Museum of Fine Arts and the Heitz Gallery Present Landscapes at the Museums of Strasbourg 19th and 20th Centuries

The Museum of Fine Arts and the Heitz Gallery (Rohan Palace) present Present Landscapes at the Museums of Strasbourg 19th and 20th Centuries, on view through August 15th 2011.

The exhibition in the Museum of Fine Arts brings together a collection of paintings and graphic works (prints and drawings), chosen from among the finest pieces from the collections of Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and the Cabinet of Prints and Drawings. About eighty graphic works, all from the Cabinet of Prints and Drawings at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art are presented at Galerie Heitz. The works exhibited emphasize dialogue between nature and Man (whether man is the artist or the viewer): the exaltation of the feelings of attraction to the picturesque and the idealized landscape and the journey from observation to subjective vision.

Paul Signac, Antibes Le Soir, 1914, Oil on canvas – 73x92cm. Museum of Fine Arts and Galerie Heitz

The exhibition is intended as a journey through the history of European landscape art extending from the Romantic period to the middle of the twentieth century, with masterpieces by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet, Arthur Sisley, Claude Monet and Paul Signac all on view. Alongside these painters, a host of less well-known works It aims to highlight key works from the collections of museums in Strasbourg, where possible featuring the landscape of the region. By bringing together for the first time, works that are not usually displayed in the same location, resonances between the works can be seen.

Some eighty paintings are exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts by themes, allowing for unprecedented confrontations. The themes are, ‘The Window’, ‘Characters in Nature’, ‘Water’, ‘The City’. ‘The Campaign’ and ‘The Tree’. The exhibition is accompanied by a selection of films and a series of lectures, and is thematically linked with the major exhibition held in conjunction with the Museum Unterlinden in Colmar, entitled “The picturesque Alsace. The invention of a landscape 1770 – 1870”.

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg (Museum of Fine Arts of Strasbourg) is the old masters paintings collection of the city of Strasbourg, located in the Alsace region of France. The museum is housed in the first and second floors of the baroque Palais Rohan since 1898. The museum displays works by non-Upper Rhenish artists from between the 14th century and 1871 and by Upper Rhenish artist from between 1681 and 1871. The museum owns almost 1,000 works, of which around 250 are on permanent display.

The old masters from the upper-Rhenish area until 1681 are exhibited in the neighboring Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame.The first municipal art collection of the city of Strasbourg was the result of the French Revolution, and was a consequence of the expropriation of churches and cloisters. Through the years, the collection, which was founded in 1801, grew by private donations, as well as government loans from the inventory of the Louvre.

On August 24, 1870, the museum, which was housed in the Aubette on Place Kléber, was set on fire by Prussian artillery fire and completely destroyed. After the end of the Franco-Prussian War, it was resolved to re-establish the museum, and the imperial art historian Wilhelm von Bode was commissioned with the task in 1889. In 1890, the museum was launched and was re-stocked since that time by acquisitions and gifts. In 1931 under the leadership of Hans Haug (1890-1965), the collection of medieval art and upper-Rhenish painting (Konrad Witz, Hans Baldung, Sebastian Stoskopff) was transferred to the newly-founded Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame. The collection of modern art went to the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg). On August 13, 1947, fire destroyed part of the re-established collection, including works of Francesco Guardi, Thomas de Keyser, Antonio del Pollaiolo and Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Museum of Fine Arts and the Heitz Gallery
(Rohan Palace)
2, place du château, Strasbourg
telephone: 03 88 52 50 00

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