Photo of the Week

ParisUpdate-ParisNight

The view from the Théâtre de l"Odéon at dusk. Photo: Françoise Deberdt-Meunier

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Paris Update What’s On

Links to events happening this week in Paris.

Left Bank gallery crawl
> Open house at 50 galleries for Art Saint Germain des Prés. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

Gold in galleries

ParisUpdate-CarreRiveGauche-Passage AH 0

“Passage” ((2017), by Aude Herlédan. At 1831 Art Gallery during Carré Rive Gauche.

> The Carré Rive Gauche, an association of Left Bank galleries, celebrates its 40th anniversary with an event called ExtrORdinaire, featuring gold in works of art. Various venues, Paris, May 18-June 3.

Literary evening
> The Nuit de la Littérature in Belleville and Ménilmontant presents 20 foreign authors reading their work in French. Various venues, Paris, May 27.

 English-language theater festival
> Paris Fringe returns for its second year of English-language theater and comedy. Various venues, Paris, May 18-28.

Hollywood glam
> Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich and more in classic films from Hollywood's Golden Age for the Glamour cycle. Forum des Images, Paris, May 3-31.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Etienne Comar’s Django, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, May 26.

Virtual reality
> Drop in on Saturday or Sunday from 2pm to 8pm for a free virtual trip at the VR Express festival. Forum des Images, Paris, through June 30.

Dance in historic sites
> Monuments en Mouvement offers free dance performances in national monuments like the Pantheon in Paris, the Abbaye de Cluny and châteaux. Various locations, through Oct. 21.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, through May 28.

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Art - Temporary Exhibitions

 

Sérénissime! Venise en Fête de Tiepolo à Guardi

Party Town:
Venice’s Swan Song

ParisUpdate-Serenissima-MuseeCognacqJay03 Giuseppe Borsato_ Lempereur Napoleon

“Empereur Napoleon Presides over a Venetian Regate on December 2, 1807” (1814), by Giuseppe Borsato. RMN-Grand
Palais (Château de Versailles)/Franck Raux, Service de Presse/Musée Cognacq-Jay

The glorious millennium of the Venetian Republic came to a definitive end in 1797 with Napoleon’s invasion and the forced abdication of the doge. Even in its final days during the 18th century, however, the city, flush after several decades of peace and prosperity, never stopped throwing lavish public pageants complete with elaborate pop-up scenery in Saint Mark’s Square and regattas on the Grand Canal, while the dramatic arts flourished in new theatres and on the streets, aristocrats partied behind the closed doors of their palazzi, and commoners filled the streets and taverns.

Venetian painters recorded all of these festivities – which turned the beautiful city itself into a theater – in almost photographic detail and jewel-like colors.

The first image that catches the eye is a black-and-white drawing by Giandomenico Tiepolo, “La Malvasia” (a type of tavern named after a

ParisUpdate-Serenissima-MuseeCognacqJay-09 Giandomenico Tiepolo_ La Malvasia

“La Malvasia” (1791), by Giandomenico Tiepolo. Beaux-Arts de Paris, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Image Beaux-Arts de Paris/Service de Presse/Musée Cognacq-Jay

wine that had once helped fill the Venetian coffers) in which the smug-looking owner points the way to the door to a rowdy customer, dancing with his back turned to the viewer, while other customers drink and smoke behind him.

Many of the more intimate moments were documented by Giandomenico Tiepolo and his brother Lorenzo. The former, for example, painted “Il Novo Mondo” (c. 1765), a version of the famous fresco now in the Ca’Rezzonica in

ParisUpdate-Serenissima-MuseeCognacqJay-10 - Giandomenico Tiepolo, Il Mondo Novo

Venice, in which we see a varied group of spectators, some in Carnival costumes, from the back as they strain to see a cosmorama, an entertainment involving panoramas of other parts of the world, known as a Novo Mondo.

A work by their father, Giambattista Tiepolo, showing Cleopatra’s banquet, is thrown in for good measure, though it depicts a historical scene:

ParisUpdate-Serenissima-MuseeCognacqJay13-Giambattista Tiepolo  Le banquet de Cleopatre

“Le Banquet de Cléopatre” (c. 1742-43), by Giambattista Tiepolo. © Musée Cognacq-Jay/Roger-Viollet

Meanwhile, more extravagant festivities were taking place outdoors. Carnival was, of course, the best-known celebration, but any excuse was a good one. A series of fascinatingly detailed engravings shows everything from parades of fantastical carriages to bull running in the Piazza San Marco.

Francesco Guardi recorded the election of Doge Giovanni Mocenigo in 1763 in Saint Mark’s Cathedral. The scene looks more like a brawl as the jubilant crowd is pushed back by men with long sticks. In another painting by Guardi we see the doge being carried by

ParisUpdate-Serenissima-MuseeCognacqJay-06 Francesco Guardi le Doge de Venise porte par les gondoliers apres son election sur la place Saint-Marc

“Le Doge Alvise IV Mocenigo Porté sur la Place Saint-Marc” (c. 1775-77). © Musée de Grenoble

gondoliers outside the cathedral as the men with sticks beat back the crowds anxious to catch the gold and silver pieces being thrown by the doge.

A number of works by Luca Carlevarijs (1663-1730), the first to paint the cityscapes of Venice that became so familiar with Canaletto and Guardi, are on show here. One could spend hours being amused and amazed by the incredible detail in the crowd scenes, often far more interesting that what’s going on in the grand pageant in the background, as charlatans scam the innocent, vendors hawk their wares, masked Venetians gossip with each other, and dogs scratch their fleas.

When Napoleon himself rolled into town in 1807, his arrival was duly fêted. Two paintings here commemorate the event, both by Giuseppe Borsato, one showing the emperor’s elaborate boat passing through a triumphal arch built for the occasion (pictured at the top of this page). In the other, the emperor is barely visible, standing on the balcony of a palazzo presiding over a regatta being held in his honor.

This little gem of a show is almost as entertaining as the festivities in Venice itself and is the next best thing to going to the Serenissima.

Musée Cognacq-Jay: 8, rue Elzevir, 75003 Paris. Métro: Saint-Paul or Chemin-Vert. Tel.: 01 40 27 07 21. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm. Closed Monday and some public holidays. Admission to exhibition: €8. Through June 25. museecognacqjay.paris.fr

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More art reviews.

© 2017 Paris Update

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