Walton Ford, Animal artist is exhibited in Paris
Combining monumental formats (some paintings are over three metres long) with the precision of a miniature painter, American artist Walton Ford’s watercolors can be likened to the finest zoological illustrations from the 19th century – the comparison with the ornithologist Jean-Jacques Audubon (1785-1821) is inevitable – but the artist mischievously robs them of any scientific intent. The paintings, based on Ford’s meticulous draughtsmanship, depict a wealth of exotic fauna that comprises elephants, tigers, monkeys, rhinoceroses, lions and birds… Each painting is a meticulous study in flora and fauna, filled with symbols and references to literature and folktales, a blend of natural history, storytelling and political commentary.
A show of about 20 works, including several in a very large format, has just been prolonged until Feburary 28 at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature. This is the first exhibition in France dedicated to this 56 year old New Yorker. The temporary exhibition room will evoke fifteen years of artistic creation with such key works as the Loss of the Lisbon Rhinoceros, or A Monster from Guiny. Placed amongst the museum’s permanent collection, other works created especially for the exhibition will revive the famous French myth of the Beast of Gévaudan*. The ten or so works produced especially for this exhibition represent nearly two years work for the artist, whose demanding technique is extremely time-consuming.
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
62, rue des Archives 75003 Paris
Le musée est ouvert tous les jours sauf le lundi et les jours fériés, de 11h à 18h, de 11h à 21h30 le mercredi.
*The Beast of Gévaudan is the historical name associated with the man-eating wolf, dog or wolf-dog hybrid which terrorised the former province of Gévaudan (modern-day départment of Lozère and part of Haute-Loire), in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France between 1764 and 1767. The attacks were said to have been committed by a beast or beasts that had formidable teeth and immense tails according to contemporary eyewitnesses. Description thanks to Wikipedia