“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
“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.