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The essence of Versailles arrives in Barcelona

The exhibition 'Drawing Versailles. Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)', from the Paris Louvre Museum's collection, will be displayed in Barcelona’s CaixaForum until the 14th of February. The exhibition shows the preliminary cartoons and sketches that painter Charles Le Brun did for the Staircase of the Ambassadors and the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. The drawings include studies of characters, allegorical figures, trophies and animals that formed part of the artist’s compositions, conceived as a great symbolic jigsaw puzzle. The Louvre Museum has 300 of these drawings and 78 of them will now be displayed in Barcelona's CaixaForum. The exhibition is the fruit of an agreement reached in 2009 between the two institutions through which many exhibitions from the Louvre can be shown in the Catalan capital. 

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18 November 2015 01:52 PM

by

ACN / Sara Prim

Barcelona (CNA).- More than three centuries after they were made, the sketches that painter Charles Le Brun did before decorating Versailles' Staircase of the Ambassadors and the Hall of Mirrors will be exhibited in Barcelona. 78 original cartoons and preliminary cartoons which demonstrate Le Brun’s virtuosity as a draftsman, his talent for constructing scenes and his painstaking care down to the last detail will be on display to the public. The exhibition 'Drawing Versailles. Studies and Cartoons of Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)' is the fruit of a strategic agreement between the Louvre Museum and 'La Caixa' Foundation, through which Louvre collections which are not open to the public are exhibited in the Catalan capital. The Museum has nearly 300 of these cartoons, 78 of which will be displayed in Barcelona. Amongst them are studies of characters, allegorical figures, trophies and animals that formed part of the artist’s compositions, conceived as a great symbolic jigsaw puzzle.

 


In 1682, Louis XIV decided to move the French court to Versailles and the artist Charles Le Brun was in charge of decorating the new palace. This work involved the participation of hundreds of artisans and artists, the best from each discipline. Le Brun personally produced several pieces, including two particularly impressive compositions: the Staircase of the Ambassadors and the Hall of Mirrors, adorned by a series of mature paintings imbued with the most captivating beauty. Such cartoons were commonly used between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, but few remain today. Those produced by Le Brun are the exception: three hundred and fifty cartoons in a store of three thousand drawings found at the artist's studio, requisitioned and added to the royal collections after his death in 1690.

Over the past few years, the Graphic Arts Department of the Louvre Museum has carefully restored these drawings, enabling us to see them now for the first time in all their original splendour.

An opening with all eyes fixed on the Paris attacks

The exhibition opening paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks which occurred in Paris last Friday. Graphic Arts Department at the Louvre Museum director, Xavier Salmon, dedicated the exhibition to the victims "in these terrible days" and stated that sharing cultural values and historic and artistic heritage "is proof of generosity that leads to a better understanding of others". 'La Caixa' Foundation deputy director Elisa Duran also expressed her condolences and thanked the Louvre's team for "making the exhibition possible and being in Barcelona for its opening" on such a delicate day.

Agreement between the Louvre Museum and 'La Caixa' Foundation

'Studies and Cartoons of Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)' is the fruit of a strategic agreement between the Louvre Museum and 'La Caixa' Foundation, through which Louvre collections which are not open to the public are exhibited in the Catalan capital. Since 2009, many of the Louvre's collections have been displayed in Barcelona and the exhibition on Versailles is the second one from the Louvre to be exhibited this year.

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  • The main room of 'Drawing Versalles. Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)' exhibition in Barcelona CaixaForum (by ACN)

  • The main room of 'Drawing Versalles. Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)' exhibition in Barcelona CaixaForum (by ACN)