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From Douanier Rousseau to Seraphine – The great naive masters


This fall, the Musée Maillol is hosting more than a hundred works from the exciting, dreamy, unusual and inexhaustible world of so-called “naive” artists. Called “modern primitives” by one of their fervent defenders, the collector and art critic Wilhelm Uhde (1874-1947), these artists renewed painting in their own way, away from the avant-garde and academicism.

Gathered together for the first time in Paris, their brightly colored works reveal an often neglected part of the history of art between the two world wars. Following in the footsteps of Henri Rousseau and Séraphine Louis, the exhibition aims to bring out of oblivion a constellation of artists such as André Bauchant, Camille Bombois, Ferdinand Desnos, Jean Ève, René Rimbert, Dominique Peyronnet and Louis Vivin.

The exhibition, through a thematic tour, will highlight the pictorial qualities of these artists, beyond the biographical anecdote that has long been the only commentary available on them. A selection of astonishing and counter-current works from important French and international public and private collections will reveal the great formal inventiveness of each artist, without concealing the dialogues they maintain with the pictorial tradition as well as with the creation of their time.

By combining historical, analytical and sensitive approaches to the works and their presentation to the world, the Musée Maillol will lift the veil on the subversive dimension of so-called naive art and present these naïve, primitive, modern or anti-modern artists as great artists who went against the grain of the avant-garde.


Curator: Jeanne-Bathilde Lacourt, curator in charge of modern art at the LaM, Museum of Modern Art, Contemporary Art and Art Brut of Lille Metropole and Àlex Susanna, writer, art critic and exhibition curator.

The museum is open from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, every day during temporary exhibitions. Nocturne on Friday until 8:30 pm.
Last admission 30 minutes before the museum closes.

The bookstore-cultural store is open during the museum’s opening hours, including Sundays.

The Café des frères Prévert is open every day from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm and 10:30 am to 6:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Open at night on Friday until 7:30 pm.

61 rue de Grenelle 75007 Paris
Tél. : 01 42 22 59 58




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