What We Are Reading Today: Restoration by Thomas Crow

Updated 28 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Restoration by Thomas Crow

  • Thomas Crow examines how artists of this period faced dramatic circumstances, from political condemnation and difficult diplomatic missions to a catastrophic episode of climate change

As the French empire collapsed between 1812 and 1815, artists throughout Europe were left uncertain and adrift. The final abdication of Emperor Napoleon, clearing the way for a restored monarchy, profoundly unsettled prevailing national, religious, and social boundaries. In Restoration, Thomas Crow combines a sweeping view of European art centers — Rome, Paris, London, Madrid, Brussels, and Vienna — with a close-up look at pivotal artists, including Antonio Canova, Jacques-Louis David, Théodore Géricault, Francisco Goya, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Thomas Lawrence, and forgotten but meteoric painters François-Joseph Navez and Antoine Jean-Baptiste Thomas. 

Whether directly or indirectly, all were joined in a newly international network, from which changing artistic priorities and possibilities emerged out of the ruins of the old.

Crow examines how artists of this period faced dramatic circumstances, from political condemnation and difficult diplomatic missions to a catastrophic episode of climate change. 

Navigating ever-changing pressures, they invented creative ways of incorporating critical events and significant historical actors into fresh artistic works. Crow discusses, among many topics, David’s art and influence during exile, Géricault’s odyssey through outcast Rome and Ingres’s drive to reconcile religious art with contemporary mentalities, the titled victors over Napoleon all sitting for portraits by Lawrence, and the campaign to restore art objects expropriated by the French from Italy, prefiguring the restitution controversies of our own time.


Dutch Golden Age masters to grace the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago
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Dutch Golden Age masters to grace the Louvre Abu Dhabi

DUBAI: The Louvre Abu Dhabi is gearing up to unveil its first international exhibition of 2019, “Rembrandt, Vermeer and the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from The Leiden Collection and the Musée du Louvre.”

The exhibition will showcase paintings and drawings by renowned Dutch artists Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and their contemporaries.

One of the highlights of the exhibit, which opens on Feb. 14, is Johannes Vermeer’s “Young Woman Seated at a Virginal” (1670-72) and “The Lacemaker” (1669-70 ), which will hang beside each other for the first time in 300 years.

On show until May 18, the exhibition is curated by Blaise Ducos, chief curator of Dutch and Flemish paintings at the Musée du Louvre, and Lara Yeager-Crasselt, curator of The Leiden Collection and a specialist in 17th century Dutch and Flemish art.

The exhibition “traces two main narratives – Rembrandt’s development as an artist, as seen through The Leiden Collection’s 15 works by the artist, and the development of genre painting in 17th-century Holland, as shown through The Leiden Collection’s extraordinary depth of works by the fijnschilders (fine painters),” Yeager-Crasselt said in a released statement.

Ducos explained more about the context in which these artworks were created hail in a released statement.

“During the 17th century, exceptional economic, social and political circumstances enabled one country, the Republic of the United Provinces, to become the world’s leading economic power. The Dutch were living in what they considered a ‘Golden Age.’ In this context, major artistic figures like Rembrandt or Vermeer flourished. Through the confrontation of masterpieces from the Musée du Louvre and The Leiden Collection, this exhibition tells this extraordinary story.”

The exhibition will unfold in six sections: At the Heart of the Dutch Golden Age; Extraordinary Beginnings: Rembrandt van Rijn in Leiden; The Center of the Golden Age: Rembrandt van Rijn in Amsterdam; Fine Painting in Leiden: Gerrit Dou, Frans van Mieris and their Contemporaries; Picturing Everyday Life in the Dutch Republic; Historical Lessons and Tales of Morality.

Alongside the exhibition, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will run a cultural program featuring film screenings curated by Emirati artist Hind Mezaina, pop-up costumed performance in the museum galleries as well as talks and workshops on the show.