Musée d'Orsay: Musée d'Orsay. Masterpieces

Musée d'Orsay. Masterpieces

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
 Le repas also called Les bananes [The Meal, also called Bananas]
 Oil on paper glued on canvas 
 H. 73; W. 92 cm
 Paris, Musée d'Orsay, donation by Mr and Mrs André Meyer with life interest reserved, 1954
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)The Meal© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / DR
The distinguishing feature of the Musée d'Orsay, opened in December 1986, is that it conserves works produced during a very short period, from 1848 to 1914.
The exhibition presented in Rome spans these few decades displaying a selection of masterpieces that are emblematic of the diversity of the major pictorial movements.

The visit itinerary thus successively explores Academism, with the representatives of official art, such as Cabanel and Bouguereau, which was challenged by the new Realist painting of Courbet from the 1850s. Landscape and representations of rural life underwent profound changes with Corot, then Millet and the Barbizon school of painters, and finally with the rise of the Impressionists. Degas, Manet and others demonstrated their willingness to free themselves from aesthetic conventions in order to represent the modernity of the world around them, while Symbolism and its multiple forms, from the intimist painting of Les Nabis to Redon's oneiric visions, revealed an imaginary and poetic world. Gauguin, who freed himself from perspective, Monet, whose colours became almost independent from the subject and the Pointillists, who pushed the separation of strokes to the limits paved the way, with their numerous experiments, for the avant-garde artists of the 20th century.

Starting with an exclusive presentation of the history of the museum, its origins and its transformations, with particular focus on the development work in 1986 by Italian architect Gae Aulenti, the exhibition also explains the decision to show the public from all over the world one of the richest periods in the history of art in this former train station turned museum.


Xavier Rey, curator at the Musée d'Orsay

Exhibition organised by the Musée d'Orsay

22 February - 22 June 2014

Rome, Complesso del Vittoriano

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