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The Louvre acquires Chardin’s Basket of Wild Strawberries thanks to record donations

The Louvre Museum announced that it had acquired The Basket of Wild Strawberries, a still life by Jean Siméon Chardin, thanks to more than 1.

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The Louvre acquires Chardin’s Basket of Wild Strawberries thanks to record donations

The Louvre Museum announced that it had acquired The Basket of Wild Strawberries, a still life by Jean Siméon Chardin, thanks to more than 1.6 million euros raised during its annual campaign to call for donations, a “record” .

Once threatened with leaving France, the painting, classified as a national treasure, will be exhibited to the public at the Louvre-Lens from March 21, the museum announced in a press release. After returning to Paris in June, he will go to the Beaux-Arts in Brest for the summer, from July 2, before joining the Roger-Quilliot art museum in Clermont-Ferrand on October 2.

“Between November 7, 2023 and February 29, 2024, more than 1.6 million euros were collected as part of the fourteenth “Tous Mécènes!” donation campaign, a record. With an average donation of 165 euros and all generations combined, nearly 10,000 donors mobilized to allow the Chardin Wild Strawberry Basket to enter the national collections,” specifies the museum.

Costing 24.3 million euros, this painting, which represents a pyramid of red fruits in a wicker basket alongside a glass, white carnations, two cherries and a peach, was "the last of this quality” still in the hands of private collectors, according to the Louvre.

On March 23, 2022, the painting was auctioned off at Artcurial Paris by the American gallery owner Adam Williams, who may have been acting for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York or the Getty cultural campus in Los Angeles. He put 24.3 million euros on the table, a world record for an 18th century French painting.

The annual campaign raised more than 1.3 million euros to complement the 15 million contributed by LVMH, 500,000 euros by the Société des amis du Louvre, the rest coming from other major donors and acquisition credits. of the museum. “The Basket of Wild Strawberries, the last oil of this quality still in private hands, is the seventh “national treasure” that we are helping to buy,” commented Jean-Paul Claverie, advisor to the president of LVMH Bernard Arnault, following the announcement of the purchase of the work.

The Basket of Wild Strawberries, exhibited in the Salon Carrée of the Louvre Museum by the painter in the summer of 1761, is one of his last still lifes. Chardin was then at the height of his career, which brought him recognition throughout Europe and important royal commissions.

The “All patrons!” operations total more than 35,000 donors since 2010, the date of their launch, among which 14,000 have participated in more than one campaign and 116 in all, according to the museum.

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