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museum of decorative Arts and Design

musée des Arts décoratifs

et du Design de Bordeaux

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39 rue Bouffard,

33000 Bordeaux

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decorative arts

A passion for liberty. From the enlightenment to romantism

The Louvre Museum in Bordeaux

from 18.06.2019
to 13.10.2019

Dans le cadre de la Saison culturelle Liberté ! Bordeaux 2019 , le musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design et le musée des Beaux-Arts proposent, avec la participation exceptionnelle du musée du Louvre, une exposition intitulée La passion de la liberté. Des Lumières au romantisme .

Événement phare de cette saison, cette manifestation inaugure un partenariat triennal inédit entre la Ville de Bordeaux et la prestigieuse institution parisienne.

Jointly presented by the two museums at the Fine Arts Gallery from 19 June to 13 October 2019, this exhibition is an opportunity to welcome, for the first time in Bordeaux, exceptional loans from the Louvre’s different departments, accompanied by major works from the municipal collections. It brings together over three hundred or so works –paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and works of graphic art-produced for the most part during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Death of Marat or Marat assassinated by Jacques-Louis David (workshop), Greece on the ruins of Missolonghi by Eugène Delacroix, The Departure of the Volunteers by François Rude, a pair of vases by the Nast manufacture, a remarkable Sèvres biscuit depicting the Duke of Bordeaux, a tapestry portraying The Swing from the Beauvais manufacture, etc.

The exhibition invites the public to question the concept of liberty in the philosophical, political, ideological, social and economic sense, in the arts during a time enriched by ideas of progress, reason and the beginning of the Enlightenment. What is our current perception of this universal value and the legacy of Enlightenment culture in our democratic societies?

The dialogue between the fine and the decorative arts offers a multidisciplinary approach to the subject. An introduction devoted to the different encyclopaedic definitions of liberty in France and abroad and the Great Masters’ iconography puts the exhibition’s key concept into perspective. The question of the existence of an aesthetic of liberty through the development of the sciences and the contemporary revolutions in Europe is then raised. The exhibition also looks at economic liberalism as a driver of creativity and the liberty of the artist and artisan in the face of the upheaval of the academic and corporatist system following the Revolution. From the Age of Enlightenment to Romanticism, liberty is elevated to a real way of life: libertinism and utopia represent two sides of this freedom of thought, which is accompanied by more pragmatic improvements and inventions to make everyday life easier.

Opening: Friday 18 June at 5.30 pm

Information: Opening hours, prices, guided tour



View of the exhibition
©maddd-bordeaux - L. Gauthier


Workshops, guides tours and events 



Sophie Barthélémy, head of Heritage conservation, director of the museum of Fine Arts in Bordeaux

Constance Rubini, director of the museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Bordeaux

Scientific commitee

Caroline Fillon, head of the Public service department, museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Bordeaux

Stéphanie Trouvé, curator of the XVth-XVIIIth century collection, museum of Fine Arts in Bordeaux


Marie Corbin

Graphic design

Franck Tallon

View of the exhibition
©maddd-bordeaux - L. Gauthier

The museum wants to thank

Château Haut-Bailly,

mécène d’honneur


For their fidelity, the museum would also like to thank

Les Amis et le Cercle du madd

Château Nairac

Les Crus Bourgeois du Médoc

Les Galeries Lafayette

La société de négoce DIVA


Station Ausone - Mollat

View of the exhibition
 - madd-bordeaux