A Louyse Moyllon exhibition at the Galerie Coatalem

Louise (or Louyse) Moillon (c. 1610-1696)
Still-lief with pomegranate
and bigarades
on a basket
, after 1641
Oil on panel - 49.5 x 64 cm
Collection LGR
Photo : Galerie Coatalem

18/11/09 – Exhibition – Paris, Galerie Coatalem – Louise Moillon signed Louyse, no doubt about it, and we may have to perhaps, despite our policy until now, resign ourselves to replacing the i with a y, despite the traditional spelling generally used previously.

Among the ten still-lifes on display for a month at the Coatalem gallery, one of which is unpublished (ill.), three are signed. The others have undergone a strict selection so as to show only acknowledged works by the artist [1]. Such an assemblage is exceptional as no retrospective had been devoted before to this female artist with scarcely fifteen paintings held in a museum. The exhibition presents a clear image of Louise Moillon and her technique, understated and smooth. Although the catalogue published by the gallery for the occasion points out the symbolic sense of each fruit represented, there remains the question of the allegorical meaning of these paintings. Unlike other still-life painters in the first half of the 17th century, Moillon rarely painted anything other than fruit. No skulls, insects or very few of them, no coral or shells, no dead animals, hour glasses, or candles… The concept might seem anachronistic but Louyse Moillon seems to favor above all the pleasure of painting for its own sake.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mercredi 18 novembre 2009


[1] All of them, except one, come from private collections and are not for sale.

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