In October 2024 the exhibition LIBERTÉ! Ary Scheffer (1795 - 1858) and French Romanticism will open at the Dordrechts Museum.

The exhibition shows the life and works of Ary Scheffer, born in Dordrecht, and one of the most famous painters in his days in Paris. The Louvre still has some of his paintings. The exhibition will also show famous works by, among others, Ingres, Géricault and Delacroix. The story of Scheffer and French Romanticism is a European and topical story that will be told in the Netherlands for the first time.

The paintbrush as a weapon

Ary Scheffer lived in a period of political turmoil and flourishing culture, with Paris as a hot spot and breeding place. Artists deployed their brushes as arms and stood on the barricades. They fought for freedom and justice, the ideals of the 1789 French Revolution.

It was the time of the collective versus the individual and of individual freedom and expression. The Romantic ideas are still alive in all sorts of areas. Topical themes such as the power of citizens, the force of campaigning, longing for national autonomy and the effects of independence wars were reflected in impressive paintings, often several metres high.There are few movements with such an exchange between social developments, philosophy, religion, visual arts, music, and literature.

Special loans

The Dordrechts Museum has the most extensive collection of Scheffer works worldwide. The most impressive ones will be on display in the exhibition. Furthermore, many special loans can be admired, such as an oil sketch of the world-famous The Raft of the Medusa by Géricault (on loan from the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Angers), and visitors can enjoy Paolo and Francesca by Ingres (Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham). Furthermore, Eugène Delacroix’s Jacob wrestling with the angel of the Belvedere Museum in Vienna will be shown.

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