© ROBERT POLIDORI

De gauche à droite et de haut en bas Jacopo de’ Barbari, Portrait du mathématicien Luca Pacioli, Capodimonte Marco Palmezzano, Le Christ mort soutenu par deux anges Jacopo de’ Barbari, La Vierge et l’Enfant avec saint Jean Baptiste et saint Antoine abbé, dite La Vierge à la fontaine 

© ROBERT POLIDORI

Mur gauche, de gauche à droite et de haut en bas Anonyme, Le Christ au jardin des Oliviers Corrège, Portrait de jeune homme Corrège, Le Mariage mystique de sainte Catherine d’Alexandrie en présence de saint Sébastien Nicolò dell’ Abate, L’Enlèvement de Proserpine Michelangelo Anselmi, La Vierge à l’Enfant en gloire avec saint Jean Baptiste et saint Étienne Au centre Daniele da Volterra, David vainqueur de Goliath

© ROBERT POLIDORI

De gauche à droite et de haut en bas Leonello Spada, Énée et Anchise Leonello Spada, Caïn et Abel, Capodimonte Jusepe de Ribera, Saint Jérôme et ange, Capodimonte Annibal Carrache, La Naissance de la Vierge Bartolomeo Schedone, La Mise au tombeau Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith et Holopherme, Capodimonte

© ROBERT POLLDORI

De gauche à droite et de haut en bas Carlo Bonone, Le Christ adoré par les anges, saint Sébastien et saint Bernardin Bartolomeo Schedone, La Sainte Famille Jusepe de Ribera, Saint Jérôme et ange, Capodimonte Bartolomeo Schedone, La Mise au tombeau Annibal Carrache, La Vierge aux cerises
Earlier this year, the great Canadian-American photographer Robert Polidori would sneak into the Louvre at night as soon as the last visitor had gone home. Then, he would get to work. However, the museum was far from silent or empty. For several weeks, the Louvre’s staff was very busy. It had to make space for the upcoming exhibition which opened in June: Naples à Paris. The staff had to move paintings from the majestic Grande Galerie - 460 meters long - something which had never been done in the history of the institution, in order to accommodate masterpieces from Naples’ Capodimonte museum. In total, 70 paintings, drawings, sculptures, objects from the greatest XVth to XVIIth Century Italian artists - Masaccio, Titian, Caravaggio, Luc Giordano and many others. An exceptional cast in the Louvre for half a year.

Through Polidori’s lens, we are embarked in a fantastic behind the scene journey with the museum staff while it’s putting up scaffoldings, moving into storage some of the Louvre’s most famous masterpieces, their cleaning and protection, the installation of the temporary guests on these walls.

Robert Polidori is most famous for his large-scale architectural photography. He has also documented the devastation of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, in 2005. His work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York and it is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the V&A, in London and the BNF, in Paris. Jean-Sébastien Stehli

AU LOUVRE. ROBERT POLIDORI. Rizzoli. 49€, 96 pages

Naples à Paris. Le Louvre invite le musée de Capodimonte. Until January 8, 2024. Musée du Louvre.
September 16, 2023 — Jean Sebastien Stehli