Images d'un monde serein
Peintures du Romantisme européen
Couples in love, dramatic landscapes, historicising or orientalising scenes, faith and piety, nature and hunting – all are favourite subjects explored in European painting of the Romantic period, which saw the rationalism of the 18th century replaced by sentiment, imagination and the withdrawal of the individual to a private sphere. As a preview of the creative abundance of this period, Villa Vauban will be showcasing around forty paintings by French, Belgian, Dutch and German painters from its very own collection.
The exhibition leads visitors through six thematic rooms, each one dedicated to a subject from the Romantic period.
The start of the exhibition features idyllic scenes depicting idealised human relationships: love, family, friendship, some in a historicising context. The perspective subsequently widens. Individual landscapes featuring bodies of water and seascapes still emulate the Dutch masters of the Golden Age. In contrast, examples from the French School focus on the effects of light and atmosphere. Another room celebrates, in the form of splendid still lifes, the hunt and its trophies, a privileged pastime of the upper bourgeoisie. The following room showcases paintings imbued with religious and contemplative sentiment, such as church interiors, monastic life, priests, monks and saints, which attest to the return to Christian faith that was witnessed during the Romantic period. The final room features typical 19th-century examples of the idealised image of the woman, sometimes projected into the past: the woman as a mother, going about her daily chores, in historic dress or depicted in an antique style – an overview also of the French historicism of the second half of the 19th century.
The richly detailed paintings, which lend themselves to intuitive interpretation, immerse visitors into a truly serene world, a reflection of the bourgeois spirit of the Romantic period.
18 av. Emile Reuter