By KELLIN GIBSON
If you are an artist, a horse fanatic, or simply looking for a productive stroll before your next class, the Ridderhof Martin Gallery is hosting a new public exhibition that may interest you. This month, The French Horse Romanticism to Surrealism collection will be on display from Sept. 2 to Oct. 9.
The French Horse exhibit explores the majestic nature of horses, with major artworks in watercolor paintings, small-scale sculptures, and sketch illustrations by artists, including Jacques Despierre, Eugène Delacroix, Edgar Degas, Antoine- Louis Barye and others, representing the movement in French art from Romanticism to Surrealism.
Featuring more than 40 pieces of French art, the exhibition is a reflection of the collections in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
French artist Antoine-Louis Barye’s “Turkish Horse” is one of the many small-scale sculptures that graces the gallery, admiring the muscular horse. Another is Raoul Duffy’s watercolor painting of horse jockeys.
“My favorite is the ‘Thoroughbred Horse Walking’ sculpture by Degas. His impressionism is unlike any other artist. I just love his work,” said junior student coordinator of the UMW Galleries Emily Bombere.
According to the UMW Galleries’ website, the exhibition is the result of a course taught during the fall semester by Dr. Mitchell Merling and Paul Mellon, along with other notable faculty members of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition was produced as a collaboration between the University of Richmond Museums and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
“It was a pure pleasure bringing the art and the students together,” said Mitchell Merling of the VMFA.
Before her passing in 2015, Professor JeanAnne Dabb contributed to this exhibit. With her ties to romanesque architecture and sculpture, her knowledge was an asset. Dabb was also the Chair of the Department of Art and Art History.
The UMW Gallery recently held a reception for The French Horse exhibit on Sept. 9, 2016. The University Galleries has always been a popular attraction for both the community and tourists. “Over 170 people attended the event,” Bombere said.
Anyone interested is encouraged to visit the Ridderhof Martin Gallery, located near Seacobeck Hall.