Passport to Paris Will Lead Visitors on a Journey from Old Masters to Monet at the DAM in Fall 2013

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) announced today a suite of three French-themed shows titled Passport to Paris that will anchor its fall 2013 exhibition schedule. On view October 27, 2013–February 9, 2014, the trio of shows will focus on French art from the late 1600s to early 1900s, and explore changes in art and society during three important centuries in art history. Revealing how art mirrors society, guests will get a sense of the changes that took place from the time of the powerful and absolute monarchy of Louis XIV to the individualistic café society. The museum also will focus on a full suite of programming that highlights France and the French aesthetic and is thrilled to partner with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra to create an immersive, on-site experience that will beckon visitors back throughout the season.

A stunning artwork in Court to Café. Claude Monet, The Beach at Trouville, c. 1870. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1948.116, from the Wadsworth Atheneum.
“This was a time of exceptional changes in French history that influenced all of Europe,” said Angelica Daneo, associate curator of painting and sculpture at the DAM. “Shifts in politics, society and taste were reflected in the visual arts and in the new aesthetic ideals developed by artists. These exhibitions will offer our visitors unique examples by some of the most celebrated artists of their time.”

Included in the fall suite are:

Court to Café: Three Centuries of French Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum

Nature as Muse: French Impressionist Landscapes

Drawing Room: An Intimate Look at French Drawings from the Esmond Bradley Martin Collection

A special exhibition ticket will give guests access to all three exhibitions for a delightful discovery of French art.

“These are the rock stars of the art world—Degas, Monet, Pissarro, Toulouse-Lautrec—the list goes on,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the Denver Art Museum. “It’s an incredible opportunity for our visitors to experience the history of art through the work of masters.”

Court to Café: Three Centuries of French Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum

Court to Café features 50 masterpieces from the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn. The artworks visually unfold the richness of French painting, ranging from the 17th through the early 20th century and include religious and mythological subjects, portraits, landscapes, still lifes and genre scenes.

Nicolas Poussin, François Boucher, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Claude Monet are among the masters represented. This exhibition tour is the first time that all of these works have been shown as a group and is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue titled Masters of French Painting, 1290-1920: At The Wadsworth Atheneum, by Eric M. Zafran.

Featured in Nature as Muse. Paul Cézanne, A Painter at Work (Un Peintre au Travail), about 1875. Private collection.
Following the social history of French art, the exhibition will take viewers through six themed sections. Each area reveals the cultural shifts of the period and how they were reflected in art from the time of the absolute monarchy to the café society of Paris.

Nature as Muse: French Impressionist Landscapes

Nature as Muse displays the stunning work of 19th century Impressionist artists. Focusing on landscape paintings, the exhibition will feature about 36 artworks from a Colorado collector and the DAM’s own holdings. Impressionists focused on a specific time and place and, for the first time, artists could take their easels and paints and work outside, free from the constraints of studio space and light. Utilizing loose brushstrokes and a soft color palette, the Impressionists told the story of the French countryside through their canvases. Artists on view include Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley.

Drawing Room: An Intimate Look at French Drawings from the Esmond Bradley Martin Collection

Featured in Drawing Room. Antoine Watteau, Standing Woman Holding a Fan, about 1719. Red and black chalk, with graphite, on paper. Lent by Dr. Esmond Bradley Martin.
Inspired by the drawings cabinets of gentlemen and connoisseurs, this exhibition will offer a space where visitors can get close to artworks whose intimate nature invites contemplation and close up viewing. Curator Angelica Daneo points out the immediacy of a work-on-paper where little separates the viewer from the direct hand of the artist. Comprised of approximately 39 works-on-paper, the exhibition includes a range of techniques from rapid sketches to finished pastels. Many artists represented in the exhibition Court to Café also appear in this show including François Boucher, Jacques-Louis David, Théodore Géricault, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley. The artworks represent exquisite examples of draughtsmanship by some of the most celebrated French masters and allow an in-depth look into the creative process of artists. The entire exhibition is drawn from the private collection of Dr. Esmond Bradley Martin. Martin is a world authority on the illegal trade in wildlife products. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue written by Kathleen Stuart, curator of the Berger Collection at the DAM.

Passport to Paris exhibition support is provided by the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Court to Café: Three Centuries of French Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum was organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

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