Arts & Entertainment

The Louvre’s autumn exhibition: Art History as told by objects

By Nerea González

Paris, Oct 11 (EFE).- Artists were the first to recognize objects by bringing them to life and “glorifying their forms,” this is the premise that visitors are invited to explore at Things: A history of Still Life, which inaugurates the 2022-2023 season at Paris’ iconic Louvre.

With nearly 200 art works spanning Egyptian funerary stelae to Pablo Picasso and artistic virtual reality installations, the exhibition “Les Choses. Une histoire de la nature morte” proposes a journey through the universe of Still Life from a multidisciplinary and critical perspective.

More than just telling the story about the artistic genre of Still Life —which became popular especially during the 17th century — the exhibition aspires to speak about the History of Art and civilizations, comparing the perspectives of different artists in different time periods on the objects that surrounded them.

Prior to the opening, the curator, French Art Historian Laurence Bertrand Dorléac told the press that this temporary exhibition looks at how objects have been depicted by all cultures.

Bertrand Dorléac dismissed the common-held idea of an artistic dark age, between the fall of the Roman Empire and the 16th century in Europe, insisting that during the periods in which religion monopolized the art world, artists continued depicting objects even if they merely served as accessories of the subjects.

The visitors are welcomed with the images of two women staring at objects: Magdalene with the Smoking Flame by George de La Tour (1642-1644) and a clip from the film Stalker by Soviet filmmaker Andréi Tarkovski. According to Bertrand Dorléac, discovering the parallelism between these two scenes, the women gaze of objects, was a fundamental moment for creating the concept of the exhibition.

Roughly 70 institutions are lending art works for the exhibition which will open from October 12, 2022 to January 23, 2023.

Divided in 15 sections of different subjects, Les Choses claims a genre sometimes undervalued and whose name in French “nature morte” (dead nature) poorly represents a discipline that is, in reality, very much alive. EFE


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