Where can I see the artist Nicolas de Staël’s “Parc des Princes” paintings?

Le Parc des Princes is a group of six paintings—in oil on canvas or card—created by the painter Nicolas de Staël in Paris in 1952. Painted by the artist following the 1952 France-Sweden football match at the Parc des Princes stadium, the paintings now belong to private collections.

On 26 March 1952, the artist Nicolas de Staël attended the France-Sweden football match at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. The event greatly impressed the painter, who was struck by the clash of colours and movement he witnessed on the pitch. Inspired by the match and the impression it left him with, the painter worked for days, creating multiple sketches, oils on canvas and cardboard, in small and large formats. The result was Footballeurs, a series of works exploding with colour, the climax of which was the huge canvas Le Parc des Princes (200 x 350 cm), which now belongs to a private collection. However, when the painter Nicolas de Staël presented his seminal work of art at the Salon de Mai in Paris in the same year, it was met with widespread incomprehension: critics and friends deplored the work, reproaching it for a return to figuration, which was perceived as regressive by defenders of the abstract movement. In response to this reaction, the artist said: “For me, abstract painting and figurative painting are not opposites. A painting should be both abstract and figurative. Abstract insofar as it is a wall, figurative insofar as it represents a space.” Although the painting was not very popular in Paris, it impressed the New York dealer Paul Rosenberg, who signed the artist on an exclusive contract the following year and successfully promoted his modern artworks in the United States.

Please visit the painter Nicolas de Staël’s dedicated page to learn more about the different art exhibitions presenting his paintings and works.

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