The Body in Movement

6 Oct 2016 — 3 Jul 2017 at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France

15 APRIL 2017
Hippomène et Atalante, vers 1715—1720. Paris, musée du Louvre  © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Stéphane Maréchalle
Hippomène et Atalante, vers 1715—1720. Paris, musée du Louvre © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Stéphane Maréchalle

For its second season, the Petite Galerie at the Louvre, dedicated to art and culture education, is offering an initiation into representation of “The Body in Movement.”

This year dance is the guest at the Petite Galerie, in an exhibition co-curated by choreographer Benjamin Millepied and Jean-Luc Martinez, president-director of the Musée du Louvre.

Comprising some 70 artworks ranging from antiquity to the early 20th century—lent notably by the Musée Rodin, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Centre Pompidou—this new exhibition looks at the challenges facing artists in their representation of movement, and the solutions they have come up with.

Walking, running, stopping in your tracks—not to mention such “movements of the soul” as terror: what conventions govern representation of the movements and postures involved?

Artworks are by nature static, but artists were trying to anatomize movement long before chronophotography came along and opened up new perspectives for them in the late 19th century. In their efforts to capture movement avant-garde artists like Degas and Rodin turned to the world of dance. Around 1900, drawing on antiquity and the work of dancers like Loie Fuller and Nijinsky, the discipline underwent its own revolution: an innovative gestural repertoire and a break with classical ballet that foreshadowed modern dance. Thus choreography and the visual arts intermeshed.