A French Tribune at the Louvre?
... Without judging
those Tribunes that I have never seen, I am not, in principle,
partisan towards Art placing itself at the convenience of those
who love it, rather than demanding that one goes to it (naturally
this is not absolute, to a fault I prefer the demands of Rheingold
that one goes to hear without taking the time to dine first, to
the condescension of musicians who believe, if a piece lasts more
than five minutes, it will exhaust the listener whose strength
is, on the contrary, unleashed by the beauty it offers him, - and
who finds Beethoven's last quartets unlistenable). Whilst fully
subscribing to change, I would advise the museum against becoming
some sort of Hotel Pagès.
If such a reply does not answer your question, I shall content myself with listing eight paintings which would be, I think: Portrait de Chardin, by himself; Portrait de Mme Chardin, by Chardin; Nature morte, by Chardin; Le Printemps, by Millet; L'Olympia, by Manet; a Renoir, or La Barque du Dante or La Cathédrale de Chartres, by Corot; L'Indifférent, by Watteau, or L'Embarquement.
Published in L'Opinion, 28 February 1920. "We have asked a certain number of artists, writers and art-lovers the following questions: The Louvre has just dedicated a 'Tribune' to several Italian masterpieces. Do you think that we could imagine a counterpart to this tribune in the museum? This second tribune would be dedicated to French art. Would you care to give us a list of eight French paintings, chosen from canvases in the possession of the Louvre, from any period, which you consider should be included in this imaginary tribune? We would be grateful if you could suggest, not huge decorative canvases, but works of the dimensions of Joconde or Concert Champêtre, taking into account what, in your personal opinion, the fame and reputation of these pictures represents."
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