Exhibition of Modern Paintings at Paris

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  • Exhibition of Modern Paintings at ParisSource: Bulletin of the American Art-Union, Vol. 2, No. 6 (Sep., 1849), pp. 7-9Published by:Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20646639 .Accessed: 17/05/2014 03:54

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    EXHIBITION OF MODERN PAINTINGS AT PARIS. The great French Exhibition has been distinguished this year by

    two circumstances?a change of place from the Louvre, where it has

    hitherto always been held, to the Tuileries, and the creation of a jury of artists, who have decided upon the admission or exclusion of Works of Art.

    As to the new location, it does not seem to have given general satis

    faction. A writer in one of the Parisian journals says?" Sculpture has not much to complain of. She is used to bad lodgings, and is only as badly treated here as she is everywhere else. It is very different with

    Painting. Accustomed to be at home and very much at her ease, she

    will take but slight satisfaction in this vast unfurnished house, where ehe is crammed into corners to which the light penetrates as it pleases Heaven, and not by any means as it suits her coquettish demands.

    Poor, weary Muse, sad and languishing, how can she help shivering

    with terror in these apartments, which only ceased to shelter a succes

    sion of fallen monarchies to be converted into wards for the sick ! In

    these changes the palace at any rate has gained. They intended to

    make it a Hospital, but have turned it into a Museum. But the Arti

    have suffered ; for if the sick were well off there, that is by no means

    the case with the pictures." * * * * *

    Besides the palace of the Tuileries, they have converted the vast hall

    of the Orangery into a gallery, and placed in it the largest Paintings. The statues occupy the two galleries of the lower floor, formerly open

    to the air, but now glazed, and also a third room under the Pavillon de

    PHorologe. The pictures fill a long suite of halls and chambers,

    some taking their light from the Place

    du Carrousel, and others from the garden

    side, unless they receive it from both directions at once, as in the case

    of the " Salle des Mar?chaux," in the middle of which, on account of

    this difficulty, a large square scaffolding has been erected, on the four

    sides of which the pictures are hung. In the bedchamber of the late

    king the water-colored drawings and engravings

    are exhibited.

    The mode in which the Jury were selected who decided which pic

    tures should be exhibited, has been stated in a former number of this

    Journal It was by ballot among the artists themselves. Among those

    chosen were several distinguished names. Of the painters, were

    Messieurs Cogniet, Paul Delaroche, Decamps, E. Delacroix, H.

    Yernet, Ingres, R. Fleury, E. Isabey, Meissonnier, Corot, Abel


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    Pujol, and Picot. Of the sculptors were Messieurs R?de, J. ?Jebay, Santan the elder, Toussaint, Daumas, de Niewerkerke, and Dumont. We have no means of knowing what is the general opinion of the artists as to the advantage of this new system. A writer in a leading jour nal, L'Artiste, inveighs very warmly against it.

    " Point de jury !" says he. " We want no jury ! With the jury, the public, who are indolent even in their curiosity, pass with respect before wretched daubs and abominable marbles, because, inasmuch as academicians and chosen

    judges have decided that these pictures and statues were worthy of being exhibited in a Royal palace, they must necessarily be excellent." He recommends, on th? contrary, that everything should be received, and then a classification made according to merit, which he thinks would assist the public taste.

    The catalogue contains 2,586 objects. Twenty-nine hundred had been presented and submitted to the jury, and thirteen hundred and

    fourteen were rejected. The remainder, together with the works of

    certain privileged classes, such as the members of the Institute and

    others who had the right of introducing their productions without an

    examination, made up the first-mentioned number. There are 2,093

    pictures, 265 pieces of sculpture, and 108 architectural drawings. In point of merit the exhibition is stated to be inferior to that of for

    mer years. The correspondent of the Athenaeum says of it : " Revolu

    tion, or some other equally potent cause, has fettered the exertions of

    most of the ' household names' of French Art; and neither Ary Schef

    fer, Delaroche, Couture, Robert Fleury, Ingres, Cogniet, nor De

    camps, contributes a dash of the brush. Horace Vernet exhibits only one head, a portrait of Changarnier, an admirable likeness, full of fife

    and energy, and colored with his peculiar brightness. To M?ller and

    Bi?NNOURY, perhaps, the honors of historical painting must be granted. The former has a large picture of

    ' The Rich Man and Lazarus,' treated

    ?fter the manner of Paul Veronese ; and the latter a sombre an j

    rather flat, though very fine, * Lady Macbeth and the Physician: A re-j

    markable work is the production of a Mdlle. Rosa Bonheur, executed

    on commission, and given by the Minister of the Interior. The subject is simple?two teams of oxen ploughing in

    an open field in a clear pure

    sunshine : but it is painted with a truth, vigor, and solidity, which leave

    scarcely anything to be desired. Charles Landelle's portraits are

    elegant and refined. Of the cabinet pictures, Meissonnier's is perhaps

    the best ; but in this particular form of Art?this boudoir style?the French are habitually excellent."

