A Tale of Two Secrétaires at The Wallace Collection, London

A Tale of Two Secrétaires, The Wallace Collection, until 29th August

 

The love and high regard for 18th century French furniture led to furniture makers in Paris and London copying many of the best pieces for wealthy clients in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  These pieces were greatly prized by their owners and indeed could cost more than original pieces. At the Wallace Collection there is a copy of the Louis XV “bureau de roi” and another of the writing-table of the Elector of Bavaria which are very fine examples of this kind of commission.

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However the focus of this piece is the showing in the museum’s Conservation Display area of the Collection’s 18th century Secrétaire à Abattant by Pierre-Antoine Foullet (c1777) and a 19th century version by Maison Rogié of Paris (c1880).  As the image shows they are featured side by side and it allows a great opportunity to see the differences in the techniques in their construction and finish.  The 19th century Secrétaire is loaned by Butchoff Antiques who are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year.

 

www.butchoff.com

http://www.wallacecollection.org

The image is copyright

Charlotte Hodes -The Grammar of Ornament : New papercuts and ceramics at jaggedart

Charlotte Hodes –The Grammar of Ornament : New papercuts and ceramics, until 5th April, jaggedart, 28 A Devonshire Street, (off Marylebone High Street), London W1G 6PS

This exhibition is the artist’s first solo show at jaggedart – some of you will remember the show of her work at the Wallace Collection in 2007.

PO18_Master

In this show of thirty-seven papercuts and thirty-seven associated ceramics the artist Charlotte Hodes, well-known for collage, has produced a new body of work that is a re-interpretation of Owen Jones’s The Grammar of Ornament, published in 1856.

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Hodes’s approach is to look at the subject matter from the perspective of a 21st Century female artist with the female being the protagonist and by doing this she subverts the rigid “masculine” hierarchy suggested by Jones.  She creates this using papercut and collage techniques to express her view with great effect.

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The exhibition will go on to be shown at the New Hall Art Collection, Cambridge, the only collection devoted to women’s art in the UK  (26th April-24th May).

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Copyright © 2013 jaggedart limited, All rights reserved.

The Male Nude: Eighteenth-century drawings from the Paris Academy, an exhibition at The Wallace Collection

The Male Nude: Eighteenth-century drawings from the Paris Academy, The Wallace Collection, until 19th January 2014

François Boucher, Study of a man lying down, an elbow leaning on the ground, 1739. © ENSBA, Paris.

François Boucher, Study of a man lying down, an elbow leaning on the ground, 1739. © ENSBA, Paris.

These remarkable drawings come from the Ėcole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, which is a descendant of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, which was originally founded in 1648.  The Academy’s role was to teach the more gifted artists what skills were needed to succeed in history painting which in the late seventeenth and eighteenth century was considered the most important genre for a painter.  Indeed the Academy provided the best training in Europe.

François de Troy, Bacchus, standing face on, late 17th century. © ENSBA, Paris.

François de Troy, Bacchus, standing face on, late 17th century. © ENSBA, Paris.

At this time would-be painters or sculptors were apprenticed to a Master to learn in their studio.  Those who showed promise were allowed to attend the life class at the Academy.  Only male models were used as the male figure was regarded as the basis of sculpture and painting.  There were no female models allowed at the Academy, which meant that artists had to seek out their female subjects in less salubrious settings.

Hyacinthe Rigaud, Two fighters, (undated). © ENSBA, Paris.

Hyacinthe Rigaud, Two fighters, (undated). © ENSBA, Paris.

Although the Academy’s teaching regime was strict there is no doubt that it paid off as the thirty-seven drawings on show amply prove.  The figures whether single or in pairs are shown in a variety of poses, their facial expressions suited to the physical emotions they are expressing.

Antoine-Jean Gros, Man standing, striking a bull, 1790. © ENSBA, Paris.

Antoine-Jean Gros, Man standing, striking a bull, 1790. © ENSBA, Paris.

