From Rubens to Guardi: Masterpieces of non-French painting from the 17th and 18th centuries, at the Musée Fabre

28 November 2003 - 31 January 2004

Pavillon du musée Fabre, Montpellier

The Musée Fabre boasts an exceptional collection of non-French paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. The present exhibition provides an opportunity to rediscover this exceptional heritage, prior to its definitive installation in the context of the renovated, enlarged museum.

The Dutch section offers a remarkable collection of genre scenes ( The Mousetrap , by Gerrit Dou, or Frans van Mieris's Young Woman Threading Pearls ), and prestigious master landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael, Philips Wouwerman, Paulus Potter or Karel du Jardin. The section devoted to Flemish painting includes a powerful sketch by Pieter Paul Rubens, full of animated movement, a Still-life with Seafood by Cornelis de Heem, and Tabagies (scenes with smokers) by David Teniers. The Italian Seicento is represented by an important group of works including Cigoli's Flight into Egypt, Domenichino's Portrait of Cardinal de Bonsy , or Guercino's Meditation of St Francis . Spanish works include Jusepe Ribera's darkly passionate St Mary of Egypt, and two masterpieces by Francisco Zurbaran, Saint Agatha and The Angel Gabriel . The second half of the exhibition presents a diverse, highly original collection of works from the 18th century, including pictures by Francesco Guardi and Sir Joshua Reynolds ( The Infant Samuel Kneeling in Prayer), together with Neoclassical paintings by artists active on the cosmopolitan Roman scene of their day: Anton Raphaël Mengs, Hendrick Voogd, or Jacob Philipp Hackert.