Monday, August 11, 2014

Art of the Tuileries

We recently saw the Portland Art Museum's show, The Art of the Louvre's Tuileries Garden show.  I liked the individual pieces, but the show as a whole didn't seem unified:  I'm not sure what the gardens as a whole meant to the French people, or at least how that meaning changed within the cultural context of a private garden turned over for the enjoyment of citizens.  (I must have missed a sign somewhere, because http://www.portlandartmuseum.org/special/tuileriesgarden/about talks about the historical interpretation of the park).   I think I would have tried to take a chronological approach to the galleries, or maybe a functional one, or maybe I would have tried to present the pieces from the standpoint of a preserving and displaying public art and the difficulties thereof.  

They did place François Joseph Bosio's (French, 1768–1845), Hercules Battling Achelus well, as one would turn a corner and be confronted with a twice life size naked Hercules battling a snake.   Both Mark and I gave a little shriek when we saw it.   I liked the scales on the snake.  What was interesting was that there appeared to be bullet holes in the bronze, but there wasn't an explanation of what they were from.  We agreed that Antoine Coysevox's (French, 1640–1720) sculpture of a faun(?) playing pan pipes was the best sculpture there, although we liked the herms-style carving of Vertumnus revealing himself to Pomona (Surprise! I'm a MAN!)

I liked the sculptures of Atalanta and Hippomenes, but then Mark started pointing out how they were mediocre in proportion and execution (I still think Hippomenes' face was well done).
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