More than a school, a style or a movement, orientalism is a tropism. In recent years, it has especially made the subject of reading socio-political. Flavors bewitching, and images of submissive women and lascivious, land huge or fertile to colonize, indigenous, to educate or to exploit it: all of this has been criticized, denounced and rightly so. We even know now the exact part of the responsibility of artists in this exotic foul. Who use and abuse the hookah, the harem and the medina.
In the course that she designed at the Musée Marmottan Monet, the art historian Emmanuelle Amiot-Saulnier, the recalls of course. But this is not essential. His argument focuses on the plastic stakes.
fifty works – portraits, everyday scenes and landscapes, it also demonstrates that orientalism has also been a track leading to the abstraction.
interior of Paul Klee or the three Kandinsky brought together in the final section (performed at the time of the stay in Tunisia between 1904 and 1914), which is the radical Painting with white form of the Gemeentemuseum of The Hague, marking the threshold.
Drawings famous “Odalisque”, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, not dated (detail). Ocala, Appleton Museum of Art,College of Central Florida, Gift of Arthur I. Appelton
Opening with a surprise with Ingres and Delacroix. The first is illustrated by his Little Woman and its raphaélesque Head of the Great Odalisque . We also discover a few designs from the museum of Montauban. Some have been little seen. Others are famous, such as this study for nude with raised arms, which occupies the foreground of the sulphur Turkish Bath .
The Grande Odalisque lack. But it is represented by a tile proving that the deformities of the beautiful, the reasons for its success of scandal has been specifically developed. Also the walls bright orange, the copy made for the State by Jules Flandrin in 1903. This is the first sign of the pervasiveness of the theme of the houri. It can be found here until the a tribute to Vallotton ( Turkish Bath , 1907) or in the Odalisque in red panties of Matisse in 1925.
beside (or in opposition), Delacroix was brushed hastily sketch of The Death of Sardanapalus . It is an explosion of warm colors. The Chassériau selected are of this vein. As – more surprising – the Young Algerian lying on the grass of Corot.
later, a series of Jewish sensual vie silk embroidered. The nipples point in the marking and transparency. These oils are due to small masters in the academic tradition. They give the best of themselves. As a Jean-Léon Gérôme, excellent in the precise line, the ethnographic detail maniac and the scene émoustillante. This kind of fantasy living culminates with The Massage scene de hammam masterpiece of Édouard Debat-Ponsan. The blue-green tiles from Iznik or in the funds of Persian rugs, like the scopes powdery or skies French riviera, will then raise the pallet unusual in our latitudes. Surfaces and colors, such as edges cubisantes houses whitewashed or tiled floor of a steam room, will assert for themselves.
“East of the painters -the dream in the light”, Musée Marmottan Monet, 2 rue Louis-Boilly (Xvi). Tel.: 01 44 96 50 33. Opening hours: mar. the dim. from 10 h to 18 h ; set up to 21 h. Until 21 jul. Catalog: Hazan, 192 p., 29 €.