While some of the artists included in this show, such as Rigaud, Boucher, Nattier and Jean-Baptiste Isabey, are represented in the Wallace Collection, the Hertfords hardly collected any historical or academic works. So the opportunity to see this group of drawings fills an important gap in our understanding of the story of 18th century French painting.

Nicolas de Plattemontagne, Sleeping man, legs bent, 1687. © ENSBA, Paris.

Nicolas de Plattemontagne, Sleeping man, legs bent, 1687. © ENSBA, Paris.

As well as the exhibition there is a trail guide to pictures and objects in the Wallace’s collections that relate to the exhibition.

Jean-Baptiste Lagrenée, Seated man, leaning on his right arm, 1789. © ENSBA, Paris.

Jean-Baptiste Lagrenée, Seated man, leaning on his right arm, 1789. © ENSBA, Paris.

www.wallacecollection.org

François-Guillaume Ménageot, Hercules at rest, left profile, (undated). © ENSBA, Paris.

François-Guillaume Ménageot, Hercules at rest, left profile, (undated). © ENSBA, Paris.

 

The Wallace Collection – The Discovery of Paris

The Discovery of Paris: Watercolours by Early Nineteenth-Century British Artists – until 15 September 2013

 

Seeing a 1739 large scale map of Paris (lot 82) in the Out of the Ordinary Sale at Christie’s South Kensington* made me feel I should bring this very enjoyable exhibition to your attention.

T.Girtin 'The Louvre and the Pont des Tuileries from the Pont-Neuf 1802 Cat 6, copyright The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

T.Girtin ‘The Louvre and the Pont des Tuileries from the Pont-Neuf 1802
Cat 6, copyright The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Paris had been a destination for the wealthy on the Grand Tour before the French Revolution in 1789 and the following years of war. However the Peace of Amiens (1802-03) and the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815 meant that Paris once more became the place to visit for the British with an increasing number of middle-class travellers.  Artists too were drawn to it as this show of sixty watercolours, some preparatory drawings and associated prints bears witness.  It concentrates on the period c1802-1840.

GJ Scharf The Royal Engineers in the Bois de Boulogne 1815 Cat 9 Copyright The Trustees of the British Museum

GJ Scharf The Royal Engineers in the Bois de Boulogne 1815
Cat 9 Copyright The Trustees of the British Museum

They painted scenes such as Notre Dame, the Boulevard des Italiens, the Pont Neuf and the Ile de la Cité and others which still remain popular with contemporary artists today.  Among the lesser and very well-known artists in this exhibition are John Gendall, William Callow, Girtin, Bonington and Turner.  Works vary from simple pencil views to highly accomplished watercolours as they were either created for sale or as engraving sources for contemporary guides and publications.

W. Callow The Pont des Arts and the Ille de la Cite from the Quai du Louvre 1831 Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum

W. Callow The Pont des Arts and the Ille de la Cite from the Quai du Louvre 1831
Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum

While the Wallace Collection has examples of watercolours by many of the artists in this exhibition it does not have any views of Paris because, like many other collectors, the 4th Marquess of Hertford and his son Richard Wallace did not buy views of the city in which they lived. The works on show, some rarely exhibited, have come from institutions such as the British Museum, the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Tate and the V&A, as well as some private collections.

TS Boys The Boulevard des Capucines at the Corner with the Rue de la Paix 1833 Cat.43, copyright The Trustees of the British Museum

TS Boys The Boulevard des Capucines at the Corner with the Rue de la Paix 1833
Cat.43, copyright The Trustees of the British Museum

This exhibition amply proves why these artists are part of the Golden Age of Watercolour and why the allure of Paris endures.

JMW Turner The Pont-Neuf and the Ille de la Cite circa 1833 Cat 49 Copyright Tate, London 2012

JMW Turner The Pont-Neuf and the Ille de la Cite circa 1833
Cat 49 Copyright Tate, London 2012

 

The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, LondonW1U 3BN,

 + 44 (0)20 7563 9500

E-mail: enquiries@wallacecollection

 

                                                                                                                                                                                 

*See my blog 19 August 2013 for more info.