Joseph Benoît Suvée (1743-1807)
Dibutades, or The discovery of drawing, 1793
From the museum website
The austere neoclassicist style inspired by a renewed interest in classical antiquity had met with little success in Flanders by the end of the eighteenth century, Antwerp and Ghent preferring to hold on to their baroque tradition. Bruges was the exception and played a pioneering role led by Joseph Benoît Suvée. His ‘Dibutades or the Discovery of drawing’, for example, is a pure neoclassicist work. Suvée won the much coveted ‘Grand Prix de Rome’ at the academy in Paris. After that he became a teachter at the Paris academy and director of the Académie de France in Rome, where he acted as a stimulus, not least for young artists from Bruges, inviting them to come and follow courses in both Paris and Rome. Thus Bruges artists gradually became involved in the international neoclassicist scene and the new style began to make inroads in Flanders. The exhibition presents all aspects of neoclassicism: monumental historical paintings, portraits, sketches, designs, life drawings and landscape drawings. The exhibition will travel on from here to the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede (NL).
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