Photo by nga.gov
François Hubert Drouais, 1727–1775, Collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Eugenia Woodward Hitt Collection
François Hubert Drouais, 1727–1775, Collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Eugenia Woodward Hitt Collection

Joseph Ducreux, Le Discret, c. 1791, oil on aluminum, transferred from canvas, Spencer Museum of Art (Photo by: nga.gov) Joseph Ducreux, Le Discret, c. 1791, oil on aluminum, transferred from canvas, Spencer Museum of Art

The National Gallery of Art (NGA) is hosting an exhibition highlighting smaller museum collections of eighteenth-century French paintings. The show, in the west building, main floor, runs from May 21 through August 20, 2017 

 

When Joseph Bonaparte, elder brother of Napoleon, arrived in the United States in 1815, he brought with him his exquisite collection of eighteenth-century French paintings. Put on public view, the works caused a sensation, and a new American taste for French art was born. Over the decades, appreciation of French eighteenth-century art has fluctuated between preference for the alluring decorative canvases of rococo artists such as François Boucher and Jean Honoré Fragonard to admiration for the sober neoclassicism championed by Jacques Louis David and his pupils.

 

This exhibition brings together sixty-eight paintings that represent some of the best and most unusual examples of French art of that era held by American museums and tells their stories on a national stage.

 

For more information, visit National Gallery of Art.