Des Fleurs en Hiver
by Johan Creten
A century of the triumph of industry, coal and railroads, the 19th century, like the rest of us, cultivated a nostalgia for Nature. It is not the least paradox of Delacroix's career that the author of the absolute icon of revolutionary struggle - La Liberté guidant le Peuple, July 28, 1830 - wanted to present five paintings of flowers at the 1849 Salon, in the wake of a new revolution.
A regular visitor to the grounds of the Château de Nohant, to which George Sand invited him, Delacroix later acquired a small house in the village of Champrosay, where he could rest alone in the calm of his garden and stroll through the Sénart forest. It was also the enjoyment of a private garden that prompted him to move into the rue de Fürstenberg apartment in 1857. On the occasion of the renovation of this secret enclosure, nestled in the heart of the islet where the painter built his studio, Des fleurs en hiver, Delacroix, Othoniel, Creten presents the artist's principal flower paintings and his finest watercolors, from museums and collections in Europe and the United States.
This exceptional presentation is accompanied by works by two renowned contemporary artists who place flowers at the heart of their inspiration: Jean-Michel Othoniel, creator of the Kiosque des noctambules at the entrance to the Palais-Royal metro station, whose retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou has just been a huge success, and Johan Creten, a sculptor whose creations for the Manufacture de Sèvres are among the most talked-about works in contemporary ceramics in recent years.
The parallel is not intended to be jarring, but rather to illustrate the enduring nature of floral inspiration, in both the 19th and 21st centuries, in artists whose careers are fully in tune with their times.
Under the direction of Christophe Leribault, Director of the Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris. Texts by Christophe Leribault, Stéphane Guégan, curator at the Musée d'Orsay, and Michèle Hannoosh, professor at the University of Michigan, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.