17 July 2007 till 27 April 2008

Têtes Fleuries

Portraits from the Triton Collection

Persbeeld tentoonstelling Têtes Fleuries
Têtes Fleuries

Têtes Fleuries, the new exhibition in the Triton series, focusses on the portrait. Including works by Picasso, Daumier, Van Dongen, Appel, Westerik and Auerbach an overview is presented of the development of portrait art from the second half of the nineteenth century. The exhibition devotes special attention to the work of Picasso: his approach to portraits marked a revolution in the genre and his work fundamentally changed portrait art. The exhibition art works are from the Triton Foundation collection together with rarely shown pieces from the collection of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.


The portrait is traditionally one of the most important subjects within the art of painting. In the development of this genre an ever increasing emphasis has been put on not only the depiction of the subject´s obvious visible features, but rather of the characteristics that hide within them. Since the arrival of photography, the portraits role as a source of realistic depictions has decreased and artists have increasingly focussed on expression and experiment as a new manner in which to depict personalities. After all, a portrait no longer needs to be primarily a representation of the perceived truth, but can also be a representation of a possible truth, as is Tête de Scapin by Honoré Daumier. In this work Daumier gives veiled commentary on government censorship that he experiences as a painter. In this way portraits communicate multiple meanings: that of the painters feelings for the person he was portraying, of an attempt to glimpse at the soul of the person portrayed, or in contrast, the portrait as a mask. What binds portraits of all times, is the search for interpretation of the truth, by means of a faithful representation of someone, or rather by the allegorial nature of a portrait. In this exhibition the ‘explosion’ of the genre in the twentieth century is highlighted.

Pablo Picasso

Someone who explored and mastered the expressive and manipulative possibilities of the genre like no other, was Pablo Picasso. In his long career he painted a wide ranging variety of portraits, in which his development ran from realistic pieces to the semi-abstract woman in Figure Noire (Portrait de Françoise). Following Picasso, artists such as Appel and Auerbach further developed the manipulative nature of the portrait. The portrait became an allegory, a representation of an imaginable truth. Creating such an image for them increasingly had a mirroring, identifying effect, with a possible metaphorical meaning: Asger Jorn puts himself in the place of his mistress Mati, Frank Auerbach expresses in the warm and intimate Hoofd van Julia the refound love for his wife and Paul Strand virtually becomes Emo Verkerk.This exhibition in the Triton Kabinet devotes special attention to the portraits of Pablo Picasso. To this great Spanish artist the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag dedicates an overview exhibition that can be seen from 15 December 2007.

The Triton Foundation is a private collection which contains top artworks from the period   1860 - 1970 and is, in many respects, related to the Gemeentemuseum collection. Together with this exhibition the fifth Triton Cahier in the series (€ 9,95) will be published at Waanders Uitgevers.

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