Ernest Barrias (1841-1905), Nature Unveiling Herself, 1899 © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay)

In Color. Polychrome Sculpture in France 1850-1910

In early 1900, sculptures’ only acceptable colors were the gleaming white of marble and the monochrome of metals like bronze. After archaeologists discovered that classical architecture and sculpture existed in painted polychrome, French sculptors experimented with a wide variety of materials: painted wax, variously colored marbles, gilded and silver bronzes. The exhibition presents an overview of this 19th-century art form through fifty works from the Orsay’s collections, from Second Empire sculptor Charles Cordier to Paul Gauguin and Edgar Degas.

Edouard Papet, General Curator, Musée d’Orsay

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