Gaston de La Touche
A Water Fountain in the Tuileries, Ca. 1890-1913
Oil on canvas
Musée d'Orsay, Paris, RF 2256
Photo: Hervé Lewandowski
The Tuileries Garden lies at the heart of Paris, spanning the area between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. For centuries, it has served as a gathering place for Parisians and visitors.
Created at the behest of Queen Catherine de' Medici, the garden initially accompanied the Tuileries Palace, which was destroyed in the 1871 uprising known as the Paris Commune. Originally, the garden was reserved exclusively for royalty, but starting in the late seventeenth century, it became increasingly accessible to the public.
Art has played a critical role in the history of the Tuileries Garden. The Garden has inspired generations of artists and has also functioned as an outdoor museum, with works from the classical to the contemporary dotting its vast grounds. This exhibition presents works by Camille Pissarro, Édouard Manet, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and others who have taken inspiration from the iconic Parisian landmark, as well as sculpture from the garden never before seen in the United States.
Organization & Support
The Art of the Louvre's Tuileries Garden is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Portland Art Museum, Oregon, with the special collaboration of the musée du Louvre.
This exhibition is made possible by Lead Patron Anne Cox Chambers, the Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Endowment Fund, and the Friends of the Tuileries Garden. Additional support is provided by SunTrust.
Portrait of André Le Nôtre (1613-1700)
Chateaux de Versailles et de Trianon, Versailles, France
Image: Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY
Of all the designers and gardeners whose work shaped the Tuileries, André Le Nôtre is perhaps the most responsible for the garden visitors experience today. Le Nôtre, who was employed as head gardener during the reign of King Louis XIV, would later gain fame for his work at Versailles, but his career began at the Tuileries. He was the third generation of his family to work on the garden and even spent his childhood on the grounds.
Le Nôtre transformed the garden from the closed Italian Renaissance design implemented under Catherine de' Medici two centuries earlier. He used perspective and geometry to refashion the landscape, creating promenades, formal arrangements of trees called bosquets, and intricate patterns of plants and minerals. Just outside the garden, Le Nôtre planned a grand avenue that would become the iconic Champs Élysées.
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