On view until September 14, 2014
OTTAWA, June 11, 2014 /CNW/ - From now until September 14, nearly 100
striking works of art by Gustave Doré—one of the most extraordinary
artists of the 19th century—are being showcased at the National Gallery
of Canada (NGC) for the North American exclusive exhibition Gustave Doré (1832 - 1883): Master of Imagination. These spectacular and familiar works, in which fantasy and reality
overlap, have inspired generations. Organized by the National Gallery
of Canada in collaboration with the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the
exhibition is the first comprehensive retrospective in thirty years
devoted to this tremendous artist. For more information, visit the exhibition site.
A master of many genres
At just 15 years of age, Doré began his career as a caricaturist. He
later became a professional illustrator, contributing to the birth of
the comic strip and the graphic novel. Doré created well-known
illustrations for classics such as Perrault's Fairy Tales, Cervantes' Don Quixote and Dante's Inferno, as well as his extraordinary edition of the Bible. Doré also revived
history painting to depict the disasters of the Franco-Prussian War
from 1870-1871 and the consequent loss of his native Alsace.
Gifted with remarkable inventiveness, this ardent and prolific artist
captured the intensity of nature and created otherworldly realms of
fantasy. This ingenuity led him to produce large-scale canvases and
enormous Baroque sculptures, as well as insightful ink drawings and
detailed engravings. Unswayed by new trends, Doré was guided
principally by his own extraordinary imagination and has since become a
fertile source of inspiration to many 20th- and 21st-century artists
A brilliant artist, reinstated
The exhibition showcases Doré's great artistic diversity. During his
lifetime, he was known mostly as an illustrator—much to his chagrin; he
dreamed of becoming one of the most renowned painters of his time.
Doré's versatility can be seen across his prints, drawings,
watercolours, paintings and sculptures, ranging from spectacular
panoramas to intimate studies on paper. By presenting the broad range
of mediums with which he worked, the exhibition seeks to re-establish
Doré as a complete artist.
An exhibition with seven themes
The exhibition focuses on seven themes: following an operatic-style
overture built around the exceptional loan of Poème de la Vigne—an immense bronze that belongs to the de Young Museum in San
Francisco—the exhibition continues through the Satirical and Popular
Reporter, Literary Imagination, Landscapes, the Franco-Prussian War,
journeys in Spain and London, and finally the rebirth of Religious Art.
The exhibition is enriched with excerpts from some 20 films projected on
three screens, produced by some of the world's cinematic giants—from
Georges Méliès, Jean Cocteau, Cecil B. DeMille to Jean-Jacques Annaud,
and Roman Polanski —whose works were unquestionably influenced by Doré.
Guests can also learn more about Doré by watching a 52-minute
documentary produced by ARTE, showing in one of the exhibition rooms.
Gustave Doré (1832 - 1883): Master of Imagination brings together works from prestigious public and private collections,
including the Musée d'Orsay, San Francisco's De Young Museum, the
British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum
of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.
The curators of Gustave Doré (1832 - 1883): Master of Imagination are Paul Lang, deputy director and chief curator of the National Gallery of
Canada; Édouard Papet, chief curator of the Musée d'Orsay; and Philippe
Kaenel, professor of art history at the University of Lausanne and an
expert on Doré.
Visitors will be able to choose from an exceptional selection of
educational programs on the various aspects of the exhibition as well
as related special events: lectures, meetings with the curator, a film
series, concerts and hands-on workshops. For complete program details,
visit the exhibition website.
A 336-page richly illustrated colour catalogue complements this
exhibition. Edited by Professor Philippe Kaenel, a professor of art history at the University
of Lausanne and an expert on Doré, the catalogue contains essays by a
team of scholars: Marc Mayer, Guy Cogeval, Philippe Kaenel, Erika
Dolphin, David Kunzle, David Skilton, Bertrand Tillier, Côme Fabre,
Valérie Sueur-Hermel, Isabelle Saint-Martin, Baldine Saint Girons,
Édouard Papet, Paul Lang, Eric Zafran, Anne Markova, Valentine Robert
and Philippe Druillet. Published with Éditions Flammarion by the Musée
d'Orsay, the hardcover catalogue is available in English and French for
$45. Member pricing: $38.25. On sale at the NGC Bookstore or online at shopNGC.ca.
NGCmagazine.ca, the National Gallery of Canada's online magazine is a frequently
updated source of information on the Canadian art world and the
goings-on at the National Gallery of Canada. Correspondents from
across the country provide engaging and exclusive content on historical
and contemporary art in Canada. This online magazine includes exclusive
interviews with artists. This month, read Gustave Doré's illustrious imagination .
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Adults: $16; seniors and full-time students (ID required): $14; youth
aged 12-19: $7, families (two adults and three youth): $32. Admission
is free for children under the age of 12 and for Members. Includes
admission to the collection.
The NGC is open Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays
until 8 p.m. For more information call 613-990-1985 or 1-800-319-ARTS.
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections
of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains
Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st
century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous
Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and
photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played
a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its
principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for
all Canadians. To do so, it maintains an extensive touring art
exhibition programme. For more information: gallery.ca.
SOURCE: National Gallery of Canada
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