Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Grande Galerie 1942

In anticipation of the coming conflagration, French authorities began removing artworks from the Louvre in early 1938, more than eighteen months before the onset of war. By late 1939, six months prior to Germany’s invasion of France, the Louvre was empty—aside from artworks too heavy to transport.

Frames shorn of their canvases remained behind and were left in place in the galleries, all for the purpose of matching artworks and frames once the war had ended.

Eugène Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading The People” was not to be found in The Grande Galerie yesterday; the painting is currently on view at the satellite Louvre in Northern France.

I was not disappointed, given all the giant Jacques-Louis David masterworks on display—but Andrew and Alex immediately noted the Delacroix’s absence and directed inquires to a guard, who said that the painting had been transported to Lens for a few months.

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