New acquisitions for the Musee de la Vie Romantique

1. Ary Scheffer (1795-1858)
Portrait of Pauline Viardot, 1840
Oil on canvas - 97 x 60 cm
Paris, Musée de la Vie Romantique
Photo : Musée de la Vie Romantique

2/05/2010 – Acquisitions and exhibition – Paris, Musee de la Vie Romantique – Donated to the Musee de la Vie Romantique by Solange Thierry, curator of the Chopin exhibition currently showing there, the superb Portrait of Pauline Viardot by Ary Scheffer (ill. 1) is of course on display as well. This sister of La Malibran, the singer, was the heroine of Georges Sand’s novel, Consuelo, and a close friend of the writer and her lover, Chopin. Scheffer’s virtuosity comes through in the skillful way he executed this almost monochromatic portrait with the model, wearing a black dress, barely standing out from the dark background. Scheffer was never closer to Henri Lehmann whose well-known images of Lisztand Marie d’Agoult can be seen at the Musee Carnavalet.

The museum on the rue Chaptal pursues its usual policy here of presenting recent acquisitions in its exhibitions. Thus, this accomplished show which evokes Chopin’s life and his milieu through the visual arts offers all of the works acquired by the museum since our last article (see news item of 3/12/09) for visitors to discover.
There are also two vases from the Manufacture Darte donated in 2010 by the Amis du Musee (ill. 2). They each show a medallion, one with a portrait of the actress Harriet Smithson, signed S. Girard inspired by a painting by Claude-Maire Dubufe from 1830 held at the Musee Magnin in Dijon, the second shows another woman, probably an actress as well. In 2010, the museum also purchased four medallions by David d’Angers : the poet Adam Mickiewicz, Ary Scheffer and George Sand which thus join a fourth donated in 2008 by the Amis du Musee representing Eugene Delacroix.

2. Manufacture Darte, Paris
Couple of vases, c. 1830
H. 43 cm
Paris, Musée de la Vie Romantique
Photo : Musée de la Vie Romantique

3. Charles Cuisin (1815-1859)
View Seen from the Bridge of Moulins-Brules ; Effect at Dusk
Oil on canvas - 81 x 50.5 cm
Troyes, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée de la Vie Romantique

The exhibition is particularly interesting in that it offers many little-known works held in private collections. However, the painting belonging to the Musee des Beaux-Arts in Troyes stands out by its extremely high quality. This is a landscape by Charles Cuisin, an artist with very few canvases. When looking at this View Seen from the Bridge of Moulins-Brules ; Effect at Dusk (ill. 3), we cannot help but associate it with the style of Danish painters- never before noticed to our knowledge-without it being a direct influence. We take this opportunity to express our regret, as did Jacques Foucart, that the 19th century at the Museum in Troyes is kept almost entirely in storage.

Under the guidance of Solange Thierry and Jerome Godeau, Frederic Chopin. La Note Bleue, 2010, Paris-Musees, 208 p., 30 euros. ISBN : 9782759601202.

Visitor information : Paris, Musee de la Vie Romantique, Hotel Renan-Scheffer, 16 rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris. Tel : 01 55 31 95 67. Open every day, from 10 to 18 except Mondays and holidays. Rates : 7 euros (reduced price : 5 euros), free entrance to permanent collections. The exhibition runs from 2 March until 11 July 2010.

Internet website.

Version française

Didier Rykner, dimanche 2 mai 2010

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