Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris (FR)   21 September 2022 - 29 January 2023

Face au soleil
Un astre dans les arts

From September 21, 2022, to January 29, 2023, the Marmottan Monet museum invites the public to explore the representation of the sun in art history. Over a hundred works, ranging from Antiquity to this day, are displayed together in Face au soleil. Un astre dans les arts. The exhibition pays tribute to ‘Impression, soleil levant’, Claude Monet’s masterpiece painted 150 years ago and preserved in the collections of the museum in Paris . 

Curators: Marianne Mathieu, Michael Philipp

The sun, a symbol of power, beauty and joy since Antiquity, was first associated with gods such as Râ, Helios, Phebus and Apollo before becoming an emblem of power of king Louis XIV. The star is also central in the landscapes painted over the centuries by masters such as Albrecht Dürer, Luca Giordano, Le Lorrain, Caspar David Friedrich, Mallord William Turner, Camille Pissaro, Paul Signac, Otto Freundlich, Sonia Delaunay, Alexandre Calder and Gérard Fromanger. 

In Face au soleil. Un astre dans les arts, this art historical heritage dialogues with discoveries in the fields of astronomy and, from the 1880’s, astrophysics. A rare ensemble of drawings, paintings, photographs and measuring instruments from the Paris Observatory illustrates scientific advances and their influence on depictions of the sun. Heliocentricism, Michel Eugène Chevreul’s colour theory, and Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity all influenced art history, allowing the sun to increasingly invade the pictorial plan. 

For this exhibition, the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art loans pieces from two of its collections: ancient Egyptian archaeology and Fine Arts. 

2, rue Louis-Boilly
75016 Paris, France

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Works on loan

Amulette du dieu Râ à bord de la barque solaire
4e quart IIe millénaire avant J.-C.
Amulette en forme de disque solaire orné d'uraei
3e quart IIe millénaire avant J.-C.
Amulette en forme d'enfant, image du soleil renaissant
3e quart IIe millénaire avant J.-C.
Pectoral en forme de scarabée ailé
3e quart Ier millénaire avant J.-C.
Cercles de lumière (Arc-en-ciel cosmique)
Juin 1922
Stèle funéraire cintrée au nom de la dame Tahy
VIIIe - Ve siècles av. J.-C.