The Marquis of Bérenger (1811-1875) - a pupil of Gustave Le Gray
by Hélène Bocard
Unjustly neglected until now, the photographic work of the Marquis de Bérenger (1811-1875) takes us right into the aesthetic world and intimate family life of a gifted aristocrat. Having retired from political life after the royal family went into exile, this follower of Gustave Le Gray threw himself into experimenting with the new medium, and became an active member of the French Photographic Society. He never missed an opportunity to exhibit his work, trying his hand at every style, and on his death left a vast body of work, just waiting to be rediscovered.
Vuillard's notebooks: a painter seen through his personal writings
by Françoise Alexandre
Vuillard kept a private journal which has come down to us intact for the period 1907 to 1940, but with the entries from his youth somewhat fragmented. The notebooks in which he scrupulously made his daily entries are now kept at the Institut de France. The journal was written in note form, clearly to be read by him alone, and has its origins in the religious tradition of examining one's conscience. Paradoxically, it is this journal, quite unrelated to painting, which tells us most about Vuillard the painter, and about his creative approach.
The influence of Puvis de Chavannes: Maurice Denis and the move towards a new "sentimental value" in art
by Kerstin Thomas
The work of Puvis de Chavannes, along with that of Gauguin and Cézanne, was a great source of inspiration for Maurice Denis, significantly influencing his method of working as well as his theories of art. The connections are so apparent, from synthetic drawing to the softer, expressive use of colour that one tends to overlook the differences and just emphasise their common quest for harmony. Kerstin Thomas turns this interpretation around by questioning the idea of a spiritual state, and its underlying psychology and philosophy.
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