In the Galleries: Emile Friant, the Last Naturalist?by Matthew Innis |
MUSÃ‰E DES BEAUX-ARTS DE NANCY, Nancy, France â€“ When Ã‰mile Friant was a young man, the French government was in the midst of a social program aimed at bringing art to every corner and tier of the nation. Â Most beneficiaries of the program learned an appreciation for art, while some among them found their true calling. Â Small, provincial towns took great pride in their talented young people, and when a student showed exceptional ability, theÂ townspeopleÂ made every effort to provide the funding so that student could go to the capital and train in earnest. Â In the best of situations, these young artists went on to gain success, bringingÂ great recognition and honor to their hometowns, while never forgetting the people that helped them to reach their goal.
Friant never forgot the people of Nancy, and Nancy, thankfully, has not forgotten its talented son. Â Since his death in 1932, the MusÃ©e des Beaux-Arts de Nancy has maintained Friant’s studio collection, and in a new exhibition scheduled to open this fall, they plan to offer many works by Friant not commonly seen, including engravings, student acadÃ©mies, recently restored works, and new acquisitions. Â Two hundred works are scheduled to be on view in total, though this number also includes some contemporary work inspired by Friant.
The full list of works is not yet publicly available, but certain iconic works â€“ La Toussaint, Jeune NancÃ©ienne dans un paysage de neige, Les Amoureux, La Douleur â€“ are expected to be there, as is Les Odalisques au Sultan, a painted sketch representingÂ the artist’s rare experiments in Orientalism.
Ã‰mile Friant, le dernier naturaliste? opens November 4th, 2016, and runs through February 27th, 2017. Â For more information, please visit www.mban.nancy.fr.
Hopefully, the museum will produce a catalog to accompany the exhibit, and should they, I will let you know.
I spoke with the people who are organizing this exhibition a few months ago and they told me they’re going to produce a catalog.