« La cité interdite au Louvre – Empereurs de Chine et rois de France ». This is the title of the exhibition which takes place in the parisian museum from the 29th september 2011 to the 9th january 2012. This exhibition is due to the collaboration of the Louvre, the imperial museum at Beijing and the musée Guimet in Paris.
In this article, the art historian and as passionate about french and asian art that I’m, will present my impressions, as objectives as possible, of this exhibition. The number of master pieces and their quality are, with no doubt, the mains and positives aspects of the exhibition. Indeed, a lot of chinese art works can be seen only in China and some of french works can be discovered by neophytes and amateurs.
Neverthless, some aspects less positives can be noted. Three parts are composing the chrolological itinerary and the indications at the entrance are not very well presented. But this is a detail.
Moreover, the third-part choice, due to the enormous quantity of art works, is unfortunate in a pratical way because to go from the « aile Sully » to the « aile Richelieu » we have pass through the noisy hall before going back into the imperial chinese atmosphere which is devoted the third part.
An other point concerns the choice of the presentation of this exhibition. And before going further, I would like to say that I excepted a lot ok it (I went in Paris only in order to see it). So, my remarks can be less objectives than they would be if I wasn’t passionate by French Court and Chinese Culture.
Yet, I had some difficulties in finding systematicaly the links, which should have be the problematic of the exhibition, between France and China. I had the impression, except for some examples, that art works are more presented in an independant way than in correlation each other. Indeed, the only example I remember very well is the presentation of a french porcelain service and a portrait of the chinese emperor realized in porcelain by the same company. This for me, the notable example of links between the two countries and maybe it is only due the perception I had of this exhibition before seeing it.
I would advising to read the exhibition catalogue (I didn’t buy it but I looked at it at th end of the exhibition) in which these links between France and China seem to be approched in a more accurate way and it can give an interessant point of view.