The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, July 7, 2022


Exhibition surveys the rich range of artistic responses to life during the belle époque
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901), At the Cirque Fernando, Rider on a White Horse, 1887–1888. Pastel and drained oil on board, 23-5/8 x 31-1/4 in. (60 x 79.5 cm) Norton Simon Art Foundation.



PASADENA, CA.- The Norton Simon Museum is presenting By Day & by Night: Paris in the Belle Époque, an exhibition that surveys the rich range of artistic responses to life in the French capital during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time, later dubbed the belle époque, or “beautiful era,” Paris was at the forefront of urban development and cultural innovation. Its citizens witnessed the construction of the Eiffel Tower, the ascendancy of the Montmartre district as an epicenter for art and entertainment and the brightening of their metropolis under the glow of electric light. For artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas and Pablo Picasso, however, it was often the less triumphant details of modern life that inspired creative expression. The paintings, drawings, prints and photographs in this exhibition demonstrate that these artists participated in the inventive spirit of the age by interpreting the everyday as something extraordinary.

The graphic arts—and color lithography in particular—enjoyed something of a renaissance in the belle époque, and many painters turned to printmaking as a newly compelling medium, one that invited bold aesthetic experimentation while broadening the potential market for avant-garde art. By Day & by Night features three of the most groundbreaking suites of lithographs produced in this period: Pierre Bonnard’s Some Aspects of Life in Paris (1899), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s Elles (1896) and Édouard Vuillard’s Landscapes and Interiors (1899).

Some Aspects of Life in Paris summons viewers on a stroll through the city (which, not coincidentally, is how Bonnard derived inspiration for the series). Images of bustling streets, famous monuments and a crowded theater position the spectator as a participant in the action by using abrupt compositional cropping and oblique points of view to situate our visual perspective within the scene. In House in the Courtyard, the artist has aligned the margins of his composition with the frame of a window, obliging us to enact the process of peering past the open shutters to glimpse a neighbor across the way. Alongside this dynamic portfolio of prints are photographs by Eugène Atget, who famously captured overlooked oddities in Paris, such as the eccentric wares of a traveling lampshade peddler or a cluster of strangers viewing a solar eclipse.

Toulouse-Lautrec is best known for colorful interpretations of performers and personalities associated with the bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre. But in addition to his humorous and exaggerated style of draftsmanship, the artist also perfected a thoughtful and sensitive approach to depicting female subjects, regardless of their station in life. In his lithographic suite Elles, a series of images depicting kept women, we are invited into the intimate spaces of bedrooms and boudoirs—yet rather than emphasizing titillating details, Toulouse-Lautrec focuses on the banality and even boredom of the subjects’ daily routines. On the other side of the spectrum, the artist’s dynamic pastel At the Cirque Fernando, Rider on a White Horse (1887–88) dramatizes the sensation of movement by representing a bareback circus performer as she whips by on her mount. This interest in depicting life in Paris as it unfolds was likely inspired by Edgar Degas, whose work Toulouse-Lautrec greatly admired. Degas also depicted the city’s many female performers, and By Day & by Night features several works that show women on and offstage, such as the impressively-scaled oil painting Actress in Her Dressing Room (c. 1875–1880 and c. 1895–1905) and the diminutive pastel Café-Concert Singer (c. 1877). Other artists, in contrast, turned their attention to those who patronized the concert halls of Paris. A twenty-year-old Pablo Picasso, newly arrived in the city, drew a scene of intriguing spectators in his Moulin Rouge (1901), while the Italian expatriate Giovanni Boldini captured an elegant man about town in his pastel Portrait of a Dandy (1880–90).

At the same time, not all of the era’s artists were drawn to busy street scenes or the dazzling world of theater. In a departure from these more publicly oriented works, the exhibition also includes Vuillard’s vividly patterned series Landscapes and Interiors, which demonstrates the artist’s fascination with personal subjectivity and ways to render it pictorially through texture, color and the articulation of space. One of a group of artists known as the “Nabis,” the Hebrew word for prophet or seer, Vuillard was drawn to quiet moments—friends playing chess or family members at home. Even his outdoor subjects convey calm and serenity rather than the frenzied bustle of Bonnard’s parks and boulevards. Joining this portfolio of prints are two small paintings by Vuillard, The Dressmakers under the Lamp (c. 1891–92) and Lucie Hessel (c. 1905), both depicting women who were important to the artist, as well as subdued and even somber works by fellow Nabis Ker-Xavier Roussel and Maurice Denis.

In addition to making drawings, paintings and limited-edition print portfolios, artists like Bonnard and Toulouse-Lautrec used lithography to make large-scale, dynamically designed posters, which were plastered throughout Paris to advertise products from champagne and lamp oil to literary journals and famous nightclub entertainers. By Day & by Night includes six iconic posters, generously lent by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, to demonstrate the pervasiveness of visual art in a city increasingly associated with printed images.

The belle époque is often imagined as a golden age of spectacle and joie de vivre. Yet as the works of art in this exhibition demonstrate, the experience of daily life was often the impetus for bold artistic expression, as evident in the spellbinding array of scenes and personalities in By Day & by Night: Paris in the Belle Époque.

By Day & by Night: Paris in the Belle Époque is organized by Emily Talbot, Acting Chief Curator at the Norton Simon Museum.










Today's News

February 2, 2020

Exhibition looks at the disconcerting phenomenon of statuary polychromy

Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was great for bacteria

Hester Diamond, passionate art collector, is dead at 91

A gorgeous center for photography, far from picture perfect

LACMA receives $50 million gift from the W.M. Keck Foundation for its Building LACMA campaign

Croatia's Rijeka celebrates capital of culture kickoff

The Morgan brings Jean-Jacques Lequeu Drawings from the Bibliothèque nationale de France

Exhibition surveys the rich range of artistic responses to life during the belle époque

Indiana State Museum opens exhibit on opioid crisis

Exhibition of early European open-air painting reveals new scholarship and recently discovered works

Where did the $9 million cars go?

Bergen Kunsthall features sculptures, drawings, paintings, collages and photographs by Simone Fattal

In former Syria rebel stronghold, nothing was spared

Del Pitt Feldman, master of the art of crocheting, dies at 90

Marine Hugonnier unveils a new body of work at Ingleby Gallery

Midcentury Modern, antiques, Abstract art to be offered at Benefit Shop Foundation Feb. 19

Mary Higgins Clark, queen of suspense and a fixture on bestseller lists, dies at 92

Monica King Contemporary opens the first solo exhibition in New York City of Taylor Anton White

moCa Cleveland announces the new exhibition Temporary Spaces of Joy and Freedom

'Creature Comfort: Animals in the House' opens at Shelburne Museum

New exhibition at Weatherspoon Art Museum highlights "hoops" in the South

Exhibition at Somerset House explores the fascinating world of mushrooms

New group exhibition at Argos loosely inspired by the title of a Chantal Akerman film

Ottocento Art Gallery opens exhibition of important masterpieces

Sikkema Jenkins & Co. opens an exhibition of works by william cordova

Choosing toys for Boys




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful