Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc celebrated the cultural legacy of the French medieval heroine Joan of Arc (c. 1412-1431), who led her nation's army to victory against the English, was then tried on charges of heresy and later burned at the stake in Rouen. Her extraordinary biography has engaged generations of writers and artists, and her image has been used for centuries to promote a variety of political, cultural, and religious views.
Central to the exhibition were two treasures from the Corcoran's collection,created during the height of Joan of Arc's popularity, by the great French artist-illustrator Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel (1850-1913): a series of six highly decorative oil and gold-leaf paintings based on the life of Joan of Arc and a brilliantly illustrated deluxe picture book, Jeanned'Arc (1896).
The exhibition surveyed more than 200 French and American works produced over five centuries, including paintings, sculpture, illustrated books and manuscripts, textiles and popular art on loan from major institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the John and Mable Ringling Museum,the Library of Congress, Harvard University, the Boston Public Library and Columbia University. These varied loans contextualize Boutet de Monvel's Joan of Arc works in the Corcoran's collection.
Joan of Arc was organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art and generously supported by the Knights of Columbus and anonymous individual donors.
The Corcoran thanks the Katherine Dulin Folger Publication Fund, the Samuel H.Kress Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Research and Publications Fund fortheir support of the related publication, Joan of Arc: Her Image in Franceand America, Corcoran Gallery of Art in Association with D Giles Limited,London.
The curators for the exhibition and authors of the publication are Laura Coyle, an art historian and independent curator formerly at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and Nora Heimann, Associate Professor of Art History at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.