The Walters Art Museum


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We've tidied up the Grand Salon and Exoticism Room

art handlers reinstalling paintings in the salon gallery

In the Salon gallery at the Walters Art Museum, we've restored the original theme of each wall (academic art from France, academic art by non-French artists, and military themes). This was done by retrieving paintings from storage. Other new additions can be seen to either side of the magnificent carved sideboard: two still lifes by Simon Saint-Jean, a leading flower- and still-life-painter of the 1830s and 40s. Saint-Jean fell dramatically out of favor after the renowned French critic Charles Baudelaire and others attacked the artist’s work as being too yellow due to their golden glow. Punning critics renamed him “Saint-Jean-le-Jaune,” “Saint-John-the-Yellow” in English. The Walters’ painting Still Life with Fruit was badly blackened and lacked a frame. It has now been cleaned and reunited with its original nineteenth-century frame that was relocated in an attic storage area. Another new addition, this time to the Exoticism room, is a painting that also had to spend time in conservation to remove and replace a discolored varnish. Prosper Marilhat’s Landscape with Mosque is a striking early example of a scene painted from studies made by the artist on-the-spot in the Middle East in the 1830s. The newly acquired oil-sketch of a lion by Henry Ossawa Tanner can also be seen in this room, although it will soon be taken off view to receive a new frame.