Saturday, June 23, 2018

French Paintings at the Louvre

The French Painting wing of the Louvre came as a pleasant surprise for Bill and me when we found it relatively empty except for a few angels.
This angel is thought to be by the Limbourg Brothers. Man of Sorrows Supported by John the Evangelist Accompanied by the Virgin Mary and Two Angels. 1405-1410. Sad to see the damage to the canvas but what a face on that angel. And the colours.
The galleries looked great -- as if they had been redesigned. We admired The Thouzon Altarpiece (about 1410). Bill was struck by the many arrows in the saint on the right.
We also saw paintings we hadn't seen before. The Master of Dreux Budé. The Crucifixion of the Paris Parliament. Begun before 1450. I'm taking a picture of the detail below
-- the Seine river in 15th century Paris.
 It was refreshing to come upon large rooms filled with whole bodies of work with which we were unfamiliar. Bill is enjoying a portrait of two nuns by Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674). 
The nun on the right has a small devotional object in her lap. A portable diptych.
A suite of rooms dedicated to Eustache Le Sueur's epic Life of Saint Bruno (17th century). Imagine, the curators made room for the whole series. Two rooms.
It was all very grand.
Made us feel quite grand ourselves.
Bill catches me swooning under Philippe de Champaigne's, Saint Gervase and Saint Portase appearing to Saint Ambrose, 1658, tapestry cartoon.
I love the iconography of beings who live on clouds.
Charles Le Brun. Equestrian Portrait of Pierre Séguier. About 1660. Bill noticed the great teen attendants.
I was noticing these shoes tied with silk.
We entered the 18th century. Nicolas de Largillierre. Studies of Hands. About 1715.
Then we got to the magical paintings of Jean-Antoine Watteau. The Two Cousins. About 1716.
It was fun to have a close look at Watteau's sublime Pierrot, formerly known as Gilles (about 1718-1719).
Pierrot (detail). Interesting shoe.
We loved this grand lady in Louis Tocque's Portrait of Marie Leszczyńska (1703-1768), wife of Louis XV, King of France. 1740
Scrumptious detail of the above.
Now one of the highlights of the Louvre, two rooms of the sublime Jean-Siméon Chardin. Here's The Ray. About 1725-1726.
Detail of that linen napkin in The Ray. We're mad for Chardin.
Chardin. Young Man with a Violin. 1734-1735.
Now you may correctly imagine I have gone mad because I've pressed my phone flat against the glass of this display cabinet, taking a non-flash picture. I tried to mind my manners and not leave fingerprints.
I'm taking the best picture I can of Chardin's The Copper Pot (about 1750-1760). 
A favourite of Bill's -- Chardin's Pears, Nuts and Glass of Wine. About 1763.
Bill also photographed Chardin's The Monkey Painter. About 1739-1740. 
What a gaze! Many haunting faces in this collection.
We were starting to tire as we continued through the 18th century. Revived by François Boucher's Venus at Vulcan's Forge, 1757
and Jean-Honoré Fragonard's The Shirt Removed (about 1770). 
We got a sudden interior notice. It was once more lunchtime in Paris and we fled.

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