Othoniel for the Louvre Museum

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Pyramid, the Louvre Museum has invited the artist Jean-Michel Othoniel to create an original work inspired by a detail from a painting by Rubens, in six paintings and a book.

Rubens for inspiration

To create these paintings, the artist was inspired by the rose painted by Rubens in The Marriage of Mary of Medici and Henry IV (1621-1625). This rose is for Jean-Michel Othoniel the emblematic flower of the museum. Queen among flowers, triumphant, symbol of power and passion, this rose painted with great freedom speaks to us of the destiny of a woman, of her beauty, of her love stronger than death, of the history of France, of the history of the museum. With this installation, Jean-Michel Othoniel invites visitors to a dreamlike walk combining sculptures, a wonderful herbarium, paintings and a garden.

Jean-Michel Othoniel

The artist returns to his first love. During his student years, he was a day and night guard at the Louvre. During 2018, he once again explored the empty rooms of the largest museum in the world to gather in the eight departments the painted, sculpted, drawn, embroidered, and enameled flowers hidden in the masterpieces of the collection. In this way, he has compiled a unique herbarium. As he walked through the rooms of the Louvre, Othoniel photographed the flowers represented in the sculptures, tapestries, frescoes, architectural elements, furniture and paintings. Among the flower details are the thistle in Durer's self-portrait, the apple on the stool in Fragonard's The Lock, the peony in the untucked shirt of Greuze's Girl with a Broken Pitcher, and the palm on the arm of Saint Apolline by Zurbarán... We also find the triumphant rose painted by Rubens in the painting sealing the marriage between Marie de Médicis and Henri IV with, placed in the heart of the herbarium, the watercolor and ink drawings born of this discovery in the Louvre. Photo Claire Dorn / Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.

Products derived from the work

The Réunion des Musées Nationaux is pleased to present the articles resulting from its collaboration with Jean-Michel Othoniel.

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