Mannequin de Bergame, vers 1810,Alan Beeton, Reposing II, huile sur toileI

© Comune di Bergamo-Accademia Carrara/Beeton Family Estate

Du 1er avril au 12 juillet 2015

PRACTICES AND FASCINATION IN THE ARTIST'S STUDIO After being closed for renovation for eight months, the Musée Bourdelle is kicking off its reopening programme with the exhibition ‘Mannequin d’artiste, Mannequin fétiche’ ('Mannequins: from the artist's studio to fetish object'). This exhibition with its dramatic design retraces the history of this studio secret from the Renaissance to the 20th century.

It includes rare artist's mannequins dating from the 18th century to the present day; 'articulated dolls'; display mannequins by Siegel and Imans; paintings by Gainsborough, Courbet, Burne-Jones, Kokoschka, Beeton, de Chirico and Annigoni; drawings by Salviati and Millais; plates from the Encyclopédie; patents; and photographs by Bellmer, Man Ray, List and Denise Bellon. For the first time, the 'Mannequins: from the artist's studio to fetish object' exhibition is lifting the veil on the relationship between artist and mannequin, with nearly 160 exhibits from public and private collections from both France and abroad.

Miniature, life-size or articulated, artist's mannequins have been used since the Renaissance to improve composition and render the way in which fabrics fall, as well as anatomical proportions. Infinitely more obedient and always available, these substitutes for living models are vital partners in the creative process.
The history of the artist's mannequin is strange, surprising and paradoxical. From the late 18th century, Paris became the centre for manufacturing mannequins that faithfully imitated the human body. Artists made use of these dummies, which had the same 'unsettling strangeness' as fashion dolls and shop mannequins. Over the 19th and 20th centuries, mannequins themselves became the subject of artistic works, with artists playing with this unsettling feeling by portraying them in realistic, amusing and even erotic ways...
The exhibition has been jointly organised with the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, where it was first shown under the title ‘Silent partners – Artist and mannequin from Function to Fetish’. It is the result of six years of research by Jane Munro, keeper of Paintings, Drawings and Prints at the Fitzwilliam Museum and Director of Studies in History of Art at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge. It is accompanied by a scientific reference catalogue.


Press area

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Tarifs exposition : 9 € T.P. ; 6 € T.R.

Exposition présentée tous les jours de 10h à 18h
sauf les lundis et les jours fériés

Métro : Ligne 4, 6, 12, 13 (Montparnasse-Bienvenüe Sortie 2, Falguière)
Bus : 28, 58, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96
Station Vélib' : avenue du Maine
Autolib' : avenue du Maine, rue de l'Arrivée, boulevard de Vaugirard