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Online Talk - Gustave Moreau: curator-led online tour

Type: Event

Location: Waddesdon Manor - National Trust

Entry: Paid Entry

Event Date: 28/06/2021

Gustave Moreau (1826-98) is one of the most brilliant and influential artists associated with the French Symbolist movement. This exhibition reveals his illustrations of Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables, some of the most extraordinary works he ever made, unseen in public for over a century. The fables will be familiar to British audiences from Aesop’s fables, others are derived from traditional European and Asian stories. Moreau’s translation of La Fontaine’s pithy, canonical work into his own, highly distinctive visual language is a revelation. There are scenes of comedy, satire and tragedy, and the stylistic range of the watercolours encompasses historicism and the picturesque, Orientalist fantasy and near-abstract chromatic experiments. One early commentator wrote that it was as though their creator ‘was a jeweller before he was a painter and who, drunk on colour, had ground up rubies, sapphires, emeralds, topazes, pearls and mother-of-pearl to make his palette.’

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