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    " Much of the sculpture is excellent ; but there is rather too general a tendency to the voluptuous,gwhich a little ideality would have veiled from the mind, if not from the eye."

    a The purely architectural drawings are tinted as only French artiste

    can tint ; and their light washing and geometrical drawing have merits even to eyes accustomed to more ambitious efforts."

    Some of our readers may remember to have seen two paintings by the Mdlle. Bonheur above-mentioned, at the store of Williams &

    Stevens, in Broadway, some months since. Each of them represented a horse?one of the king's stud, and was surprisingly well drawn and

    modelled, especially when one remembered that the artist was a young

    lady. There were all that life and animation in the design and color

    which distinguish Landseer's works. We are happy to add that these

    fine pictures are still in this country, having been purchased by a gen

    tleman of Providence, R. I.

    M. Gleyre contributes a work to the Expo?tion?a " Dance of Bac

    chantes"?which is enthusiastically described *by a French critic.

    "cGleyre," says he, " is a Greek, and he painted this picture two thouv

    sand years ago in the studio of Zeuxis :?these Bacchantes have sipped

    the golden wine of the Archipelago, and got drunk with the Gods of

    Olympus while singing the songs of Hesiod and dancing the measures

    of Ionia." -

    All the critics seem to agree in lamenting the immense overproduce

    tion of Works of Art, which is shown by this exhibition. In the Fine

    Arts, as in the skies, they say, it is only the stars of the first and of

    the second magnitude which count. The others are as if they were

    not. It would be desirable to have the exact statistics of the number

    of pictures executed during any period of ten years, and of those sold

    during the same time. If this double account should be hung up

    every drawing-school it might perhaps prevent this unfortunate glut the market, without depriving the world of a single great genius.


    The Exposition of the present year is the eleventh of a series which

    commenced in 1789. At that time the number of exhibitors was abotit

    one hundred. It is now four thousand four hundred and ninety-four.

    The collection consists chiefly of specimens of French manufactured

    articles, and productions of French agriculture. The edifice,

    a tempo

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    Article Contentsp. 7p. 8p. 9

    Issue Table of ContentsBulletin of the American Art-Union, Vol. 2, No. 6 (Sep., 1849), pp. 1-46Front MatterThe Programme for the Year 1849 [pp. 5-5]To Our Readers [pp. 5-5]The Department of Drawing in the Free Academy [pp. 5-6]Exhibition of Modern Paintings at Paris [pp. 7-9]Exposition of the Industrial Arts at Paris [pp. 9-11]Notices of New BooksReview: untitled [pp. 11-21]Review: untitled [pp. 21-22]

    The Fine Arts in America [pp. 22-27]ExtractsSonnet, upon the Sight of a Beautiful Picture Painted by Sir George Beaumont [pp. 28-28]Wilkie's Prices for His Pictures [pp. 28-28]Requisites for Critical Competency [pp. 28-29]Personal Experience Necessary to Artistic Creation [pp. 29-29]True Merit Satisfied with Recognition [pp. 29-29]

    Gleanings from Foreign JournalsEngravings of the London Art-Union [pp. 30-30]Restoration of Roman Monuments Injured by the French [pp. 30-30]Anecdote of Mr. Wivell, the Portrait Painter [pp. 30-30]Late Appropriations for the British Museum [pp. 30-30]Request to the Bristol Academy [pp. 31-31]Exhibition of Mr. Etty's Pictures [pp. 31-31]Government Supplies Connected with Art [pp. 31-31]The Cost of the New Houses of Parliament [pp. 31-31]Rapidity of Execution of the Artist Serre [pp. 31-31]Botany Considered in Reference to the Arts of Design [pp. 32-32]Improvements in the Daguerreotype [pp. 32-32]

    Catalogue of Works of Art [pp. 33-46]Paintings on ExhibitionBack Matter