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【National Museum of Western Art】 “Chassériau Exhibition – Fortitude of French-Romanticism in the 19th Century” Exhibition Report

“Chassériaux exhibition – Familiarity of French romanticism in the 19th century” will be held at the National Museum of Western Art from February 28 (Tuesday) to May 28 (Sun) in 2017. Since the press coverage was held on February 27, I will report the situation of the exhibition.

“Take a look, this child will be a painting Napoleon”
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Angel, a master of French neoclassicalism, has been told that he stopped in front of a young man in the middle of painting classes and shouted like this.


《自画像》 テオドール・シャセリオー 1835年 ルーヴル美術館所蔵 Photo©RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Jean-Gilles Berizzi / distributed by AMF

《自画像》 テオドール・シャセリオー 1835年 ルーヴル美術館所蔵
Photo©RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Jean-Gilles Berizzi / distributed by AMF


The name of “Napoleon” is Theodor · Chasselio.

Chocelio, who is inclined to neo-classicalism to romanticism, regarded as a representative painter of French romanticism with Delacroa, was inspired by the fragrance of “exotism” which sweetly drifts in the style of expression that praised its lyricism. This self-portrait was painted by a painter around 16 years old. It seems that you had a workmanship already completed young.

This exhibition is the first full-scale retrospective exhibition in Japan of the 19th century French romanticism Teodor · Chasselio. In the short lifetime of 37 years, about 90 chapters of the Chaseliou shining through the era, centered on the collections of the Louvre Museum, mainly symbolicist painters such as Morrow influenced by him We also exhibit about 110 works in total.

Let me show you the exhibition scenery.

1 From atelier in Angles to Italy trip




Chasserio who was showing talent for painting since he was a young man is only 11 years old and becomes one of the neoclassical painter Angle’s disciple, and will be the first prize winner at Salon (Official exhibition) at the age of 16.
At the beginning of this chapter, Chasselio’s young works are displayed, which will break the classicism of Angles afterwards as a turning point in Italy and will follow their own path.
Chasserio who got a talent blossoming young. Its prematurity, spirit of talent is just overwhelmed.


2  To Romanticism – Literature and theater




Chaseri leaving the source of the teacher angle devoted himself to Romanticism, crossed the genre ‘s fence and interacted with a variety of artists. From the days when I read Shakespeare and visited the theaters in Paris, he started to produce stories and lyrical style that got me ideas for literature.
In this chapter, works are introduced from the relationship between chassisrio and literature · theater.


Lying down by the spring of the forest, Nymphs of the Seirants. A nice proportion of nude emerges from the deep forest green. Actually, a real woman is a model of a nymph.
From around 1849 to around 50, Chassériau made a relationship with an actress Alice Ozzy with “the most beautiful body in Paris”. He borrowed the form of a figure of nymph and drew out her beautiful limb.

3 People surrounding the painter


It is a Chasselio that can be said that he did not like his appearance, but it seems that he was actually motemote. Its sophisticated wit and elegance, it seems to be reflected in a very attractive person to the surrounding people.
In this chapter, we can glimpse some of his friendships from the many portraits handled by Chaseriou.


One of the works symbolizing this exhibition, “Portrait of Miss Cavalus”. Marie-Thereses · Cavalius, which was honored as one of the “most beautiful women in Paris” at the time, is a model. I got acquainted with Chasseriae in the early 1840s and continued interchange until he died.

Married with ancient-style dresses and daffodils, Marie has hand-made lilac palma-violet flowers as if he is listening closely to the signs of spring coming. From the cheeks and neck that Zhu gave me hint, there is a secret sensuality.


4 Oriental light




The stage is to the east. In this chapter, works are exhibited focusing on the exotism aspect of Chasserie painting.

Fascinated by the people and landscapes of the Orient (East Asia) region, which became the source of the idea of many artists of the 19th century France, Chasserio also leaves for the place of Algeria. Unique ethnic costumes and brilliant ornaments, black eyes of a wet woman, a brilliant glorious horse … After returning home he created many painting works with the theme of the eastern world.


A baby sleeping in a cradle and a mother watching over it. The intimate sense of unity between Mother and Child is a smileful piece. Mother – child statue is a motif that appears repeatedly in Chasserie ‘s paintings, but he also described the unchanging mother’ s love in foreign countries, affection over nationalities and borders.

Compared to other painters, Chasselio is believed to have empathy for people living in foreign land. It may be related to him being born on a land far from France, which is the azpalo island of the Caribbean.


5 Architectural decoration – allegory and religious theme



In the final chapter, we introduce the mural painting of Chasseriau. Along with drawings of mural paintings, models etc. which were produced by actually drawing drawings were also exhibited.


A large wall painting of the Accounting Audit Institute that was tackled from 1844 to 1848. It is one of the masterpieces of Chasselio. I am suffering the burning burnt due to the disturbance of the Paris · Commune, but fragments are still stored in the Louvre even now. Please take a look at the masterpieces that have had a great influence on symbolism painters such as Morrow and Puvis de Chavanne.



Chassériau will leave the world at only 37 years old.

Chasserio who walked his own way, holding something “foreign” from his birth in mind. While he traveled all over Italy, Algeria and other places, he has established the style. It was exactly that it was a trip to search for his own soul hometown.
That’s why we may be attracted to the sweet smell of exotism that drifts in his work.

The exhibition is from February 28 (Tuesday) to May 28 (Sun) in 2017.
It is a very valuable opportunity to introduce Theodor · Chasseriau in earnest in Japan for the first time in the 19th century French romanticism.
Why do not you come and take a look.