The First European Art Gallery in China

In September, the first European Art Gallery in China will lift its mysterious veil in Hangzhou Public Library. The gallery, free for the first year, will display art works from 17th to 19th century, which will include sculptures, paintings and enamel art ware.

In the “Meet the Artists” Exhibition Hall, Veiled Woman, the sculpture created by the famous Italian sculptor Giuseppe Croff, will be the first item to greet its visitors. This famous sculpture has been exhibited in the 1853 International Industry Expo., and is proved to be older than the Veiled Nun, collected in The Washington Art Gallery.

First European Art Gallery in ChinaEven though the collection of art works is relatively small, there are no ordinary works in this gallery. For example, in the “Development of Portrait” Exhibition Hall, we can observe a marquise sitting quietly on a gilded armchair with a spaniel beside her. Every detail, from the hair and skin to the clothes worn, seems so delicate and real that you will feel as though they are also present in the room.

In the “Oil painting to Realism” Exhibition Hall, there is an oil painting, which won the gold medal of the Venice Biennale in 1833, and it depicts an old man full of age traces in the face, touching people’s hearts with its vivid colors and brush strokes.

In the “Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s Human Statue” Exhibition Hall, Neapolitan Fisherboy, the most famous work in Carpeaux’s whole life, is also on view for all to admire. In this piece, you can see a young naked boy squatting down on the ground with a fisherman cap on his head and a shell close to his ear. He smells as listening carefully to the echoes from the seashell and seems ready to start running. The boy’s soft skin, thick curly hair and the fascinating smell seems to break free and come to life.

Here, you can also admire some of the works of Auguste Rodin, one of the greatest traditional sculptors who is famous for the Thinker. Besides the galleries’ sculptures and statues, you can also appreciate the biggest enamel box and the largest bronze vase in the world.

The enamel box, which is 28.5 centimeters high, 56 centimeters long and 42.5 centimeters deep, was specially designed by Charles Lebecq, the greatest enamel painter of the 19th century, who was inspired by his sponsor Alfred, who showed a deep love for his wife. The bronze vase is 240 centimeters high 95 centimeters of which is dedicated to the base. With the Belgian sculptor’s signature engraved in the body, this exquisite piece was originally displayed in the 1885 Antwerp International Art Expo.

The opening ceremony of the art gallery will be held on September 27, and many great figures will be present, including the curator of the Louvre Museum, the curator of Musee des Arts Decoratifs, the curator of the French heritage museum, the general of the American Philadelphia Art Museum, the chief designer of the French Museum and senior collector and many famous French artists of art galleries.

Address: Building J, Hangzhou Public Services Center, Qianjiang New City, No. 58, Jiefang East Road, Jianggan District