Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761 – 1845) lived in extremely turbulent times. His career spanned the final days of the Ancien Régime, the French Revolution, the rise and fall of Napoleon, and the Restoration of the Bourbon Monarchy. Yet Boilly did not merely survive this violent period: he thrived, painting the faces and places of
modern Paris with humour, innovation and startling modernity. On the eve of the UK’s first exhibition devoted to Boilly at the National Gallery, and to celebrate the recent conservation of the Wallace Collection’s three Boillys, this lecture by Dr Francesca Whitlum-Cooper will introduce Boilly to the public, suggesting that, half a century before the Impressionists, he was one of the first “painters of modern life”.
This event will be prefaced by a brief conversation between Dr Whitlum-Cooper and the Wallace Collection’s Curator of French Paintings, Dr Yuriko Jackall, tracing Boilly’s critical fortunes in the present day and it will be followed by a book signing and wine reception with Dr Whitlum-Cooper of her new exhibition catalogue, Boilly: Scenes of Parisian Life (National Gallery, London in association with Yale University Press, 2019).
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