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De L’ombre À La Lumière (From The Shadow To The Light)

Start Date 07 May 2011
End Date 24 December 2011
Venue Musee de la Visitation
Location Moulins, France
Curator Gérard Picaud and Jean Foisselon
Exhibition display of perspex and red cases containing objects

On the occasion of its twentieth anniversary, the Musée de la Visitation is offering a new thematic exhibition devoted to the diversity of donations received by the Visitandines.

This year, the light is shining on unpublished objects with royal and prestigious origins but also more modest. This rich heritage, built up over the centuries, is made up of a set of various objects of different period, style and quality.

The main cause of this diversity lies in the spirit of humility and poverty of the Visitation. They have little financial means to buy beautiful objects and their income, fruit of their work in the convent, annuities, pensions for young girls are allocated to the temporal. An important part of the movable heritage of a community was made by the sisters themselves: small furniture, painting, liturgical cloakroom. If we can indicate the monastic origin of the works, humility within the community often makes it impossible to identify the author precisely.

The rest is often the fruit of donations which are received in respect of a word from Saint Francis de Sales: ” do not ask for anything, do not refuse anything “. These few words, often repeated by the superior to the sisters who go to the visiting room, sum up the “visitandin spirit” instilled by their founder. Filled with Visitandine humility and the necessary abandonment to Providence, this maxim explains the variety of gifts presented here.

These treasures, preciously preserved over the centuries by monasteries around the world, are on display for the first time.

In a refined and resolutely modern setting, visitors will discover exceptional objects as if they had them in their hands. As if suspended, the works are presented in light and transparent supports, putting them in full light.

50,000 visitors have already admired the richness and beauty of the Visitation heritage during previous exhibitions at the Hôtel Demoret.

From shade to light will allow the public to discover magnificent clothes embroidered by the nuns but also splendid pieces of goldsmith’s work, illuminated books, Chinese porcelain …

Press Release

Image courtesy of Musee de la Visitation, Moulins, France