Future Exhibitions

Corot and the Cliché-verre in Nineteenth-Century France

Corot and the Cliché-verre in Nineteenth-Century FranceJean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, French, (1796–1875). "Jeune Mere a l'Entree d'un Bois," 1856 (printed 1921). From "Forty Clichés-Glace (Quarante Clichés-Glace)." Cliché-verre. DAC accession number 1963.16.1.15. Purchase funds, 1963. Open Access Image from the Davison Art Collection, Wesleyan University (photo: M. Johnston).

This exhibition features a selection of twelve cliché-verre prints by French painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796–1875) and members of the so-called Barbizon School of painters. Cliché-verre is a graphic art technique that combines aspects of printmaking and photography: a hand-drawn or painted glass plate is placed over light-sensitive paper to create a photographic image. The nineteenth century saw isolated bursts of enthusiasm for cliché-verre, but the technique never became widely practiced.

Both Corot and his friends in the Barbizon School—among them, Jean-François Millet (1814–1875) and Théodore Rousseau (1812–1867)—were encouraged to try cliché-verre by photographers in their milieux. These prints therefore represent creative collaborations of artists working across the mediums of painting, printmaking, and photography. Most of the Barbizon artists abandoned cliché-verre after a few trials, but Corot continued making them intermittently until his death.

By the early twentieth century, many of these artists’ plates had come into the possession of Maurice Le Garrec, a Parisian art dealer. Le Garrec had several of them re-printed, and in 1921, released them in a portfolio, Forty Clichés-Glace (Quarante Clichés-Glace). This exhibition presents a selection of clichés-verre from the portfolio published by Le Garrec, alongside a photograph by Eugène Cuvelier (1837–1900), a photographer who introduced cliché-verre to many of the Barbizon artists.

Read "Cliché-Verre and Friendship in 19th-Century France" by Miya Tokumitsu, Donald T. Fallati and Ruth E. Pachman Curator of the Davison Art Collection, in The Public Domain Review.

Dürer and His Time

Dürer and His TimeImage: Albrecht Dürer, German, (1471–1528). "Adam and Eve," 1504. Engraving. Fourth state (second finished state). Plate: 250 x 193 mm (9.8 x 7.6 in.). Sheet: 254 x 197 mm (10 x 7.8 in.). DAC accession number 1991.33.1. Gift of John E. Andrus III (BA Wesleyan 1933), 1991. Open Access Image from the Davison Art Collection, Wesleyan University (photo: R. Lee).

Dürer and His Time will feature works by the renowned German painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) and select peer artists from the Davison Art Collection, researched by Wesleyan students in the course ARHA 263C “Curatorial Workshop: The Northern Renaissance Print,” taught by Assistant Professor of Art History Joseph Salvatore Ackley and organized in coordination with the Donald T. Fallati and Ruth E. Pachman Curator of the Davison Art Collection Miya Tokumitsu.

The flourishing of the print stands as one of the defining hallmarks of the Northern Renaissance. Northern Europe in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries witnessed such major historical events as the Protestant Reformation, the spread of Italian humanism, and the steady rise and circulation of printed books and printed images. Leading artists of the time, including Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden, Albrecht Altdorfer, and Lucas Cranach, explored and pushed this exciting new technology in multiple directions. The Northern Renaissance print became in turn a key site for new modes of artistry, devotion, and artmaking writ large. Dürer and His Time gathers a selection of works from these figures to help examine this pivotal moment of the Western tradition.

The Davison Art Collection holds more than 25,000 works of art on paper, including prints, photographs, and drawings. The print collection is one of the foremost at a college or university in the United States. Wesleyan students examined and researched the works in this exhibition, as well as other works of the collection, over the course of the semester-long curatorial workshop.

The Dürer and His Time exhibition will be closed from Saturday, May 18 through Thursday, May 23, 2024.