Exploring the Aesthetic Side of the Victorian Era
A new exhibition at the Jacquemart-André Museum is highlighting a side of the Victorian era that often goes unrecognized. The exhibit is entitled 'Desires and Pleasure - Victorian Masterpieces,' and it explores the sensual aesthetic displayed by certain 19th-century works of art.
The Victorian era is most well known for its puritanism yet some artists rebelled against this trend by returning to the themes of Antiquity. In this way, they showcased nude figures, feminine forms and decadent embellishments — all of which directly confronted the severe morals that dominated at the time. This movement is described as the 'aesthetic movement' because it concentrated on the beauty of its subjects. Often, the works incorporated symbolism from nature, poetry and the culture of Ancient Greece.
Despite their rebellious nature, many of these paintings have now become very well known amongst art connoisseurs. Celebrated paintings such as 'Greek Girls Picking up Pebbles on the Beach' and 'The Roses of Heliogabalus' will be only display during this exhibit, which is actually made up of works from a single private collection. The collection, known as the Pérez Simón collection, is considered to be one of the largest repositories of Victorian paintings in the world.
'Desires and Pleasure - Victorian Masterpieces' debuts in Paris but will soon move on to Rome, Madrid and London. As such, guests staying at one of the Sister Hôtels Champs-Elysées have a unique opportunity to see the exhibit while it is near them, in the 8th arrondissement. The exhibit will run in Paris from September 13, 2013 until January 20, 2014 before continuing on its international journey.