Rayski / Baselitz
Scènes de chasse en Allemagne, Rayski / Baselitz
FROM NOVEMBER 8, 2016 TO FEBRUARY 12, 2017
© Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, D.R.
Gilbert Titeux, Claude d’Anthenaise
and Karen Chastagnol
Exhibition supported by la Fondation du Patrimoine thanks to the sponsoring of CPGA
This exhibition is in partnership with Goethe-Institut and Arte actions culturelles
Is nature not the same on both sides of the Rhine? Not if you judge it as it is portrayed in art, where the French and the Germans certainly seem to have very different views. Perhaps the forests really are more mysterious in Germany, the stags more imposing and their territory much wilder. However, hunting practice and hunter’s place in society differ greatly.
Through a panorama of iconic works (by Kröner, Leibl, Fohr and Liebermann) on loan from German and Swiss museums, covering the period 1830-1914, the exhibition showcases a distinctively Germanic way of representing hunting. A rich artistic production that remains largely unknown in France. From romantic hunting scenes that were merely a pretext to portray the beauty of the landscape, to a more diverse artistic production exalting the conviviality hunting, the pride of the hunter or the expressive strength of the game. Admittedly, this latter cannot be dissociated from the figure of the roaring stag, a scene that in German culture has become the very archetype of kitsch. But there are numerous artists who have chosen to take a different route. For example the members of the “Leibl Circle”, authentic representatives of a “realism” introduced into France by Gustave Courbet, were able to develop an original and powerful style of representation.
The second section of the exhibition is dedicated to one of the masters of the Dresden School, the painter Ferdinand von Rayski (1806-1890). His work Hunting break in Wermsdorfer Forest, commissioned by the Court of Saxony, has recently been acquired by the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature. The painting played an important role in the artistic career of the contemporary artist Georg Baselitz who used the preparatory study kept at the Museum of Dresden as a basis for several of his works. The figure of Rayski and his work punctuates that of Baselitz, from the beginning of his career until today.
This exhibition is an opportunity to confront these two artists of different periods and temperaments, but for whom wildlife and hunting are a major source of inspiration.