Posts Tagged 'French Art'

Breaking the Mold: Three Women Artists

A recent study surveying the permanent collections of 18 prominent art museums in the United States (including the DMA) found that out of over 10,000 artists, 87% are male. Although history has produced fewer female artists than male, women artists have always existed, and their work is currently available on the art market.

In an effort to fix the gender discrepancy in the DMA’s collection, we continue to collect work produced by innovative women artists from past to present. In 2017–2018, for example, the DMA’s European Art Department acquired three masterworks by some of the most well known—yet still under-served—women artists in the history of French art: Adélaïde Labille Guiard (1749–1803), Eva Gonzalès (1849–1883), and Rosa Bonheur (1822–1899). All three works can be seen in the DMA’s current exhibition Women Artists in Europe from the Monarchy to Modernism alongside other works by women artists from the DMA’s permanent collection, private collectors, and nearby museums.

The show is free and open to the public through June 9, 2019. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’d like to introduce you to these newest arrivals!

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, Portrait of a Man, c. 1795, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation, 2017.18

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard was one of four women artists accepted to the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in the latter half of the 18th century. Women were banned from training as students in the Royal Academy at the time, but were occasionally accepted as members (somewhat akin to modern-day professors) with limited privileges if they could demonstrate exceptional talent. After her acceptance as a portrait painter in 1783, Labille-Guiard exhibited consistently at the Academy’s Salon for the next nine years, received prestigious commissions, and was named the official painter of the “Mesdames de France” (King Louis XV’s daughters) in 1787.

During the French Revolution of 1789–99—a time when many members of the royal family fled France or were guillotined by revolutionaries—Labille-Guiard managed to distance herself from her aristocratic patrons. She adopted the revolutionary cause by exhibiting portraits of political leaders and government officials that featured the sober style associated with republican ideals. Portrait of a Man is from this period of Labille-Guiard’s artistic output. The stark background, lack of props or accessories, and the sitter’s expressive demeanor emphasize the man’s individuality and psychology over material wealth.

Eva Gonzalès

Eva Gonzalès, Afternoon Tea, c. 1874, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 2018.5.McD

Like many of the artists in this exhibition, Eva Gonzalès came from an affluent family who could afford the cost of private education. The state-sponsored fine art school in Paris would not accept female students until 1897, so the precociously talented Gonzalès enrolled in Charles Chaplin’s private studio for women in 1866. Three years later, she became the only official student of avant-garde artist Edouard Manet. Eventually, she developed her own Impressionistic style characterized by a bright palette, broken brushwork, and the depiction of everyday subjects.

Like Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt—two of Gonzalès’s contemporaries, whose work also appears in this exhibition—Gonzalès was restricted by her sex and elevated social class from depicting most modern urban sites. She instead presented bourgeois femininity and family life, which were cutting-edge subjects in the second half of the 19th century. In this unfinished painting, a woman (likely a nanny) prepares an afternoon meal for the young girl in the foreground. Gonzalès’s use of oil paint—traditionally reserved for male artists—elevated her domestic subject matter to the level of high art.

Gonzalès’s life was tragically cut short in 1883 when she died from complications of childbirth at the age of 34, leaving behind only 124 paintings and pastels. Afternoon Tea is thus a rare example from the oeuvre of a young professional female artist who, though much admired by her contemporaries, remains relatively unknown in the history of art.

Rosa Bonheur

Rosa Bonheur, Ewe in the Field, second half of the 19th century, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. Alessandra Comini in honor of Charlotte Whaley, 2018.44

There are few artists, regardless of gender, who achieved the celebrity status and financial success of Rosa Bonheur. As a young girl, Bonheur was encouraged by her father, an artist, to sketch directly from life. She soon developed a profound talent and passion for the realistic portrayal of animals. This was a highly unconventional subject for women, who, like Labille-Guiard and Gonzalès before her, were encouraged to focus on portraiture, domestic genre scenes, or still lifes.

To further develop her talent for rendering the texture and movement of animal fur, Bonheur petitioned the police to allow her to wear pants in order to visit stockyards, horse fairs, and slaughterhouses. These locales were generally off limits to women, or at least difficult to traverse with the billowing skirts women wore in the 19th century. Bonheur eventually achieved great acclaim for her best-known work, The Horse Fair (Metropolitan Museum of Art), which was exhibited at the 1853 Salon. Her notoriety skyrocketed due to her unconventional lifestyle, which included cross-dressing, cigarette smoking, and speaking her mind.

