Sports and Recreation in France, 1840-1900

Sep 02, 2014 - Jan 11, 2015
Volpe Gallery

Commemorating the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights’ first season of competition in the Big Ten, this exhibition of French prints, drawings, photographs, and posters reveals the growing interest in competitive and recreational sports in France during the second half of the nineteenth century. Athletic endeavors had historically been the purview of the aristocracy in France, but over the course of the 1800s, the growing middle class and the institution of mandatory physical education in French schools contributed to greater opportunities for enthusiastic participants and spectators. Artists embraced the culture of sports, which provided new opportunities to portray the human body and events of contemporary life. Beginning with Honoré Daumier’s prints of bathers learning to swim and proceeding to works celebrating the new sport of cycling, this exhibition explores the role of sports as an aspect of modern life in nineteenth-century France. 

Organized by Christine Giviskos, Associate Curator of European Art, with Sara Green, International Fine Prints Dealers Association Foundation Intern

Louis Anquetin 
L’Arrivée, Longchamps, 1894
Color lithograph
14 x 20 11/16 in. (35.5 x 52.5 cm)
Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University
Museum Purchase, Edward and Lois Grayson Fund, 1988.0935
Photo Peter Jacobs