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Modern art

Tribute to Georges Rouault. Holy anger

90 min visit

Pompidou Centre
9 Jul → 3 Oct 2021
From Wed to Mon from 11 am to 9 pm. Nocturnal Thu until 9 pm. Closed Tue.

« An exceptional tribute to Georges Rouault (1871-1958), on the occasion of his 150th birthday!  »

Deeply human and pious in a century where modernity had taken precedence over religion, Rouault was not a painter like the others. Other artists, like him, proclaimed a return to the Christian values recently abandoned. Apollinaire in his poem "Zone", published in the collection Alcool in 1913 states that: "Religion alone has remained brand new / Has remained simple like the hangars of Port-Aviation. A position that is rare in the early 20th century! "Homo homini lupus" (Man is a wolf to man) from 1944-1948, Georges Rouault's masterpiece on the human condition, is presented at the beginning of the exhibition, as if for a first approach to the character. Filled with anger, he paints the girls of the working class district of Belleville, he takes up the figure of Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry and even tackles the Great War with his cycle "Miserere". Moreover, it is the first time that this cycle is shown entirely to the general public! Georges Rouault depicts all the forgotten people of the society of his time, whether they are religious, soldiers, women or inhabitants of the colonies. These paintings appear as "holy angers in the face of injustice", as Pierre Courthion, the artist's biographer, so aptly puts it. These paintings are an outlet for him to express his anger in a peaceful way. One of the paintings that best illustrates his work is "The Accused" from 1908, which has never been exhibited to the general public until now. It depicts a man, humble, surrounded by men burdening him with all the misery of the world. This allegory of justice is, knowing Rouault's faith, also a parody of divine justice. Georges Rouault uses his anger in the pictorial search for new forms and colours, making him one of the most important painters of the 20th century.


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