Ukrainian art

The Louvre airs Ukrainian art

Pinsel’s Baroque sculptures exhibited at Paris institution

Johann Georg Pinsel’s style has been compared to that of the great sculptors from the golden age of German Baroque, an aesthetic uncommon in France.

For the first time, the storied halls of the world’s foremost art museum, The Louvre, are showcasing a Ukrainian artist. The Paris institution has decided to exhibit sculptures of Johann Georg Pinsel, a representative of late Baroque and Rococo styles from the mid-18th century. Thirty pieces, ranging from small sketches to large sculptures, comprise the exhibition, which runs through Feb. 25.

Pinsel’s recognized skill and strong personality give his art a special place among Baroque works, said curator Guilhem Scherf. “His style is brilliant, especially the way he carves the folds of the draperies, like faces of diamonds, with lines and oblique curves.”

According to Scherf, Pinsel’s works suit the museum perfectly. “It is important to show at The Louvre, which is an encyclopedic museum, art that is not [usually] shown there: the Baroque sculptures from Central and Oriental Europe,” he said.

Scherf noted the origin of the art is no less important to museum visitors than its style. “People in France are curious about art from various countries; they enjoy Baroque art in particular,” he said.

The exhibition is also extremely important for Ukraine, as its national art begins to slowly emerge on the world scene. “This is a first and very valuable step toward the world discovering the rich cultural heritage of Ukraine. I am confident the success of Pinsel’s art at The Louvre will give the world a new view of Ukraine and draw its attention to the rich high culture of our land,” Culture Minister Mykhaylo Kulynyak said at the official opening.

Project Manager Natalia Zabolotna, who is also general director of the National Cultural-Art and Museum Complex Mystetskyi Arsenal, concurred. “This exhibition is an event of historic importance for Ukrainian art,” she said. “It shows the importance and recognition of our artistic heritage in the context of global cultural progress.”

Zabolotna added that Pinsel’s art will move to the premises of Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kyiv after the end of The Louvre’s exhibition.

The Louvre’s Department of Sculptures first discovered Pinsel’s work in April 2009. “A French businessman who worked with Lviv institutions showed us photos of Pinsel’s works. We were attracted by his personality,” Scherf said.

Very little is known of Pinsel’s life. He is thought to have lived and worked mainly in Galicia, a historical region in the west of Ukraine that was divided between Ukraine and Poland at the time. Mikołaj Potocki, a Polish nobleman, was his patron and the main customer until Pinsel’s death, presumed to have occurred in1761 in Buchach.

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