1. Sculptures, Enamels, Maiolicas, and Tapestries
Aesthetic seduction, superb workmanship, and historical interest are the three central themes in the collection of Fondation Gandur pour l’Art (Geneva), created in 2010 and still expanding. The aim of this first volume is to catalogue the works in the collection, whose decorative aspects are every bit as important as their narrative content. The works are for the most part sculptures — statuettes and ornamental reliefs — although two-dimensional decorations depicting figurative scenes associated with classical antiquity or Christianity are no less important.
The periods represented by the sculptural works discussed in this book reflect the scope of the whole collection, which ranges from the twelfth to the eighteenth century.
And since the goal of the collection is to document centuries of cultural exchange between France and neighboring countries, all the works included in the book come from these latter regions. The hybrid styles are closely linked, and this is an aspect of considerable importance, as is the originality certain pieces display and, last but not least, their aesthetic quality.
The book is arranged by topic, which brings out the great originality and extraordinary richness of the collection, as well as the extremely varied nature of the subjects, narrative episodes, and figures portrayed. More specifically, the topics are divided into five sections: ancient gods and heroes; biblical and allegorical figures; scenes from the life of the Virgin; episodes from the life of Christ; and saints and intercessors. Each work has its own entry that describes the historical and geographical context in which it was made, analyzes its iconographic content, and includes a bibliography and a list of the exhibitions where the work was exhibited.
Fabienne Fravalo holds a PhD in the History of Art and is curator of the collection of decorative arts at the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art (Geneva).
Marion Boudon-Machuel is Professor of the History of Modern Art at François Rabelais University in Tours.