étienne Moreau-Nélaton and Philippe de Chennevières. However, only one small exhibition, at the Musée de Beaux-Arts de Dijon in 1974, has been devoted to the decisive actions of one of the most generous donors of all time to French museums, Aimé Charles Horace His de La Salle (1795–1878), reputed as a lover of drawings, as well as sculptures and objets d’art. Amongst other French museums, he above all sought to enrich the Louvre, with donations and bequests of 21 paintings and nearly 450 drawings from all different schools.
In order to provide an image faithful to the collector’s taste, the collection’s interdisciplinary character will be highlighted through the participation of four of the Louvre’s departments: Prints and Drawings (67 drawings and one miniature), Paintings (four paintings), Sculptures and Decorative Arts (seven Renaissance plates and sculptures). This major collection will be rounded out by over forty significant works on loan from other museums favored by His de La Salle: Alençon, Dijon, Lyon, the École des Beaux-Arts.
HOMAGE TO SOULAGES
December 11, 2019 – March 9, 2020
Salon Carré (Denon Wing, level 1)
Exhibition curators: Pierre Encrevé, art historian, and Alfred Pacquement, honorary heritage curator.
Pierre Soulages, who began his activity as a painter in 1946 and continues to paint today with the same regularity, will turn 100 on December 24, 2019.
On this occasion, the Musée du Louvre will pay him an exceptional homage with a personal exhibition in the prestigious Salon Carré, located between the Galerie d’Apollon and the Grande Galerie. Pierre Soulages is particularly fond of this great museum gallery showcasing the Italian primitives, whose works for him illustrate the evolution of western painting and the transition to a three-dimensional representation of space.
To summarize the singular longevity of Soulages’s career, the exhibition will take the form of a selection of major works from each of its seven decades, hailing from the most renowned museums in France and abroad. The aim is to simultaneously illustrate the continuity of a body of work that springs entirely from a single conception of a total abstraction, expressed in particular through purely classificatory titles (technique, dimensions, date), and the break that came about midway, in 1979, leading to the emergence of a new painting practice for which Soulages coined the neologism outrenoir. All of Soulages’s painting examines the relationship between black and light, but with outrenoir that harnesses reflection, the space and time of painting are radically transformed, endowing it with an entirely unprecedented luminous multiplicity.
FRANCE-ROMANIA SEASON 2019
LITURGICAL TEXTILES OF BYZANTINE TRADITION
April 17 – July 29, 2019
Department of Decorative Arts, Richelieu Wing, level 1, room 6
Exhibition curator: Jannic Durand, Director of the Department of Decorative Arts, Musée du Louvre.
On the occasion of the symbolic loan by Romania of King Stephen the Great’s “Battle flag of Saint Georges,” this exhibition seeks to highlight the exceptional character of Romanian collections of embroidery of Byzantine tradition, jewel of both Romanian and universal heritage.
Around the masterpiece that Stephen the Great (1457–1504) offered to the Zograf Monastery on Mount Athos, which was solemnly handed over by France to the Romanian state in 1917, a number of extraordinary works will illustrate the remarkable development of embroidery of Byzantine tradition in Romania from the mid-15th to the mid-17th centuries. Inherited from Byzantium, the embroidered ornamentation of the “sacerdotal vestments” of bishops, priests and deacons, and that of the “liturgical vestments” intended for worship will be exhibited alongside an unrivalled collection of royal tombstone covers, upon which the hieratic character of Byzantine images was ultimately supplanted by the appeal of portraiture.
BODY AND SOUL: SCULPTURE IN ITALY FROM DONATELLO TO MICHELANGELO, 1460-1520
Spring 2020 / HALL NAPOLÉON
I, TAHARQA, PHARAOH OF TWO LANDS
Autumn 2020 / HALL NAPOLÉON
ALTDORFER AND HIS TIME
April / May – August 2020 / ROTONDE SULLY
In the Petite Galerie
Figure of the Artist
September 25, 2019 – June 29, 2020
Petite Galerie of the Musée du Louvre
At the Musée Eugène-Delacroix
THE ARTIST’S STUDIO: CREATING ART
May 15 – September 30, 2019
These will take the form of several ensembles, each centered on one or more paintings by Delacroix, in order to highlight the creative process behind the works.
At the Louvre-Lens
March 27 – July 22, 2019
Temporary exhibition gallery
The Musée du Louvre-Lens will present the largest exhibition in France ever to be devoted to Homer, author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the two celebrated epic poems that are the foundation of western culture. It will offer an unprecedented view of the richness of the Homeric universe, at once beautiful and mysterious.
Following an introduction devoted to the gods of Olympus and the Muse invoked by Homer, the exhibition will set out to discover the “prince of poets,” whose very existence is questioned. It will also explore the phenomena of “mania for Homer” that characterized archeology and inspired works and behaviors, drawing from Homeric imitation of substantial scope, down to the art of daily living.
The exhibition will go on to reintroduce visitors to the main heroes and stories of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Archeological objects and modern works will reveal how these epics have been depicted, with unusual consistency as well as variations depending on the era, which illustrate a history of taste.
The journey will also touch upon the most famous scenes of the Trojan War, hailing from other poems, now lost, but which were read in Antiquity. They reveal the wealth of ancient epic content, and the miracle represented by the conservation of Homer’s works.
September 25, 2019 – January 20, 2020
Temporary exhibition gallery
The exhibition will retrace this unique time in the history of Polish culture, during which, despite the country’s division between Russia, the Austrian Empire, and Prussia, artists created a true Polish identity, which has since been referred to as “Polishness”. It will present the way in which artists, drawing inspiration from national history, landscapes and peasantry, created images of Poland for Poles, as well as for the rest of the world. Generous and evocative, their painting was frequently on the cutting edge of European pictorial styles of the era.
Thanks to prestigious loans from Polish national museums, the exhibition will gather some 150 paintings dating from 1840 to 1918 by the most renowned Polish painters, including Matejko, Chelmonski, Malczewski, and Kossak.