Kelsey Martin is the Dedo and Barron Kidd McDermott Graduate Intern for European Art at the DMA.

Our Harp’s Delight

July’s Meaningful Moments program was all about music as participants explored The Harp Lesson by Jean Antoine Théodore Giroust. While closely examining the 18th century French painting, participants shared their memories related to learning to play a musical instrument.

We were joined in the galleries by harpist Cindy Horstman, who shared her own experiences of learning the harp in college and becoming a professional musician. Cindy brought The Harp Lesson to life as she plucked away at her harp, filling the gallery with music.

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Cindy began by playing “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Johann Sebastian Bach, a piece of music that was popular during the time The Harp Lesson was painted. She also wowed us with a wide-ranging assortment of music including “Norwegian Wood” by the Beatles and “Summertime” by George Gershwin, all played from memory!

At the end of the program, participants were already asking when Cindy could return again.

Emily Wiskera
Manager of Access Programs

Let Them Eat Cake!

Robert Delaunay, Eiffel Tower, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, © L & M Services B. V., Amsterdam, 1981.105

Robert Delaunay, Eiffel Tower, 1924, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, 1981. 105, © L & M Services B. V., Amsterdam

Bastille Day is this Thursday, but the revolution will last an extra day as we continue the festivities during our July Late Night.

marie antoinette 2

To help you practice your French numbers, here are some things you can experience that evening:

Un – The number of movies starring Kirsten Dunst that will be screened (spoiler alert: it’s Marie Antoinette).

Deux – The number of people facing off against each other in our fencing and dueling demonstrations.

Trois  The number of hours DJ Wild in the Streets will spin a mix of eclectic French music.

Quatre – The number of tours that will explore the French Revolution, fashion, and portraiture.

Cinq – The number of hours you can hear live French music performed by local musicians.  

Six – The time that Late Night starts, so don’t être en retard!

Sept – The start time for our Late Night Talk sharing a quick history of the French Revolution.  

Huit – The number of selfies you should take in front of French portraits in our Rosenberg Collection, and then share them on our Instagram with #DMAnights.  

Neuf – The number of rogue mimes you might see walking around.

Dix – The number of times DMA staff might yell “vive la DMA!” during the evening.

Jean Antoine Theodore Giroust, The Harp Lesson (La leçon de Harpe), 1791, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund -

Jean Antoine Theodore Giroust, The Harp Lesson, 1791, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund, 2015.10.FA

In addition to our Late Night, Bastille Day Dallas will expand its annual celebration and bring more French culture to the Dallas Arts District with outdoor activities on Flora Street. So put on your beret, grab a baguette, and join us!

Bastille on Flora

Stacey Lizotte is Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services at the DMA.

Bastille Day at the DMA

Today is France’s national holiday, what we Americans like to refer to as Bastille Day. The date marks the storming of the Bastille in 1789, an event which ignited the French Revolution. Much like our July 4th, the holiday is a day to celebrate national pride in France with food, music, and fireworks. Here in Dallas, you can join in the celebration and commemorate our city’s own French connection at Bastille on Bishop.

But before you head to Oak Cliff this evening, stop by the DMA–we’ve got a few revolutionary works of our own on view in our European galleries on Level 2.

Jean Antoine Theodore Giroust, The Harp Lesson, 1791,Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund

Jean Antoine Theodore Giroust, The Harp Lesson, 1791, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund

This grand new acquisition is a portrait of Louise Marie Adelaïde Eugénie d’Orléans, daughter of Louis Philippe Joseph d’Orléans. Although the Duke of Orléans was one of the wealthiest French aristocrats and cousin to King Louis XVI, he desired a more democratic government and supported the ideals of the French Revolution. Unfortunately, however, the Duke was not able to escape the Terror, the most violent period of the French Revolution, and met his fate at the guillotine in 1793.

