Jean-Michel Othoniel is the subject of a solo exhibition titled La Rose du Louvre, on view at the Louvre through February 24, 2020, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of its iconic glass pyramid, Othoniel presents in the Puget Courtyard, among the masterpieces of the garden statuary of the 17th and 18th centuries, an installation composed of six unpublished paintings in ink on gold leaf. Through this exhibition, Othoniel invites visitors to a dreamlike walk combining sculptures, herbarium, paintings, and garden. The artist was inspired by the triumphant rose painted by Rubens in the watercolor and ink drawings series Le Mariage de Marie de Médicis et d’Henri IV (1621-1625), sealing the marriage between Marie de Medici and Henri IV. This rose is the emblematic flower of the museum; the Queen among flowers, symbol of power and passion, the rose painted with great freedom informs the audience of the destiny of a woman, her beauty, her love stronger than death, the history of France, and of the history of the museum.
Also on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Louvre Pyramid, Othoniel has published a book titled L’Herbier Merveilleux, co-edited by the Louvre and Actes Sud. Also published in English under the title The Secret Language of Flowers, the new book collects the notes that the artist gleaned on the secret language of flowers and their symbolism. During his studies, he worked day and night shifts as a warden at the Louvre. In 2018, the artist came back to the Louvre and explored the empty rooms of the museum to pick the flowers hidden in masterpieces of its collection. Othoniel photographed the flowers represented in the sculptures, tapestries, frescoes, architectural elements, furniture, and paintings such as the thistle in the self-portrait of Dürer and the peony in the unbuttoned shirt of the girl in The Broken Jug (1771) by Greuze, thus composing a new herbarium unique to his interests and practice.
이와 함께 루브르 박물관과 악트 쉬드(Actes Sud)가 공동 편집한 장-미셸 오토니엘의 신간 『L’Herbier Merveilleux』이 발간됐다. 오토니엘이 수집한 꽃의 비밀언어와 상징성을 정리한 일종의 식물표본집으로, 『The Secret Language of Flowers』 제목의 영문 번역본도 함께 볼 수 있다. 실제 오토니엘은 걸작들 속 은밀한 꽃을 찾아내기 위해 특정 연구 기간 루브르에서 경비원으로 근무하며 박물관의 방들을 탐색하기도 했다. 뒤러(Dürer)의 자화상에 그려진 엉겅퀴를 비롯해 그뢰즈(Greuze)의 <The Broken Jug>(1771) 속 소녀의 옷에 달린 모란 등 조각상, 타피스트리, 프레스코, 건축요소, 가구와 그림에서 발견되는 꽃들을 촬영해 작가만의 새로운 식물표본집을 완성했다.
[Source from the Louvre press release]