Curated by: Jean-Luc Martinez, Elisabeth Le Breton
The interim Director of the French Academy in Rome - Villa Medici, Stéphane Gaillard, is pleased to present the exhibition A Modern Antiquity, created in collaboration with the Louvre Museum and curated by Jean-Luc Martinez - the President and Director of the Louvre - and Elisabeth Le Breton - Heritage Curator.
The Academy of France in Rome founded in 1666, under the tutelage of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris, has always had in its mission the study and dissemination of the "ancient model" in France. The collection preserved in the Gipsoteca di Villa Medici bears witness to this. A Modern Antiquity presents 87 works coming mostly from the collection of the French Academy in Rome and the Louvre Museum, but also from the Ateliers d'Art of the Réunion des Monuments Nationaux of the Grand Palais, from the Cité de la Céramique Sèvres et Limoges, from the National Library of France, from the Museum of Classical Art of the Sapienza University Polo and others. The exhibition shows the most important works of Classical and Hellenistic Greece, which have now disappeared and been exhumed from Imperial Rome and subsequently rediscovered during the great works carried out in the Rome of the Renaissance. Fascinated by the important rediscovery of the hundreds of marble statues found, which were prevented from leaving the territory by the papal laws, France during the Grand Siècle, in the seventeenth century, decided to replicate the statues by making plaster casts. The research work of the Louvre Museum on the materials and techniques used has allowed us to trace the dating and history of this important heritage that has become part of the great French royal and national collections, which are presented in the exhibition A Modern Antiquity in a chronological journey that goes from the XVI to the XXI century.