Oil on canvas, 1885, 44,48 by 31,69 in.
Signed and dated upper left: J. Buchet 1885
United States Customs Stamp on the back of the supporting frame
1885, Paris, Salon de la Société des Artistes français, n° 409 (Galerie dite de la Vénus de Milo, au Musée du Louvre).
1885, Paris, Union des Femmes Peintres et Sculpteurs, n° 44 (Galerie de la Vénus de Milo (musée du Louvre)).
1888, Versailles, 35e exposition versaillaise de la Société des amis des Arts du département de Seine-et-Oise, n° 63 (Galerie de la Vénus de Milo, au Louvre).
1893, Chicago, Exposition universelle de 1893, Palais de la Femme, catalogue officiel français n° 282 Galerie de la Vénus de Milo. « Gallery of the Venus of Milo » ; catalogue officiel américain : n° 115 (Gallery of the Venus of Milo).
This important painting leads to the rediscovery of the career of a painter, only known to have restored artworks from the musée du Louvre’s collection. The high quality of the painting highlights the artistic talents of Julie Buchet, as well as its multiple exhibitions, in France and the United States, brings to light the forgotten history of women painters at the end of the 19th century.
Julie Buchet was born in Bourges (France) in 1847. Little is known about her apprenticeship except the names of her two masters: Jean-Léon Gérôme and Léon Bonnat listed in the catalogs of art venues, where she exhibited as soon as 1884. Because women artists could not enter the école des Beaux-Arts in Paris or compete for the Grand Prix of Rome, Julie Buchet circumvented these difficulties by following their lessons at Madame Trélat de Vigny's studio. Julie Buchet therefore obtained an artistic apprenticeship of great quality despite these strong constraints.
The painting Gallery of the Venus of Milo known in French as Galerie dite de la Vénus de Milo, au Musée du Louvre was presented at four different art venues. First in Paris, the Gallery of the Venus of Milo was exhibited at the Salon de la Société des Artistes français, then at the Union des Femmes Peintres et Sculpteurs, in 1885. Three years later, Julie Buchet won a 1st class medal at the 35th Versailles exhibition of the Société des amis des Arts du département de Seine-et-Oise where the painting was displayed, and finally the Gallery of the Venus of Milo was selected to be shown at The Woman's Building during the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Julie Buchet was one of the successful female artists chosen to exhibit her work in the Renaissance Palace of The Woman's Building built by architect Sophia Hayden, and partly decorated by the famous American painters Mary Cassatt and Mary Fairchild MacMonnies Low.
Julie Buchet chose to paint the gallery of the musée du Louvre in which Greek and Roman Sculptures were displayed. Thus, she took on the comparison between the Sculpture and Painting inherited from the Italian Renaissance. She develops with virtuosity the technical possibilities offered by the painted description: the rendering of the white marbles of the sculpted groups, the precision of the low reliefs and the sumptuous white cornices which stand out above the red and gray marble veneers lining the walls. The geometric construction of space is expertly orchestrated. The pedestals of the statues of various sizes and colors punctuate the rich pavements. Bathed in soft light, the reflections of polychrome marbles on the ground add to the illusionist perspective.
An ionic column in red porphyry separates the space of the alcove from the large nave where the back profile of a Venus pudica (“modest Venus”) is visible. It came from the collection of Giampietro Campana Di Cavelli. Acquired by Napoleon III in 1861, it entered the musée du Louvre in 1863. This is a variant of the Capitoline Aphrodite, created after the Aphrodite of Cnidus by Praxiteles. The goddess surprised bathing hides her nudity. Her sophisticated hairstyle is composed of braids, tied by a rosette knot at the top of the head and which falls in curls on her shoulders.
The painting Gallery of the Venus of Milo is part of the iconographic type of museum views, which celebrates both the museography and the art of ancient civilizations. In the 19th century, the views of the musée du Louvre flourished. Many of them are now part of the collection of the museum.
Julie Buchet shared with many artists their fascination for the
beauty and the interest of these depictions among which Hubert
Robert, Jean-Baptiste Isabey, Benjamin Zix, Joseph Warlencourt
and James Tissot. Her painting highlights the museographic
itinerary. The organization by material, size and theme of the
sculptures offers a clear and beautiful view and facilitate the
comprehension of Greek sculpture.
Julie Buchet painted another view of museum that she exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1886: Les Parques de Germain Pilon ; musée de Cluny (n°386), which represented a group of young women visiting the Cluny museum. The Three Parcae by Germain Pilon, a tapestry of David and Bathsheba hanging on the right, and the large lantern destroyed in 1976 in the background, in order to accommodate the sculptures of Notre Dame de Paris, are visible.
A painting by Julie Buchet is held in the Musée d’Orsay (Vase of Chrysanthemums acquired by the State in 1892). Thanks to the documentation of the Musée d’Orsay, another painting entitled Le Bord de Mer en Normandie (The Seaside in Normandy) by Julie Buchet is known. These two artworks are representative of the artist's style, attentive to the harmony of colors, the distribution of light on the canvas, and the transparency of her brushwork.
28 000 €