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By Michel Laclotte

An paintings international insider offers a witty and penetrating account of 50 years on the middle of overseas culture.

Art historian, curator, and museum director Michel Laclotte has been on the leading edge of French cultural lifestyles over the last part century. This casual autobiography sheds gentle on his tremendous profession with heat and directness. Highlights contain 20 years as leader curator of portray and sculpture on the Musée du Louvre, heading the workforce that created the Musée dOrsay, and taking the reins of the Louvre to steer the hassle that culminated within the museums transformation into the “Grand Louvre,” one of many worlds preeminent cultural attractions.

Raising the curtain on fifty years of Western paintings scholarship, intrigue, and success, Laclotte introduces a unprecedented forged of characters who set Frances cultural course within the postwar interval from Charles de Gaulle and André Malraux within the Nineteen Fifties to François Mitterand within the Eighties and Nineteen Nineties. His tale overlaps with almost each significant scholarly determine in French artwork background of the final half-century, in addition to Laclottes mentors and associates all through and past Europe, from Roberto Longhi and Anthony Blunt to Sir John Pope-Hennessy and Millard Meiss. An incomparable testomony to a interval of seismic swap within the museum global, this quantity can be crucial analyzing for artwork international afficianados and all scholars of paintings and sleek culture.

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An Inspector of Provincial Museums 3. In the Paintings Department of the Louvre 4. Meetings with Art Historians 5. The Musée d’Orsay 6. The Grand Louvre 7. After 1994: Lavori in Corso Appendix: Four Mentors Notes Index List of Plates The Drunkenness of Noah Portrait of Sigismondo Malatesta The Cheat The Astronomer The Bolt Tree with Crows The Musée du Petit Palais, Avignon Musée du Louvre, Paris Foreword Any narrative written in the first person, unless it is fiction or the musings of a confirmed flagellant, contains a share of self-congratulation.

In a tiny room, Langlois sometimes projected real oddities, such as prints of American films subtitled in Danish, or Russian films in English. It was there that I discovered Dreyer, Eisenstein, German Expressionist cinema, Murnau’s Sunrise, with its incredible tracking shot, Flaherty, von Stroheim, and many others. As of 1947, when I started at Lycée Henri IV, my friends and I went to the movies sometimes twice a day, especially to the Champollion. We absorbed everything: Carné’s films from before the war, Drôle de drame, Rules of the Game by Renoir—which remains one of my favorite films— Pagnol, Feyder’s La Kermesse héroïque, the Marx Brothers seen over and over again, Hellzapoppin, any western, Cukor and MacLaren and Lubitsch, and, of course, Orson Welles.

Around the Saint-Placide gallery, people were also talking a lot about “miserabilism,” notably in the works of Gruber; Bernard Buffet, who at first had something truly strong and original to say when he painted on bedsheets; Lorjou, an artificial explosion of paint; and the sad Minaux. The tendency didn’t last long. Another important development in art history at the time was the emergence of the new American painting. I wish I could say that I saw the Pollock exhibition at the Facchetti gallery, or Vehemence Confronted in 1951, but it isn’t the case.

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A Key to the Louvre by Michel Laclotte


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