Musée du Louvre now hosts an exhibition centered on Israël Silvestre’s perceptive drawings of Parisian landscapes and outlines of the French cities, which King Louis XIV conquered in the past. These drawings are part of the Louvre’s private collection, but the museum in Paris is showing it to the public only now as part of the “France Viewed from the Grand Siècle” exhibit.
The exhibit will run in the National Museum’s rotunda in Sully Wing until June 25, 2018. Since the visitors to the Louvre Museum have been growing, it is speculated that it is partly why the archived collections of Silvestre’s drawings have been kept as a secret in the museum. Millions of people visit the Louvre each year, and the ongoing exhibit in its Sully Wing will only increase the footfall going forward.
Another aspect of the exhibit is that while Israël Silvestre is better known for his engravings, his drawing skill is exposed to the public for the first time by the Louvre. The museum takes advantage of this ‘never seen before’ uniqueness of the drawings of the Frenchman, who learned the engraving craft under Jacques Callot.
This unexplored side to Silvestre’s repertoire presents a chance for those on a Louvre Museum tour to get to know that talent of the artist. The collection of drawings was captured from different French locations and touch upon a major part of his career, which spanned for decades during the 17th Century.
Silvestre had traveled in several French cities during that period and had refined his craft with perceptive works based on gardens and architecture of châteaux in Île-de-France. To name two places in the French Region, some of his drawings encapsulate Palace of Versailles and ancient castles in Montmorency.
Israël Silvestre’s drawings also originate from his native city, Nancy, which he made while on journeys between Paris as well as Rome during the 17th Century. Still, what makes these drawings unique and perceptive is that they show the transition of French architecture and cityscapes as the years passed.
Undoubtedly, the exhibit shows France’s progression under the reign of Louis XIV besides Israël Silvestre’s growth in stature as an illustrator from that of an engraver. Visitors to the Louvre Museum can appreciate Rotonde Sully’s palatial architecture as well while exploring “France Viewed from the Grand Siècle”.