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.
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
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.
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
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.