Portland, July 11th, 2015. Nearly 5,000 watched aerial dance performances during the Bastille Day festival on the Portland Art Museum’s grounds. This was the first time for a co-presented event by the museum and the Alliance Française de Portland, and the crowds enjoyed many educational activities,  French food, vendors, music and more. The collaboration was a natural because the Portland Art Museum is currently featuring an exhibition of masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts—the original school of fine arts in Paris and a repository for work by Europe’s most renowned artists since the seventeenth century. The collection includes approximately 140 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper dating from antiquity through the nineteenth century and will be on display until September 18th.

The exhibition focuses on epic themes such as courage, sacrifice, and death, as well as the ways that changing political and philosophical systems affected the choice and execution of these subjects. Among the featured works are paintings by Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Anne-Louis Girodet, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres; sculpture by Antoine-Louis Barye, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Jean-Antoine Houdon, and François Rude; and drawings by Simon Vouet, Antoine-Jean Gros, and Théodore Géricault.

The exhibition focuses on epic themes such as courage, sacrifice, and death, as well as the ways that changing political and philosophical systems affected the choice and execution of these subjects. Among the featured works are paintings by Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Anne-Louis Girodet, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres; sculpture by Antoine-Louis Barye, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Jean-Antoine Houdon, and François Rude; and drawings by Simon Vouet, Antoine-Jean Gros, and Théodore Géricault.

According to the Portland Art Museum, Gods and Heroes offers unique insight into the development of an aesthetic ideology that fostered some of western art’s most magnificent achievements. The epic deeds of gods and heroes, enshrined in the Bible and the works of Homer, were the primary narratives from which both aspiring and established academicians drew their inspiration. At the École, learning how to construct persuasive and powerful paintings from carefully delineated anatomy, expressive faces, and convincing architectural and landscape settings was understood to be the route to success and recognition.

The Alliance Francaise got the ball room for the celebration:

Rona Davis, Gordon Davis and Linda Fuchs.

Rona Davis, Gordon Davis and Linda Fuchs.

Maury Hornstein (Hardy Cognac representative).

Maury Hornstein (Hardy Cognac representative).

Mission Statement:

The Alliance Française, headquartered in Paris, is a worldwide non-profit organization with the mission of promoting Francophone culture and language and cross-cultural understanding. There are over 1,000 Alliances in the world. Of 100 Alliances in the U.S., the Portland group is the only Alliance in Oregon and ranks 7th in the United States.

Alliance: 503.223.8388

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