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.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Richelieu à Richelieu - Musée des Beaux-Arts Orléans


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 art 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.

Today we will talk about the part of the exhibition in Orléans, the furthest from the original location of the cardinal's château (174 km, 2hrs 3 minutes, 12.20€ tolls by autoroute A10).

The centre or Orléans is topsy-turvey with the installation of a new tramway system, still 18 months from completion.  So one struggles, through all the works and disruption, to the the 1985 Musée des Beaux-Arts situated just next the town's cathedral, on Place Sainte-Croix.  Once inside, a good part of the gallery's first floor is occupied with the exhibition.  
This part of the exhibition parcours concerns itself with:
  1. the authors of the cardinal's project in 1632
  2. its influence on the art history of the time and contemporary comments by visitors
  3. a large collection of classical statuary and busts, mainly from the exterior of the château and the gardens
  4. the drawings of Cannini, made of the statues and busts purchased in Rome in the 1630s
  5. a video presentation of the château's history
  6. many religious paintings from the cardinal's apartments in the château
  7. 6 of the 12 remaining 'battle pictures' from the original total of 20 scenes in the château's gallery
  8. the two huge rostral columns from the entrance portico to the château
    Orléans was the only part of the exhibition where the organisers frowned on photography, perhaps hoping -  rightly - that we would purchase the 3 inch thick catalogue for 49€. So we cannot offer a photo essay of the exhibition.  
    But we reproduce below their summary of the contents in the slim catalogue given to each visitor.  Of course it is written in French, but not too hard to skim, even if the pictures are all one can digest.
    We trust they will not object to our assistance to publicise the exhibition and encourage visitors this way.
    Merged PDF
    A short movie about moving the statues from the Louvre......

    Découvrez Du Louvre à l'exposition "Richelieu à Richelieu" sur Culturebox !

    .... and a web site of the DRAC (Direction régionale des affaires culturelles) of the Region Centre....

    1 comment:

    Mrs C said...

    This works very well as a PDF - thanks!

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