Why Is Like Almost Every French Painter Called Henri?

by - September 07, 2013

Blouse+Legging with sequins+Shoes: H&M/ Flower Crown: Bijou Brigitte/ Bag: Primark

Today I've visited Het Singer Museum. The museum is named after this American couple (conveniently called Singer) and is based around their art collection/relationship with artists. Throughout the years their collection has expand. Most famously with one of the seven original thinkers by Rodin (only to be demolished... more about that later).


Besides their "permanent" collection they have "loose" exhibitions (like any normal museum, I guess), and this time we went "through France" with Henri Le Sidaner. I was quite excited because 1) Henri is somewhat of a post-impressionist and I like (post)-impressionism. 2) Henri is best known for his intimate sceneries of set tables (an image we all can relate to and unique is in the sense of lack of humans, making it anonymous yet very personal at the same time). And 3) His name is Henri and in combination with the nationality "French" often means magic.

Often. Unfortunately this Henri was an exception to that. The thing is, I liked his paintings better on for instance the internet, than in real life. Which is a very rare and shocking experience...


Some years ago "The Thinker" by Rodin got stolen. Luckily they found it back... only in a really bad state. The burglar had attacked the statue and left it for trash. Now they stood for the impossible question: Shall we leave it this way or try to restore what's left of it? They bravely chose the last option. And so after a lot of research and a lot of millions, The Thinker was back to think again.

The main question of my study is "What's cultural heritage?". You can define it into something we put meaning to. Like a statue, for example The Thinker. We are willing to pay millions of euros to restorate it because we think it's worth it. Otherwise we wouldn't put so much effort into it. It tells a story, is part of history and we feel for it. When the owners needed to answer the question wether to leave it or restore it, they considered that this happening is part of history. Thereby it's got value. But how much weighs this against the original state? Well, they thought this dark chapter shouldn't be stressed upon for the rest of it's existence. That it should strife out of its past and adapt it to its future, without being looked upon as a tragedy.


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