Jean-baptiste Greuze, Portrait of Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne, early 1790s, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift

Jean-baptiste Greuze, Portrait of Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne, early 1790s, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift

Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne rose to power during the French Revolution, becoming a member of the governing body that oversaw the new republic. He was an active participant in the Terror, the violent time when thousands who were considered enemies of the new state–including the Duke of Orléans–were executed by guillotine.

Pierre Nicolas Legrand,  A Good Deed is Never Forgotten, 1794-1795, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O'Hara Fund

Pierre Nicolas Legrand, A Good Deed is Never Forgotten, 1794-1795, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund

This painting shows Monsieur George, an aristocrat imprisoned during the Terror and subsequently released, gratefully greeting his former prison guard. Monsieur George has returned to the prison with his wife and servant to thank the guard, who had generously provided financial support to the family during his imprisonment. Liberté, égalité, fraternité, indeed!

Joyeux Le Quatorze Juillet!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator

First Day of Spring

It’s official, today is the first day of spring! Which means I get to do some of my very favorite things.
Like picnics and swimming
Brunch and tennis
Smelling the flowers
And wearing dresses
Playing outside and enjoying nature
Once again, it’s my favorite time of the year.

I guess there’s just something about the sunshine that makes me want to rhyme. In the spirit of the new season, I have paired a few beautiful springtime scenes from the DMA’s collection with poetry. I hope you enjoy!

River Bank in Springtime, Vincent van Gogh

Never Mind, March

Never mind, March, we know
When you blow
You’re not really mad
Or angry, or bad;
You’re only blowing the winter away
To get the world ready for April and May

~ Author Unknown
.

Early Spring in Central Park, Nicolai Cikovsky

I Meant To Do My Work Today

I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand–
So what could I do but laugh and go?

~ Richard Le Gallienne
.

Bougival, Maurice de Vlaminick

Sunflakes

If sunlight fell like snowflakes
gleaming yellow and so bright
we could build a sunman
we could have a sunball fight.
We could watch the sunflakes
drifting in the sky
We could go sleighing
in the middle of July
through sundrifts and sunbanks
we could ride a sunmobile
and we could touch sunflakes-
I wonder how they’d feel.

~Frank Asch
.

A Host of Golden Daffodils, Charles Webster Hawthorne

Daffy Down Dilly

Daffy Down Dilly
Has come to town
In a yellow petticoat
And a green gown.

~ Mother Goose nursery rhyme
.

Jeanne: Spring, Edouard Manet

March

Dear March, come in!
How glad I am!
I looked for you before.
Put down your hat-
You must have walked-
How out of breath you are!
Dear March, how are you?
And the rest?
Did you leave Nature well?
Oh, March, come right upstairs with me,
I have so much to tell.

~ Emily Dickinson

What do you love about spring?

Hannah Burney
McDermott Education Intern for Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Artworks shown:

River Bank in Springtime, Vincent van Gogh, 1887, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McDermott in memory of Arthur Berger

Early Spring in Central Park, Nicolai Cikovsky, date unknown, lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg

Bougival, Maurice de Vlaminick, 1905, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

A Host of Golden Daffodils, Charles Webster Hawthorne, before 1927, oil on canvas affixed to composition board, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Edna Smith Smrz in memory of Mrs. Ed C. Smith, Sr.

Jeanne: Spring, Edouard Manet, 1882, etching and aquatint, Dallas Museum of Art, Junior League Print Fund

Seldom Scene: “Beguiling Deception”

Who’s that lady? Find out tonight at 7:30 p.m. when University of Oregon Art History professor Dr. Kathleen Nicholson discusses allegorical portraits in 18th-century France at the Museum’s annual Michael L. Rosenberg Lecture.

Nicolas de Largilliére, "Portrait of the Comtesse de Montsoreau and Sister as Diana and an Attendant," 1714, oil on canvas, lent by the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation, 29.2004.11

French Art Teacher Workshop

Bonjour!  I would like to invite you to travel to France through works of art at the Dallas Museum of Art on Saturday, December 4 from 9:00 to 12:30pm.    We will explore 18th–19th century French paintings and sculptures, the Reves Collection, and the special exhibition The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy.  

 

      
      

 

 

To register for this teacher workshop or to learn more about other workshops and programs offered in Spring 2011, go to DallasMuseumofArt.org/teachers

À bientôt….

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Programs and Resources for Teachers


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