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Jean Leon Gerome, Musee d'Orsay

The Orsay Museum highlights the modernity of this fantastic academic painter. A Colorful retrospective For his painting licked, Baudelaire loved him. In the process, Zola had dressed for winter. "Here the subject is, painting is nothing: the reproduction is better than original subject" One century of adoration. Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904), Academician Professor, among the highest paid artist of his time, he insulted Manet and the Impressionists,  disgrace for France culture. Today he is back as a captain of burning comet emerging from the ashes. He appears as a star at the Musée d'Orsay. The walls colours, green golf, blue petrol or Pompeian remind us how kitschy he is. In front of the pictures, the laughs spring as many extras that populate these great shows. Here fake naked slaves who play the puritans. There Greek prostitutes writhing like Ingres odalisque. Another stunning zoo: a tiger spreads in the Alhambra and quantity of wild animals, plush puff of Christians in the arena. When they are caged, they sniff an pretty angel. Bonaparte in Egypt plays tourists on camel or thinking clearly to Oedipus when he discovers the Sphinx. For their part the riders sprint Herculaneum under the old Cairo stones.  Further, Versailles is direct live. Louis XIV and Molière. A St. John the Baptist take care of baby Jesus on the lap of a friendly virgin. Anacreon was dressed as a cartoon. One can enjoy endless as these quotes, amalgams and superbe improbabilities. Like images d'Epinal, they just tell us somes fabulous historical tales. It is a decidedly reactionary painter. Even his peers are too much, it is cowardly.  Multiplies or bird cages in his compositions history to lead the dumb. Throughout his career Gerome tried to revive the history painting. His trick: consider only the anecdote shock. He makes it wonderfully!  The exhibition has already been presented in Los Angeles where the artist has always pleases despite its ridiculous. Collectors, such as Sean Connery and Jack Nicholson have a sense of humor. Most importantly, they appreciate its part Hollywood. In this regard, the exhibition brings together the most antiquarian paintings with great epic films. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille or Ridley Scott and the entire fantasy series B are indebted to the art firefighter. It is true that Timur on horseback over a bed of severed heads is reminiscent of Conan the Barbarian. And that Ben Hur is never far from the circus games carefully described by sadistic Gérôme. If he had lived older, no doubt he would have loved the film. He already oversaw the photographic reproductions, etched or even carved his works.  The perception of Gérôme, in recent decades, profoundly changed in France. Long stigmatized as emblematic of taking an academic sterile Gérôme is today regarded as one of the great image-makers of the nineteenth century. He was one of the most famous French painters of his time. It was during his long career, the subject of harsh criticism or controversy, including opposing the recognition of painting realistic and impressionist in the late nineteenth century, and for defending the codes an academic painting of breath. Gérôme was much less an heir to a creator of worlds pictorial novel, based on a singular iconography often. History painting, painting stories was the passion of Gerome. He played continuously mixing the values and types in an aesthetic of collage and the gap that continues to intrigue. Gerome, academic painter although unorthodox, was able to put together a show history, from antiquity to the contemporary world he was, and place, particularly effective with images, the viewer eyewitness.

Until 23 January 2011. Musée d'Orsay.

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