The Musée Gustave Moreau posts a database for its drawings

local/cache-vignettes/L290xH173/Base_Moreau-334f4.jpg26/5/09 – Internet – Musée Gustave Moreau – The new database, devoted to the drawings of the Musée Gustave Moreau, is remarkable as are the others already offered by the RMN. User friendly and highly commendable for its ergonomics, this is a veritable scholarly catalogue which also presents an extensive colour iconography.

It starts with a listing of all of the drawings exhibited at the Musée Gustave Moreau, that is around 4,800 out of the 15,000 in the holdings. The others are to be added progressively. This database, developed over the last few years by Marie-Cécile Forest, is an essential tool for a complete knowledge of the artist. Search options are very pertinent : besides a traditional search engine which allows users notably to find a drawing by typing in a key word(s) which might spontaneously come to mind or by using an inventory number, there are two other valuable tools. The first is an index which offers an intuitive posting of the desired sheets by subject, technique, place of production mentioned on the drawing (if such is the case), by theproper name (in some cases) and, for the drawings done by Gustave Moreau after other artists, by the copied works or the place of conservation of the works copied. The second choice enables the user to find all of the preparatory drawings for a given work.

Each drawing is accompanied by an entry with all the information expected to be found in such a publication as well as, thanks to Internet, links towards related works. A short essay on Gustave Moreau as a draughtsman and a rather detailed chronology of the artist rounds out this new offering.

The RMN also wished to publish the catalogue at the same time in book form. A brave and much needed initiative as internet research is different from book reference and both are complementary. The only regret might be the high price of this publication, although with excellent editing, thus possibly discouraging potential buyers who will resign themselves to the internet website, free of charge.

local/cache-vignettes/L115xH148/Couverture_Dessins_Moreau-365ab.jpgUnder the direction of Marie-Cécile Forest, Gustave Moreau. Catalogue sommaire des dessins. Musée Gustave Moreau, Editions de la RMN, 936 p., 400 €. ISBN : 9782711853991.

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Version française

Didier Rykner, dimanche 24 mai 2009

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