At its founding in 1718, New Orleans was named for the French Regent, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans (1674–1723). A formidable personality, Philippe II’s legacy is his patronage of the arts: architecture, painting, furniture, music, dance, and theatre. In celebration of the tricentennial of the city that bears his regal title, NOMA will present an exhibition of selections from the Duke’s magnificent collection. This international loan exhibition will bring together masterpieces by Veronese, Valentin, Poussin, Rubens, and Rembrandt that formerly graced the walls of the Palais Royal in Paris.

The quality of the Orléans Collection was universally praised during Philippe II’s lifetime and its stature is attested by the astounding 772 paintings inventoried at his death. Although originally bequeathed to the duke’s heirs, in the 1790s the family hastily sold the collection to raise money during the French Revolution. The subsequent sales became a watershed event in the history of collecting and museology. The exhibition and its accompanying scholarly catalogue will explore exceptional aspects of the collection through four guiding themes: the Palais Royal and its grand redecoration as a center for the arts and exchange in Paris; the diplomatic and personal display of the collection in public and private spaces; the Duke of Orléans’ personal taste and psychology as a collector; and the fame and impact the collection had for contemporary visitors, artists, and collectors in Paris.

No exhibition of this fascinating subject has been undertaken and this project offers an exceptional opportunity for new scholarship, with a catalogue structured to maximize scholarly research and publish new research about Philippe II’s collection. The catalogue by Vanessa I. Schmid, NOMA’s Senior Curator of European Art, and nine contributors, presents for the first time in over a century a comprehensive analysis of this extraordinary collection.

NOTE: An uncharge of $8 will be required to view The Orléans Collection. Wednesdays will be FREE for all visitors from Louisiana courtesy of The Helis Foundation, and NOMA members receive free admission year-round.

The Orléans Collection is organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art and is sponsored by the City of New Orleans; New Orleans & Company; Samuel H. Kress Foundation; Hyatt Regency New Orleans and 1718 Events; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Robert Lehman Foundation, Inc.; Zemurray Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. John Bertuzzi; Catherine Burns Tremaine; 2018 NOLA Foundation; Delta Airlines; Pelham Communications; Jean and Buddy Bolton; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph C. Canizaro; Susie and Michael McLoughlin; Sally E. Richards; and Mr. and Mrs. Robert John Axtell Williams. Additional support provided by French Heritage Society; Dr. Edward Levy, Jr.; E. Alexandra Stafford and Raymond M. Rathle, Jr.; Jason P. Waguespack; Robert and Millie Kohn; Wayne Amedee; Honorable Steven R. Bordner; Nell Nolan and Robert E. Young; and Charles L. Whited, Jr.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.






Venus and Amor


Alessandro Allori (Italian, 1535–1607)

Oil on panel

71 1/4 x 102 3/4 in.

Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France, © Musée Fabre de Montpellier Méditerranée

The Meeting of David and Abigail


Guido Reni (Italian, 1575–1642)

Oil on canvas

61 1/4 x 64 1/2 in.

Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.

The Mill


Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669)

Oil on canvas

34 1/2 x 41 9/16 in.

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Widener Collection, Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

Precious Recognized

late 1660s

Godfried Schalcken (Dutch, 1643–1706)

Oil on panel

7 3/8 x 12 5/16 in.

National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Purchased 1898, Photo © National Gallery of Ireland

Ecstasy of St. Paul


Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594–1665)

Oil on panel

16 3/8 x 11 7/8 in.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida, Florida State University, Sarasota, Museum purchase

Six Tuscan Poets


Giorgio Vasari (Italian, 1511–1574)

Oil on panel

52 x 51 5/8 in.

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Portrait of a Woman with a Dog


Paolo Caliari (called il Veronese) (Italian, 1528–1588)

Oil on canvas

41 5/16 x 30 7/8 in.

Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain