Vortrag Olivier Bonfait



von 18:15 bis 20:15




Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Vortragsraum 242, II. OG, Katharina-von-Bora-Straße 10, 80333 München

Termin übernehmen

How Paris stole the idea of Painting. Louis XIV, Le Brun and Large Scale Painting

Though the history of painting has generally been conceived in terms of artists, such as Poussin, genres, such as history painting, or stylistic schools, such as “French classicism”, recent developments in art, above all with Clement Greenberg and Jackson Pollock, have sensitized us to the notion of easel painting as an object unique to western civilization. This presentation seeks to demonstrate how, during the reign of Louis XIV, the French state appropriated the art of painting for the French nation, not through Poussin, nor through the debate opposing drawing and colour, but by imposing a new object: the large-scale canvas. This type of painting, replacing the fresco, became the standard reference in the visual arts, from Le Brun’s Stories of Alexander to Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, dominating important official commissions and exhibitions in Europe until the oversized paintings and performances of today.

Prof. Olivier Bonfait
Born in 1961, is Professor of Art History at the University of Aix-Marseille I. He has studied the relationship between painting and society in Bologna during the early modern period, the historiography of Poussin from the 17th century to the most recent studies, and is currently working on a critical edition of Félibien’s Entretiens de la vie des plus excellens peintres (5 vol., Paris, 1666-1688), the founding text of the art history in France, written during the reign of Louis XIV. Former Chair of the Art History Department at the Villa Medici, where he organized several exhibitions (Le Dieu caché, 2000; Maestà di Roma, 2003), he has founded two journals: Studiolo, la revue d’histoire de l’art de l’Académie de France à Rome and Perspective, actualités de la recherche at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art in Paris. He is now the acting scientific director for Perspective.