announced that a selection of works of art from the Collection of Hubert de Givenchy are being displayed in an exhibition in Paris from 11 to 26 September 2012, during the Biennale des Antiquaires. The décor of the exhibition has been inspired by the 1708 series of engravings representing the Galerie de François Girardon, the sculptor for Louis XIV. Among the works selected are ten bronze sculptures as well as various marble busts and gilt-bronze and marble vases. The wonderful idea for the exhibition came from Hubert de Givenchy himself.
I believe that as time passes, we like to concentrate on realizing our dreams. I have always been inspired by the Galerie de Girardon and it is marvelous to have the opportunity to realize my dream by recreating it with Christies. declared Hubert de Givenchy.
Hubert de Givenchy
One of the greatest living couturiers, Hubert de Givenchy is also known to be a passionate collector of sculpture, furniture and works of art. His brilliantly creative ability to combine and display different items has deeply influenced Parisian collectors as well as the wider art world. For instance in 1993, Christies Monaco sold a selection of furniture, silver and works of art from M. de Givenchys Collection in a landmark sale, which set a record for a single owner auction of decorative arts, at the time.
I have always been inspired by Hubert de Givenchy's taste and eye so when he explained to me his vision for evoking Girardon's celebrated Gallery I thought it was a brilliant idea which Christies would be immensely proud to work on with him. commented Charles Cator, Deputy Chairman, Christies International.
Givenchys vision for the display of the exhibition was inspired by a set of engravings representing another celebrated collection, that of the sculptor François Girardon (1628-1715). Probably the most influential sculptor in France under Louis XIV, Girardon amassed an extraordinary personal collection which comprised more than 800 items at the time of his death. Around 1708, Girardon commissioned René Charpentier to draw a selection of highlights from his collection, which was then engraved in a series of detailed plates by Nicolas Chevallier and Franz Ertinger. Significantly, the works of art were placed in an imaginary architectural setting designed by architect and ornamentalist Gilles-Marie Oppenordt. Those engravings constitute an important record of both Girardons own oeuvre, as well as the collecting patterns of one of the most important figures in the arts during Louis XIV reign. A number of bronzes from the collection of M. de Givenchy are mirrored in the engravings such as those representing the Nile and the Tiber, after the antique, as well as an important bronze figure of Bacchus now attributed to Girardon himself. Thanks to Givenchys penchant for classical bronzes, the interiors of his hôtel particulier in Paris provide a wonderfully modern interpretation of Girardons aesthetic. With the Paris Biennale taking place in September and two other significant private collections being offered for sale at Christies in Paris at the same time, it was thought an ideal moment to mount a small exhibition celebrating the collection and legendary style of M. de Givenchy.
Although separated by some three hundred years, the parallels between Givenchy and Girardon in terms of collecting, harmony of colours, shapes and display are both apparent and fascinating. added Christies International Head of European Sculpture Donald Johnston and Director of European Sculpture Department Isabelle Degut.