That’s three months that he waited for this moment. During the containment, Christophe Léribault came every day, by metro, to watch over his dear Little Palace, to inspect the reserves and negotiate of long hours on the phone the reports of its programming. The superb collection of drawings French of Louis-Antoine and Véronique Prat, hung on the rails since mid-march, but remained invisible, can finally be unveiled to the public Tuesday, June 16.
→ TO READ. Second wave of re-opening for national monuments
The couple of collectors has even offered up two leaves in the paris museum. Its director smiles with optimism :” In the months that open, we will have to juggle even more with our budgets, but we will walk, it is obvious. The City of Paris is supporting us, unlike american museums, for example, entirely dependent on the private… “.
At the age of 56, this conservative guard a from the juvenile. He recounts a childhood marked by visits of castles, churches and museums with parents scientific” very loving “. 3 and a half years, he discovers” impressed “the exhibition Tutankhamun, right here, at the Petit Palais. What to feed a solid vocation ? He was only 12 years old when his father dies, swept away by a long illness.
To reassure his mother, the teenager will enroll simultaneously in history and art history at the Sorbonne, before becoming the general curator of the Heritage. “ Make his passion his profession, brings a lot of comfort “, he says soberly.
Lively and full of humor
Appointed first to the Carnavalet, the museum of the history of the City of Paris, Christophe Léribault there goes the exhibits, fascinated by “ the collections are huge, with horse between the history of mentalities, architecture, urban planning and the arts “. A break of a year at the Villa Medici allows him to complete his thesis on Jean-François de Troy, who led the Academy of France in Rome in the Eighteenth century. And specify the corpus of the painter, sometimes confused with that of his father.
In 2006, Henri Loyrette, then head to the Louvre museum, invites this sharp mind to join the department of graphic arts and to lead the museum Delacroix. ” A place emotionally charged “that the grantee renovates, expands, energizes. “ I have a lot ran, of both sides of the Breaste “, he recalls, with its everlasting hint of humor.
Bright colors and live performance
On his arrival at the Petit Palais in 2012, he deploys the same energy. It modernized by bright colors the presentation of the collections, creates a room of the icons, sort, statuary, monumental reserves, expanded in the programming of concerts, films and courses in art history, invites contemporary artists during the international contemporary art Fair (Fiac) and advocate for or piétonnisée the esplanade between the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais.
He even offers to welcome in the gardens located behind the museum the bulky Bouquet of tulips Jeff Koons challenged everywhere else. A prestigious location but discreet, which allows you to renovate in the end these green spaces left behind. ” In the meetings, I’ve always seen to find the solution that makes everyone happy. He has a true talent as a diplomat, and the sense of human relations “salutes his friend, the art historian Adrien Goetz.
Behind the scenes, Christopher Léribault also defends the free access to the municipal art collection and the free reproduction of works. ” Our heritage is derived in large part from donations “pleads he, anxious to open wide the doors of the Petit Palais. Result : the attendance of the museum is three-fold, reaching 1.2 million visitors in 2018. A success alas mitigated since, by the succession of social movements that have paralyzed the centre of Paris.
Its policy of exhibitions, carefully staged, has won yet a loyal audience. The clashes abundant and multidisciplinary” Paris 1900 “or the” Romantic Paris “there are interspersed with bold proposals. Christophe Léribault discover the ile-de-france the work of the Swede Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn, rehabilitating artists that are a bit forgotten as Georges Desvallières. He dares the first retrospective in france of Jacob Jordaens and Luca Giordano, enjoying the spacious rooms of this palace built for the universal exhibition of 1900.
→ (RE) READ. The Paris 1900 is displayed at the Petit Palais
” It is endowed with an infinite curiosity, eclectic, very wide “, enjoy Amélie Simier, director of the Bourdelle museum, which has cooked up, with this” wonderful comrade “there is a season Danish in Paris. She currently presents the sculptor Jacobsen. Christophe Léribault had, him, see, because of the containment The golden Age of painting Danishas of 22 September. ” Denmark has closed its borders a priori until the end of August, but we will get there “, he promises, with his moral beating.
Between Haskell and Rosenberg
“When I was a resident at the Villa Medici, I was able to invite the great historian of art, English, Francis Haskell. I accompanied him in Rome for fifteen days, and we’re reviewed on a regular basis then. His writings on the role of collectors and patrons of art, on the differences in the taste depending on the times, and it opened my eyes.
In a museum, he should also be freed from the modes. My other model, this is Pierre Rosenberg, the former president of the Louvre. Immense curator, cataloger, collector, gifted with an eye striking, this maker of projects, full of energy, pushed me for my thesis, and plays a very positive role in the world of art He does not hesitate to say things, but always with tact and fights in favour of the artistic education “.