The Dallas Museum of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the United States organized the first major American exhibition about the French floral still life across the 19th century. This weekend is the last chance to go see this wonderful exhibition. A true mustsee if you are in Richmond, Virginia.
Developed from the strong partnerships fostered by the French Regional American Museum Exchange, the exhibition is organized by Mitchell Merling (Paul Mellon Curator and head of the Department of European Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts) and Heather MacDonald, (the Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.
The exhibition explores the infusion of new spirit and meaning into the traditional genre of floral still-life painting in 19th-century France, even as the advent of modernism was radically transforming the art world.
Flower paintings by famous painters
It features more than 60 flower paintings by more than 30 artists, including well-known painters such as Eugène Dlacroix, Gustave Courbet, Henri Fantin-Latour, Édouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri Matisse, as well as less familiar figures such as Antoine Berjon and Simon Saint-Jean.
These artists, whose careers collectively span the nineteenth century, engaged in a sophisticated reworking of traditional imagery, bringing the floral still life into dialogue with emerging models of science and commerce, and ultimately transforming the genre into a meditation on the nature of artistic representation itself.
An impression of the exhbition can be seen in this video made by the museum.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The Banner Exhibition Program at VMFA is supported by the Julia Louise Reynolds Fund.
About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
VMFA’s permanent collection encompasses more than 33,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of world history. Its collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, Fabergé, and the art of South Asia are among the finest in the nation. With acclaimed holdings in American, British Sporting, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist, and Modern and Contemporary art – and additional strengths in African, Ancient, East Asian, and European – VMFA ranks as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States.
Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus lively after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. VMFA, a certified Virginia Green attraction, is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA