"A Strange Enterprise": Drawings of the French Theatre from the Permanent Collection

Gilles-Marie Oppenord (French, 1672–1742), <em>An Ornamental Cartouche</em>, ca. 1700, pen and gray ink and brown wash and watercolor on laid paper. On extended loan from Mr. John D. Reilly '63, L2009.005.003

Gilles-Marie Oppenord (French, 1672–1742), An Ornamental Cartouche, ca. 1700, pen and gray ink and brown wash and watercolor on laid paper. On extended loan from Mr. John D. Reilly '63, L2009.005.003

SNITE Museum of Art April 15–July 1, 2012

French playwright and actor Molière (1622–1673) once said, "It is a strange enterprise to make respectable people laugh." This focus exhibition of old master and nineteenth-century drawings related to the theater examined the function and role of the performing arts within political and social discourse in France. The selection presented here included figure studies and decorative designs by eighteenth-century artists Claude Gillot, Charles Antoine Coypel, and Gilles-Marie Oppenord and their post-revolutionary successors Alexandre Denis Abel de Pujol, James Pradier, and Charles Antoine Cambon.