Musée d'Orsay: Debussy, Music and the Arts

Debussy, Music and the Arts

Henri-Edmond Cross
 Les Iles d'Or [The Golden Isles]
 Between 1891 and 1892
 Oil on canvas
 H. 59; W. 54 cm
 Paris, Musée d'Orsay
Henri-Edmond CrossThe Golden Isles© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / DR
Claude Debussy was undoubtedly the composer of the turn of the 19th Century who mostly found his inspiration in the fields of contemporary poetry and visual arts. Very early on, he took an interest in the most innovative artists, those who were most on the fringe of the academicism of the time.

The exhibition intends to evoke the major relationships knit by the musician with artists and poets of his time, in particular through the collections of three families with which he was closely acquainted and who supported him during the difficult years that preceded the first performance of Pelleas and Melisande : that of the painter Henry Lerolle (1848-1929), of the composer Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) and of Arthur Fontaine (1860-1931), Councillor of state.
In these surroundings, in which refinement, taste and simplicity excluded all society life, the musician could admire works by Degas, Renoir, Vuillard, Gauguin, Camille Claudel, Maurice Denis, Redon, Bonnard, Carrière and Puvis de Chavannes. Paintings, drawings and pastels will be shown alongside letters and photographs by these artists and original editions by Gide, Louÿs and Valéry, as well as manuscripts by Chausson and Debussy.


Guy Cogeval, President of the Public Establishment of the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie
Jean-Michel Nectoux, musicologist at the CNRS
Xavier Rey, curator at the Musée d'Orsay

Exhibition also presented in:
Tokyo, Bridgestone Museum, from 13 July to 14 October 2012

Exhibition organised by the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie, in collaboration with the Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation, Tokyo and Nikkei

Bridgestone Museum of Art Nikkei

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