Joris-Karl Huysmans Art Critic. From Degas to Grünewald, in the Eye of Francesco Vezzoli
The Musée d’Orsay raises the curtain on a little-known figure: Joris-Karl Huysmans, a 19th-century writer, art critic, and fervent defender of Impressionist modernity, of Symbolism and Primitivism. The exhibition highlights the leading role of this unconventional man in the art world: his desire to break with any pre-existing category to create the possibility of a double modernity: painters of modern life such as Manet coexist with symbolist painters like Redon.
The exhibition offers a new look at a specific moment of the European art and modern sensibility, at the crossroads of the naturalistic thrust of the 1870s, the decadentism of the 1880s-1890s and the “return” to the Primitives.
André Guyaux, professor of French literature at the University of Paris-Sorbonne
Stéphane Guégan, adviser to the President of the Public establishment of the Musées d’Orsay and de l’Orangerie