While eighteenth-century art is often perceived as a progressive move from a taste for the lightness of rococo to the grandeur of classical style, this exhibition sheds light on the different experiments undertaken to regenerate artistic forms and themes throughout Europe from 1720 to 1790. A focus on the classical was central to this exploration.
One hundred and fifty works - paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, decorative arts - featured in the exhibition illustrate the processes of innovation, emulation, and even resistance to the classical in eighteenth-century Europe, and reveal the tension at the very heart of the creative approach.
Benefiting from an outstanding contribution by Marc Fumaroli, of the French Academy, this exhibition boasts a collection of first-rate pieces from around the world.
Texts by Guillaume Faroult, Curator at the Louvre's Department of Paintings; Marc Fumaroli, French Academy; Thomas Gaehtgens, Director of the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Christophe Leribault, Curator at the Musée du Louvre's Department of Prints and Drawings and Director of the Musée national Eugène Delacroix, Paris; Christian Michel, professor at the Université de Lausanne; Guilhem Scherf, Curator at the Musée du Louvre's Department of Sculptures.