The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Richelieu à Richelieu - Musée des Beaux-Arts Tours


The exhibition Richelieu à Richelieu runs from mid-March 2011 until 13 June 2011.
Its subject is an investigation into the remains and general history of the now-disappeared château de Richelieu, originally a grand palace beyond contemporary compare.  Interiors, gardens, art collections, painting, sculptures.  Many of the artefacts created or assembled in the château by the cardinal-duke were dispersed, firstly by the chaos of the revolution of 1789, and then by the progressive destruction of the building itself in the 1830s, as the family could no longer retain control of the ducal properties even after the restitutions of the post-Napoleonic era.
Many of these objects grace the great art collections of the world.

Richelieu à Richelieu is being held simultaneously at three locations:
1   The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Orléans, located next to the cathédrale Sainte-Croix, right in the centre of the famous town of Orléans
2   The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Tours, located in the city's former episcopal palace, next to St. Gatien, the cathedral.
3   The Musée Municipal on the place du Marché in the little model town of Richelieu.
See the locations on the map on the right hand side of this blog

The Musée des Beaux-Arts, TOURS

Today we will report on the parts of the circuit exhibition - exhibition parcours - at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Tours.  The museum is located in the former palace of the bishop, immediately to the south of the cathédrale de St. Gatien
For Balzac fans, one might remember the sad tale of the Curé de Tours and the petty jealousies of the 1830s, as the hero finally loses his hope of eccesiatical preferrment and has to move from the north side of the cathedral precints to the 'outer darkness' of St. Symphorien on the other side of the Loire.

The aspect of the exhibition taken up at Tours is the art collection assembled by the cardinal and used to decorate the interiors of his palace.  In particular:
  • the King's suite - to the right of the grand stair
  • the Queen's suite - in the righthand wing after the king's apartments
  • the Cardinal's suite - to the left of the grand staircase
each of which occupied parts of the piano nobile of the château.

In the King's chambers:
the 'Generosity of Titus' by Jacques Stella from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard, USA

a detail from the above - don't I know that face? And the other bloke?

the two famous 'Bacchanales' of Nicholas Poussin - one from London, one from Kansas City USA
ordered by the cardinal-duc from Poussin for the Château

from the Queen's chambers:
Claude Déruet - 'Fire' from the 4 elements.

Claude Déruet -'Earth' from the 4 elements

left hand detail

right hand detail

'Perugino' or Pietro Vannucci - 'The combat of Love and Chastity'
from the collection of Isabelle d'Este in Mantua acquired by the cardinal.

Finally, from the cardinal duke's suite, a picture of his mum,
Suzanne de La Porte:


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