Black Models at Musée D’Orsay

Taking a multi-disciplinary approach that combines the history of art and the history of ideas, “Black models: from Géricault to Matisse” exhibition at Musée d’Orsay explores aesthetic, political, social and racial issues as well as the imagery unveiled by the representation of black figures in visual arts, from the abolition of slavery in France (1794) to the modern day. Designed to provide a long-term perspective, the exhibition looks more particularly at three key periods: the era of abolition (1794-1848), the new painting era up to the Matisse’s discovery of the Harlem Renaissance and the early 20th century avant-garde movement and the successive generations of post-war and contemporary artists. The exhibition primarily focuses on the question of models, and therefore the dialogue between the artist who paints, sculpts, engraves or photographs and the model who poses. It explores the way in which the representation of black subjects in major works by Géricault, Manet, Rosseau, Cézanne and Matisse and many others evolved. Here are some of the wonders from this very moving exhibition (open until 21st July 2019)…

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.