Death of Roseline Bacou and Adeline Cacan de Bissy

24/2/13 - Obituaries - Roseline Bacou (ill.) passed away last 8 February at the age of 89. After graduating from the University of Montpellier, she joined the Cabinet des dessins at the Louvre in 1949 where she spent her whole career, finishing from 1984 to 1988 as head of what is today the Département des Arts Graphiques.
A specialist of Odilon Redon, the subject of her dissertation, she published extensively on the artist and in 1956 organized the first retrospective on him ever. She was an active administrator, as recalled by Michel Laclotte who will pay tribute to her in the next issue of Grande Galerie, instrumental in the organization of the Cabinet des dessins and its many acquisitions. The former president of the Louvre points out notably her role in bringing about the donations by Claude-Roger Marx, Ari and Suzanne Redon (of Odilon Redon works today at the Musée d’Orsay) as well as the remarkable acquisition of a drawing by Antonello da Messina, The Holy Women at the Tomb. She was also the curator and co-curator of a considerable number of exhibitions which cannot all be quoted here, highlighting both French art and Italian drawings.
In her final years, Roseline Bacou devoted all her energy to restoring the Abbaye Saint-André in Villeneuve-les-Avignon and its gardens.

Another relevant figure in French museums, Adeline Cacan de Bissy, also left us this month, on 7th February. Born in 1918, she had participated along with Rose Valland after World War II in the Commission de Récupération artistique of works looted by the Nazis. She joined the Petit Palais in Paris in 1947, then took over as director from 1966 until 1983. While there, Adeline Cacan de Bissy organized a great number of exhibitions, notably - as concerns The Art Tribune’s chronological field : Les Fresques de Florence in 1970, Le Siècle de Rembrandt in 1971, La Peinture espagnole du Siècle d’Or de Greco à Velasquez in 1976, an Ingres restrospective in 1977 and one on Ferdinand Hodler in 1983.

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Didier Rykner, mercredi 6 mars 2013

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