Drawings and sculptures recently acquired by the Petit Palais


29/10/09– Acquisitions–Paris, Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris - Although the acquisition budget for Parisian museums has suffered drastic cuts, the Petit Palais has recently enriched its collections with several works through donations, bequests or purchases :

1. Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863)
Hercules Resting
Graphite pencil - 23 x 37 cm
Paris, Musée du Petit Palais
Photo : Petit Palais



— Eugène Delacroix, Hercules Resting (ill. 1). This is a preparatory drawing for the Salon de la Paix at City Hall in Paris, a décor executed by Delacroix from 1852 to 1854 with the help of Pierre Andrieu and which disappeared in the fire of 1871 under the Commune. As the ensemble was not photographed, alas, it is known only thanks to some painted and drawn studies which have survived and also the ricordi which Andrieu produced after 1871, a part of which is preserved at the Petit Palais.

2. Gaspard-Félix Tournachon,
called
Nadar (1820-1910)
Maquette for
the Nadar Jury

(caricatures of
the Salon)
Lithography
heightened with ink
and watercolour - 43.2 x 28 cm
Paris, Musée du Petit Palais
Photo : Petit Palais

3. Gaspard-Félix Tournachon,
called
Nadar (1820-1910)
Maquette for the Nadar Jury
(caricatures of
the Salon)
Lithography
heightened with ink
and watercolour - 43.2 x 28 cm
Paris, Musée du Petit Palais
Photo : Petit Palais


4. Gaspard-Félix Tournachon,
called
Nadar (1820-1910)
Maquette for the Nadar Jury
(caricatures of
the Salon)
Lithography heightened with
ink and watercolour - 43.2 x 28 cm
Paris, Musée du Petit Palais
Photo : Petit Palais



— Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, known as Nadar, 3 Maquettes for the Nadar Jury (caricatures of the Salon) (ill. 2, 3 and 4). Parodies of the works displayed at the Salon became almost a genre all to itself in the 19th century. These cut-outs of lithographs, worked over by Nadar in ink and watercolour to which he added legends were donated to the museum by Chantal Kiener in 2007. For example, (ill. 4) “the famous gorilla of M. Frémiet. He’s taking a little lady into the woods to eat her up…” is easily recognizable.

5. Luc-Olivier Merson (1846-1920)
Hope
Black chalk heightened with white and gold -
220 x 102 cm
Paris, Musée du Petit Palais
Photo : Petit Palais



— Luc-Olivier Merson, Hope (ill. 3). In 1895, Charles Girault, the architect of the Petit Palais, installed a crypt inside the Pasteur Institute in Paris to shelter the remains of Louis Pasteur who had just died. Merson executed the cartoons for four mosaic figures located on the pendentives of the cupola above the tomb. These are the three theological Virtues and a fourth one represents Science, an iconography adapted to the occupant. These four winged virtues are almost identical and can only be distinguished by the inscriptions which allow us to identify them individually.
The cartoon acquired by the Petit Palais from the Tarantino Gallery in Paris provides a chance to present once again a little-known Parisian décor and rounds out its Merson holdings which already include 32 drawings donated by the artist himself and 28 painted studies for the décors at City Hall.

6. Raymond Pelez (1815-1874)
Young Students and their Teacher in a Classroom, 1854
Graphite - 18.8 x 24.3 cm
Paris, Musée du Petit Palais
Photo : Petit Palais



— Raymond Pelez, Young Students and their Teacher in a Classroom (ill. 4). The Petit Palais is currently presenting a very interesting exhibition (see our article) on Fernand Pelez. Visitors can also see a small section there devoted to his father, Raymond Pelez (his full name is Jean Louis Raymond Pelez Fernandez de Cordova), where this sheet is hanging, probably a project for an illustration in the style of Charlet.

7. Georges Seurat (1859-1891)
The White Morning Coat, c. 1881
"Conté" Pencil - 16.5 x 10.3 cm
Paris, Musée du Petit Palais
Photo : Petit Palais



— Georges Seurat, The White Morning Coat (ill. 5). This drawing, bequeathed to the Petit Palais by M. André Berne-Joffroy (deceased in 2007), would seem to be a study which was then discarded before the final composition of La Grande Jatte. This is the first work by Seurat to enter the museum.

8. Emile Derré (1867-1938)
The Soul of Old Stones, 1895
Sandstone with salt - 55 x 35 cm
Paris, Musée du Petit Palais
Photo : Petit Palais



— Emile Derré, A Stone fragment of a pillar from a portal for an old abbey, 15th century, also known as The Soul of Old Stones (ill. 6). This sandstone sculpture, purchased from the Vincent Lécuyer Gallery in Paris, was executed by the ceramic artists Janin and Guérineau from the model provided by Emile Derré. It fits in quite naturally at the Petit Palais next to works by Jean Carriès to which it can be compared. Emile Derré, a sculptor who worked notably on façades of Parisian buildings, presented it for the first time at the Salon of 1895 as A Stone fragment of a pillar from a portal of an old abbey – 15th century, then at the Universal Exhibition in 1900 under the more Symbolist title The Soul of Old Stones. The Petit Palais already owns a work by Derré, a monumental vase from the Sèvres Factory.

Version française


Didier Rykner, jeudi 29 octobre 2009



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