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Fit for a King

French Paintings from the Alexis Gregory Bequest

  • Date iconFebruary 20 2024
  • Curator: Shlomit Steinberg
          Assistance to the curator: Yael Misheiker
  • Designer: Michal Aldor
  • Della and Fred S. Worms OBE Gallery

The practice of collecting art goes back to the very beginning of civilization. Along the ages, members of the royalty and the aristocracy adorned their palaces and residences with sumptuous artworks, often relying on the expert eye of a curator who acted on their behalf. Yet by far the more interesting collectors are those who were themselves blessed with an exquisite taste, keen eye, and vast knowledge in the various branches of art – as was the late Alexis Gregory (1936–2020). 

Sharing his time between New York and Paris, Gregory had a passion for French art, and he spent decades assembling French paintings and objets d’art dating from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. His generous bequest has enriched the Museum’s holdings with works by such famous Academy masters as Simon Vouet, Charles Le Brun, François Boucher, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard, among many others. These artists resided and worked inside the Louvre Palace, which Louis XIV had vacated for Versailles in 1682, benefiting from the King’s financial support and catering to the taste of the French regents. 

The exhibition – featuring a wide range of subjects, from scriptural stories and scenes to portraits of royalties and simple folk, serene vistas and dramatic seascapes, allegorical depictions, and still lifes – presents a wonderful opportunity to view treasures of 17th- and 18th-century Rococo art.