The Marquise and the Baron

The Neo-Rococo in the North

Art Museum Gösta 24 January — 26 April 2015

The exhibition, which combined original Rococo, Neo-Rococo and their modern interpretations, presented the Nordic dimension of the playful style that originated in France.

The artwork of those Nordic artists who embraced the Neo-Rococo, such as Albert Edelfelt, Gunnar Berndtson, Carl Larsson and Kristian Zahrtmann engage a dialogue with the art of the 18th-century Rococo: works by Antoine Watteau, Alexander Roslin and Ulrica Pasch.

Rococo’s abundance and visuality come to life in paintings, sculptures, drawings, apparel and furniture. Genuine Meissen-porcelain is accompanied by fabulous Rococo-costumes and furniture. 

The Rococo’s influence on contemporary art is portrayed in Emilie Mazeau-Langlais’ the Rococo chests of drawers made of cardboard and Helena Hietanen’s wigs inspired by the French queen Marie Antoinette. Hannu Palosuo’s metal sculptures and paintings remind on of reflections on the chandeliers of Rococo era.

The exhibition contains artwork that been exhibited never before. Those include Yrjö Ollilla’s sckethes for the operetta Madame Pompadour in 1929.

The curator of the exhibition is the French art historian Laura Gutman, who specialises in 19th century art. The exhibition’s name, The Marquise and the Baron, refers to the link that arose between the old regime and a new upper class enriched by industry. This is personified by the most famous mistress in world history, the Marquise de Pompadour, and a modern paper industry baron, who adopted Rococo’s influences and aristocratic way of life one hundred years later.