Presented since 25 May 2019 in the Cour Puget, these six original ink paintings on gold leaf fit naturally amidst the masterpieces of 17th- and18th-century statuary.
The artist’s works were inspired by the rose Rubens painted in his Wedding of Marie de’ Medici to Henri IV (1621 1625). Jean-Michel Othoniel sees the rose as an emblem of the museum. A triumphant symbol of power and passion, Rubens’ unique interpretation of the ‘queen of flowers’ represents a woman’s destiny, her beauty, and her death-defying love, as well as the history of both France and the museum.
‘The Louvre was designed for artists, as a living, inspirational place for the creators of every era. We are happy to permanently welcome Jean-Michel Othoniel’s original and dreamlike creation – inspired by strolls through the rooms of the museum – into our collections’
Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musée du Louvre
‘This project, commissioned for the 30th anniversary of the Pyramid, has been fascinating. It has been a pleasure visiting the Louvre over the last two years in search of a flower that could become the symbol of the largest museum in the world. The moment my paintings were installed in the Cour Puget was deeply moving and the fact that the Louvre wants to keep them in place is overwhelming. Joining Georges Braque, Cy Twombly and Anselm Kiefer, being displayed alongside the oeuvre of the great masters, is more than I could ever have dreamed of as an artist’
Jean-Michel Othoniel, artist
To complement his installation, Jean-Michel Othoniel also published The Secret Language of Flowers, a collection of notes on the hidden meaning and symbolism of flowers. The plants featured can be found hidden in the painted, carved, drawn, embroidered and enamelled masterpieces of the Louvre collections and were compiled by the artist as he once again explored the eight departments of this vast museum, where he worked day and night shifts as a warden during his studies.
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