22.7.10

WALLACE COLLECTION TO PRESENT FRENCH DRAWINGS EXHIBITION


AN OUTSTANDING COLLECTION OF FRENCH DRAWINGS, WHICH INCLUDES WORKS BY POUSSIN, BOUCHER, INGRES, COROT, PISSARRO, AND SEURAT; IMPORTANT WORKS BY LESSER-KNOWN MASTERS SUCH AS JEARURAT, LANCRENON, HESSE AND DULAC, AND ARTIST WRITERS EUGENE FROMENTIN AND GEORGE SAND, IS AT THE WALLACE COLLECTION, FROM 23.SEPTEMBER. OVER THE LAST THIRTY YEARS THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF SCOTLAND HAS CAREFULLY AND DELIBERATELY STRENGTHENED ITS HOLDINGS OF FRENCH DRAWINGS TO RIVAL ITS HOLDINGS OF FRENCH PAINTINGS. THIS QUIET BUT ONGOING ACQUISITIONS PROGRAM BEGAN WHEN MANY OF THE ARTISTS WERE CONSIDERED UNFASHIONABLE. AS A RESULT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF SCOTLAND WAS ABLE TO ACQUIRE WORKS FOR WHAT WOULD NOW BE CONSIDERED BARGAIN PRICES. ADDITIONALLY VERY FEW UK NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS HAVE BUILT A COLLECTION OF FRENCH DRAWINGS MAKING THIS ONE ALL THE MORE SIGNIFICANT. THE SUBJECTS IN THE EXHIBITION RANGE FROM THE COURTLY ART OF FONTAINEBLEAU IN THE 16th CENTURY TO THE MORE DOWN TO EARTH IMAGERY OF THE REALISTS AND IMPRESSIONISTS IN THE 19th CENTURY. THERE ARE PREPARATORY DRAWINGS FOR TAPESTRIES AND FOR AMBITIOUS SALON PICTURES, AS WELL AS FIGURE STUDIES MADE IN THE STUDIO OR LANDSCAPE SKETCHES INSPIRED BY STUDY IN THE OPEN AIR. THERE IS A PARTICULARLY STRIKING AND PERSONAL IMAGE OF A PREGNANT JEWISH WOMAN FROM ALGERIA WEARING AN EXTRAORDINARY METAL, CONE SHAPED HEADDRESS. POUSSIN'S EXCEPTIONAL PREPARATORY DRAWING FOR ONE OF THE GREATEST PAINTINGS IN THE WALLACE COLLECTION, DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME, WILL GO ON DISPLAY AT THE MUSEUM FOR ONLY THE SECOND TIME SINCE IT WAS SEEN IN POUSSIN'S STUDIO IN 1640. THE SELECTION FOR THE EXHIBITION, WHICH WILL LATER BE SHOWN IN EDINBURGH, HAS BEEN MADE SO AS TO RELATE TO PAINTINGS ON DISPLAY AT THE WALLACE COLLECTION, HENCE THE CHOICE OF DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME AND ALSO DRAWINGS BY WATTEAU, SCHEFFER, DECHAPMS AND DELAROCHE, ALL MASTERS WHO ARE PARTICULARLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE COLLECTING OF LORD HERTFORD AND SIR RICHARD WALLACE.

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