One could not dream of a more beautiful setting than the mansion which houses the Fondation de l’Hermitage to discover the treasures of Georges Bemberg’s private collection, usually presented in a private mansion in Toulouse. The set brings together more than 130 paintings and drawings, including canvases by great Italian masters such as Veronese, Tintoretto, Canaletto, but also by the Spaniard Zurbaran and Cranach the Elder, a major painter of the Germanic Renaissance. The collection is also distinguished by the high quality of works by early 20th century artists, including Fantin-Latour, Pissarro, Monet, Matisse, and many others.
The exhibition offers “a walk through five centuries of art history”, in the words of Sylvie Wuhrmann, director of the Fondation de l’Hermitage. Organized in chronological order, the route begins with a room devoted to portraits of the Flemish and French schools of the 15th and 15th centuries, the details of which – notably the work of the gaze in the portraits – are magnificently highlighted by skilfully calculated lighting. The hanging also gives pride of place to several works by Lucas Cranach, known as the Elder, including a fascinating version ofHercules at Omphale, where we admire the expressiveness of the hero letting himself be dressed as a woman, after offering his lion skin and his club to his lover, Omphale.