Dallas Museum of Art Presents Icons of French Painting Lecture

Dallas, TX, October 8, 2004—A group of internationally distinguished art historians will focus on 19th-century French paintings in a discussion at the Dallas Museum of Art Thursday, November 4. Icons of French Painting: From Delacroix to Courbet will begin at 7 p.m. in the Museum’s Horchow Auditorium. Admission is $15 for the public, $10 for Museum members and senior citizens, and free for students. For information, call 214/922-1826 or visit DallasMuseumofArt.org.

Participants in the panel are Dr. Richard Brettell, who serves as the Margaret McDermott Professor of Art & Aesthetics, The University of Texas at Dallas; the American Director of FRAME; and Adjunct Senior Curator, Meadows Museum, SMU. He will be joined by Dr. George Shackelford, Chair, Art of Europe and The Arthur K. Solomon Curator of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Phyllis Tuchman, art critic, journalist, and contributor to Art in America, Town and Country, and Smithsonian Magazine. Introducing the speakers will be moderator Dr. Dorothy Kosinski, Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, Dallas Museum of Art. Shackelford will discuss French painting in Boston before 1900; Brettell will address Delacroix’s choice of color palettes at the Musèe Fabre and their publication; and Tuchman will look at Courbet’s Bathers.

The discussion will center on iconic figures of 19th-century French art who are featured in the Museum’s exhibition Masterworks of French Painting, “Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet!”: The Bruyas Collection from the Musée Fabre, Montpellier. One of the most important paintings from this rich trove is Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet! (1854), a portrait by Gustave Courbet commemorating the meeting of the artist and his patron, Alfred Bruyas. The exhibition took its name from this famous rendering. Another masterwork in the exhibition is Moroccan Military Exercise (1832) by Eugène Delacroix. In addition to Courbet and Delacroix, the exhibition features many other great French artists of the period, including Jean-León Gérome, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Jean Francois Millet, Théodore Rousseau, and Antoine-Louis Barye.

The Masterworks of French Painting exhibition consists of 70 paintings and sculptures collected by art connoisseur Bruyas, who assembled the most important regional collection of French art in the mid-1800s. In acquiring new works by the emerging artists of his time, Bruyas became friends with an entire generation of French artists, many of whom he commissioned to paint his portrait. In 1868 he donated his formidable collection of 19th-century art to the Musée Fabre in the town of Montpellier, where he lived.

The exhibition was organized under the auspices of FRAME (French Regional American Museum Exchange), a consortium of 18 regional museums from throughout France and the United States dedicated to promoting the circulation and exchange of works of art, information, ideas, technology, and resources. Its objective is to establish long-term partnerships on common projects to enhance the work of participating museums and to make their respective resources available to a wider public on both sides of the Atlantic. While the Dallas Museum of Art has contributed art to several FRAME exhibitions, this is the first exhibition organized through FRAME to be shown at the DMA. Brettell, who played a significant role in establishing the organization, is the American Director of FRAME.

Icons of French Painting: From Delacroix to Courbet is funded by the Richard R. Brettell Lecture Series.