The Musée Cognacq-Jay presents an original show juxtaposing items from the museum’s eighteenth-century collection with works by Dalou, the great Republican sculptor of the late nineteenth century.
A resolutely political artist and veteran of the Commune, the works of Jules Dalou (1838-1902) celebrate the Republic from its origins, i.e. the Revolution: Mirabeau debating Dreux-Brézé on 23rd June 1789, an immense bronze relief commissioned for the Chamber of Deputies in 1883, is one of his greatest masterpieces.
The artist often drew inspiration from the Age of Enlightenment, torn between celebrating the righteous glory of the Revolution and a certain nostalgia for the refinement of rococo art.
During his years of exile in London (1871-1879), and after his return to Paris, Dalou also produced a number of more intimate works, evoking another side of the eighteenth century: visions of cherubic children, elegant bacchanalia and intrigues in alcoves replete with echoes of Boucher, Falconet, Clodion and Pigalle.
This exhibition will be hosted by the Musée Cognacq-Jay, juxtaposing fifty of Dalou’s sculptures with eighteenth-century originals illustrating selected themes (heroic scenes, portraits of children, mythological subjects and scenes from daily life).
In parallel with this show, a retrospective exhibition covering the whole of Dalou’s career, including many pieces from the City of Paris collections, will be held at the Petit Palais.
Cécilie Champy, Curator at the Petit Palais,
José de Los Llanos, Head Curator and Director of the Musée Cognacq-Jay,
Benjamin Couilleaux, Curator at the Musée Cognacq-Jay.