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National Gallery of Canada Opens Drawn to Art. French Artists and Art Lovers in 18th Century Rome

The National Gallery of Canada in collaboration with France’s Musée des beaux-arts de Caen, presents Drawn to Art. French Artists and Art Lovers in 18th Century Rome a new exhibition on view October 21, 2011 to January 2, 2012. This exhibition will allow visitors to discover the Eternal City’s influence on the work of French artists during a period in which artists, patrons, politicians and other members of the elite lived at close quarters, united in their love of art.

Hubert Robert, Garden of an Italian Villa, 1764. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (39760). Photo © NGC.

“Rome has always been a special place for artists from all over the world, and the artists of 18th century France were no exception,” said NGC director Marc Mayer. “The cultural hub of Europe, the Eternal City gave early impetus to the careers of a number of celebrated French artists such as Hubert Robert, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and Jacques-Louis David, who brought back from their sojourns indelible images whose power still operates today. We’re pleased to announce that this exhibition will also be seen at the Musée des beaux-arts de Caen, a major partner in the enterprise and whose collection includes some fine examples of this period.”

Drawn to Art brings together some 134 works – drawings, prints and paintings – divided into five themes: Academic Training, Art Lovers, Patrons and Artists, The Landscape of Rome and its Surroundings, Rediscovering Antiquity, and Celebrations and Festivities. Many of these exceptional works, which come from leading North American and European institutions, have never been shown in North America. The exhibition includes 25 works from the NGC collection as well, including twenty or so outstanding works by Hubert Robert, Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Joseph Vernet. For more information, visit the exhibition website at

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