Paris’ art world is in full bloom
Jean-Michel Othoniel’s sculpture Noeud Miroir, Vert links green and mirrored glass balls in a shape that recalls branches bending in the wind. (Guillaume Ziccarelli © Adagp, Paris 2013. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong & Paris)
Paris’ charming Eugène-Delacroix Museum is celebrating its newly renovated garden with an exhibition dedicated to the Romantic artist’s floral works, bringing flowers even to those visiting the French capital in the winter.
Eugène Delacroix: Winter Flowers, on show until 18 March, unites the French master’s flower-themed paintings from the 19th Century with contemporary sculptures from French Jean-Michel Othoniel and Belgian Johan Creten in the artist’s enchanting former Left Bank residence and studios.
For the first time, 23 of Delacroix’s major flower paintings and watercolours have been brought together from museums throughout France and the world, which, alongside the especially conceived floral pieces by Creten and Othoiel, explores the perennial inspiration of flowers over the centuries.
Delacroix used the traditional genre of flower painting throughout his career to examine form and colour, and both his small studies of delicate irises and jasmine as well as large oil paintings of carefully composed floral still lives are on show.
Othoniel – perhaps best known for the colourful otherworldly entrance he created for Paris’ Palais-Royal metro station – uses blown glass to create abstract sculptures composed of translucent, coloured spheres. A highlight is his looping and interlacing Noeud Miroir, Vert (Mirror and Green Knot), which links bead-like green and mirrored glass balls in a shape that recalls branches or leaves bending in the wind.
Cretan explores the theme through his busts, one of which is covered in beautifully crafted ceramic roses. The bust, called Odore di Femmina - Russian White, contrasts its delicate representation of pretty blooms with their sharp ceramic edges, which, as the artist explains in the adjacent text panel, creates a floral version of the femme fatale. There is also a bronze bust covered in organic leaf and flower forms on display in the grounds.
The garden has yet to bloom – but in this rich and varied exhibition, all the flowers you could imagine are on display inside the museum.
Tickets are available on the door for 7 euros; a twin ticket for the Louvre and the Delacroix Museum costs 15 euros and is available to buy at either museum and valid for use at both on the same day. Solo shows for both Othoniel and Cretan are on display at Paris’ Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery until 23 February.
Kim Laidlaw is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes www.unlockparis.com.