I recently made three encounters in Paris. First with a sculptor, and then with two painters:
- Rodin and dance, at the Rodin Museum,
- Tintoretto. Birth of a genius, at the Luxembourg Museum,
- and last but not least, Delacroix at the Louvre.
First of all, I do not think I’ll ever get tired of admiring Rodin’s works. Especially its marble pieces that look so soft to the eye that one can only dream to touch them.
Then, about the Tintoretto and Delacroix, these two exhibitions are simply remarkable. Whether it is the quality of the works presented or of the narration, each one presents very interesting stories (contrary to the permanent collections of the Rodin museum that don’t present any explanations).
What I loved in particular during these three visits was to see how they revealed the creative process. In Rodin and dance, that process is at the heart of the exhibition. It explains how he studied the body in motion through various shows, models or by buying plaster mouldings of dancers. At the same time, the Luxembourg museum, exhibits sculptures Tintoretto acquired to experiment lights effects and contrasts on the body. While the Louvre stages, alongside Delacroix’s masterpieces, a number of notebooks, studies, as well as sketches he drew in the margins of some of his prints.
Each exhibition, in its own way, reveals the creative ways of these artists who, before becoming great masters, scribbled like everybody. Behind the pedestal we often place them on, we discover their research, their techniques, their inspirations… all the little details that lead to the construction of an artist’s gaze.
I will now leave you to go admire them, if you have not done so already, with the words of Delacroix quoted by Guy Boyer in La Grande Galerie on the French Radio Classique :
“If you are not skilled enough to sketch a man who throws himself out the window during the time he drops from the fourth floor to the ground, you will never be able to produce a big machine.” – Eugène Delacroix
Well, before creating “big machines” myself, I think I am going to start with some the basics first… 😉