European art spanning four centuries on display

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European art spanning four centuries on display

An exhibition of Western art comprising more than a hundred paintings, intended to represent 400 years of classic, romantic, realist, naturalist and impressionist art, is being held at Hangaram Art Museum in Seoul Arts Center.
A total of 119 paintings by 88 different artists will be on display until April 3 for the exhibition, which is titled “400 Years of Western Art from Poussin to Matisse.”
The paintings represent Western artistic traditions that date from the 17th century, when the Baroque-inspired classics prospered, through the early 20th century, when fauvism and cubism were in vogue.
After the classical sketches of the 17th and 18th centuries, perhaps the most popular painting styles were born in the 19th century, namely romanticism, impressionism and neoclassicism.
The 19th-century painters whose work is represented here include Ingres, Delacroix, Courbet, Monet and Gauguin.
The exhibition is divided chronologically, into four different stages. Among the 18th-century paintings is Jacques-Louis David’s “The Death of Marat,” which depicts French revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat, a friend of the artist, lying in a bath after being assassinated.
Two paintings by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, “Spring” and “Venus Anadyomene,” are examples of neoclassicism. Ingres replicated what he considered to be the most beautiful elements of ancient Greek sculptures in these two paintings, which look very much alike. In both paintings, women are standing on one foot in nearly identical positions, surrounded by water.
Moving forward in time, the exhibition embraces other French painters as well. A little-known fact is that Paul Gauguin produced prints in Tahiti in addition to his better-known colorful paintings from the tropical island, which portrayed Tahitian women and the island’s landscapes. Gauguin’s wood print, “Te Arii Vahine” (The Queen), owned by the Reims Museum of Fine Art, is another of the masterpieces on display in the exhibition. Another print from the same museum is Henri Matisse’s “The Swimmer in the Aquarium,” a stencil print that the artist created in 1943, when he was 74 years old.
Ticket prices for the exhibition are 6,000 won ($6) to 10,000 won; there are discounts available for groups.
The exhibition hall opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m. It will be closed on the last Monday of each month. Seoul Arts Center can be reached from exit 5 of the Nambu Bus Terminal subway station on line No. 3.


by Limb Jae-un

For more information, call (02) 2113-3477, or go to www.arthistory-400.com.

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