On March 21, Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly (FODC) hosted an unforgettable day at Chantilly to celebrate the opening of the new Gallery of Prints and Drawings and preview two spectacular Italian Renaissance exhibitions staged throughout the château. The event was organized in association with the Salon du Dessin.
Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Chairman of FODC, welcomed guests upon their arrival and spoke about Chantilly’s rich history and unrivaled art collection before leading everyone into the galleries. Among those in attendance were FODC Directors Nathalie Brunel, Betty Eveillard, Alice Goldet, Christian Langlois-Meurinne, and Henri Loyrette as well as more than 60 renowned art collectors, Francophiles, curators, and scholars from around the world.
Guests were treated to a preview of the new Gallery of Prints and Drawings, located in an area of the castle that is now open to the public for the first time in history. After a year of restoration work under the watchful eye of Pierre-Antoine Gatier, head architect with the Monuments historiques, they have been restored to their former glory dating from the nineteenth century. The inaugural exhibition, “Bellini, Michel-Ange, Le Parmesan. L’épanouissement du dessin à la Renaissance” (“Bellini, Michelangelo, Parmigianino. The Splendors of Drawing in the Renaissance”), is dedicated to drawings from 16th-century Italy and draws from Chantilly’s own unparalleled collection of beautiful Old Master works.
Sotheby’s is a major sponsor of this exhibition and was represented on this occasion by Mario Tavella, Président-directeur général, Sotheby’s France and Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe, in addition to several Sotheby’s specialists.
Guests also had the opportunity to preview “Heures italiennes: la peinture de la Renaissance italienne conservée en Picardie” (“Italian Hours: Treasures of Italian Painting Found in Picardy”). This exhibition is part of an unprecedented cooperation between four venues emphasizing the superb collection of Italian art spanning the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries in the Picardy region, located just north of Paris. Chantilly hosts the second leg of this collaborative initiative, focusing on the sixteenth-century Italian Renaissance in a fascinating presentation of fifty-one outstanding paintings chosen to illustrate the period.
The morning concluded with a delicious lunch of traditional French cuisine served in Vatel’s famous kitchen – now the Capitainerie restaurant – inside the castle.
Luncheon at the Capitainerie restaurant inside the castle