For centuries, the city of Paris was the Art capital of the world. Indeed, Artists from all continents, then fascinated by the exciting and creative atmosphere of the City of Lights, rushed to settle down in Paris. Dutch Artists are no exception to the rule. From 1789 to 1914 they were thousands to come to Paris. It is precisely this French-Dutch artistic dialogue that the Petit Palais in Paris put in the spotlight in its latest exhibition.
The French-Dutch artistic dialogue: century-old ties
The exhibition “Dutch artists in Paris, 1789-1914” which takes place from February 6th to May 8th, 2018 at the Petit Palais is organized in partnership with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The goal is to lay the emphasis on the tight links that have always existed between French and Dutch Artists, both on the aesthetic and friendship sides. As a result, the chosen time frame goes from the early years of Napoleon the 1st regime to the early 20th century. Indeed, as soon as the early 19th century, and especially from 1850, the Netherlands experienced a particular phenomenon. Thousands of Artists looking for inspiration left the country to settle, for the most part, in Paris. The artistic dynamism of the city then shined upon the world, beyond Europe. As a result, Dutch great personalities such as Artists Jacob Maris and Breitner enabled the emergence of new ideas upon their return to their home country.
The Dutch influence on French Artists
Among the numerous Dutch Artists who immigrated to France, some had a strong influence on the artistic themes and orientations of French Artists. Indeed, aside from the powerful figure of Van Gogh, Jongkind for instance, deeply inspired their French counterparts through their colors and themes. In order to showcase these fruitful interactions, over 115 Artworks were borrowed to the most important museums of the Netherlands as well as other European and American institutions. The selection of curators for the exhibition echoes the will to celebrate French-Dutch friendship. Indeed, Mayken Konkman, Curator of Nineteenth-Century Art at the RKD in The Hague, along with Edwin Becker, Head of Exhibitions at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and Stéphanie Cantarutti, Chief Curator at the Petit Palais and Christophe Leribault, Director of the Petit Palais were in charge of the exhibition’s scenography.
The exhibition’s impudent ones
The exhibition’s chronological scenography includes Artists as diverse as they are talented. On top of the main historical personalities such as Vincent Van Gogh and Jacob Maris, there are other Artists even more impudent. Indeed, George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923) for instance embodies one of the enfant terrible of the exhibition. He is one of the few Artists who imported Impressionism in his home country and later became one of its icons. Inspired by Edgar Degas and his ballerinas, he enjoyed breaking the rules of Dutch painting by making a series of young women in kimonos lasciviously posing in exotic decors. On Piet Van der Hem (1885-1961) side, Parisian night life was the object of fascination. Indeed, since he obtained a Royal scholarship in 1907, he studied for a year in an Artist studio in Montmartre. His compositions show the turmoil of the Parisian crowd and the nocturnal craziness of the City of Lights.
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