The Orléans Collection at New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), October 26, 2018 – January 27, 2019

“In celebration of the city of New Orleans’ Tricentennial in 2018, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents The Orléans Collection, an exhibition of selections from the magnificent collection of the city’s namesake, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans (1689-1723). Universally praised during his lifetime, the exceptional collection was comprised of some of the most important works in the history of art. The Orléans Collection brings together, for the first time, a selection of masterpieces from institutions such as the National Gallery of London, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the National Gallery of Scotland to tell the story of the collection’s formation, its reputation, and its impact in early 18th century Paris. 

The Orléans Collection situates Philippe II as the preeminent collector of his time. The astounding number of paintings recorded at the time of the Duke’s death—772—demonstrate the scope of his collection, which remained in his family for two generations until its sale in London in the 1790s during the French Revolution. Its dispersal represents a watershed event in the history of collecting, and contributed to the formation of Europe’s first public museums, among them, the National Gallery of London.” — NOMA

Paolo Caliari, called Veronese (Italian, 1528-1588). Supper at Emmaus, mid 1570s. Oil on canvas, 66 x 79 cm (26 x 31 1/8 in.. Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2571. Photographer: Studio Tromp, Rotterdam

Guido Reni (Italian, 1575-1642). The Meeting of David and Abigail, ca. 1615-20. Oil on canvas, 155.5 x 163.8 cm (61 1/4 x 64 1/2 in.). Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., 71.524

Godfried Schalken (Dutch, 1643-1706). Precious Recognized, late 1660s. Oil on panel, 44.2 x 31.2 cm (17 3/8 x 12 5/16 in.). National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Purchased 1898, NGI.476. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland

Francesco Albani (Italian, 1578-1660). Saint John the Baptist Seated in the Wilderness, ca. 1603. Oil on copper, 49.2 x 37.1 cm (19 3/8 x 14 5/8 in.). The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, The State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State University, Sarasota, Bequest of John Ringling, 1936, SN115

Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594-1665). Ecstasy of Saint Paul, 1643. Oil on panel,41.6 x 30.2 cm (16 3/8 x 11 7/8 in.). The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State University, Sarasota, Museum purchase, 1956, SN690

Eustache Le Sueur (French, 1616-1655). Alexander and his Doctor, ca. 1648-49. Oil on canvas, 96 x 96 cm (37 13/16 x 37 13/16 in.).The National Gallery, London, Bought with the support of a number of gifts in wills, 1999, NG6576 © National Gallery, London / Art Resource, NY

Attributed to Guy Noël Aubry (French, 18th-century). Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, 1715-1723. Oil on canvas, 248 x 160 cm (97 5/8 x 63 in). Musée des Beaux Arts d’Orléans, Orléans, France, 842.3A © François Lauginie.

“Renowned at the time of the founding of the City of New Orleans, The Orléans Collection celebrates the artistic sensibilities of Philippe II,” said Susan Taylor, the Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of NOMA. “His legacy is his patronage of the arts: architecture, painting, music, dance and theatre. As an institution that is committed to celebrating all of the arts, it is fitting that NOMA takes on this project during New Orleans’ Tricentennial.”

Images courtesy New Orleans Museum of Art.