The Louvre Seeks Donations to Buy Chardin’s Strawberries Work

The Louvre Urges Funds to Prevent the Purchase of an Artwork of Strawberries by the Kimbell Art Museum.

Nov 14, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The Louvre
Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Le panier de fraises des bois. Courtesy of ArtCurial.


The Louvre wants to stop an American museum, the Kimbell Art Museum, from acquiring an artwork of strawberries. Overall, French still-life master Jean Siméon Chardin painted this piece. But, if the French institution wants to acquire it, then it needs to complete its fundraising endeavors. The Kimbell Art Museum resides in Fort Worth, Texas.


The Louvre Fight for Donations

The Louvre
The Musée du Louvre. Via Wikipedia


Basket of Wild Strawberries, a painting by Chardin (1761), debuted at the salon that same year. Also, the painting broke the artist’s mark last year when an unidentified buyer purchased it for $26.8 million, at an Artcurial auction. The sale far exceeded the projected $16.5 million. Also, it led the French authorities to designate the piece as a national treasure.


With this kind of legal assurance, the Louvre has two years to purchase the piece. To acquire the piece from the vendor, the French museum will have to pay the €24.4 million transaction cost. The museum also launched an appeal for donation on November 7, in which described why it’s essential to a part of this institution.


Paris Museum
Via archive.


“This famous still life, a masterpiece of the master’s art, is the last of its kind still in private hands and is in danger of leaving France”, the museum stated. The museum also stated that it is presently around two thirds of the way towards achieving its objective. This mostly comes from the significant donations, one of which came from LVMH. LVMH is the Bernard Arnault-led French fashion giant.

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“Celebrated since its creation”

The Kimbell Art Museum
The Kimbell Art Museum. Via Albert Al Azar


“With the additional support of other major donors and the Société des Amis du Louvre, a large-scale appeal for donations will be decisive in raising the further one million three hundred thousand euros needed for this purchase”, the French museum said in its statement. According to museum, the artwork has been “celebrated since its creation” and has been on exhibit in the museum during the fundraising effort.


The museum also said that the piece “possesses a unique charm and force that sets it apart from the rest of the artist’s work. This painting is one of Chardin’s masterpieces, and one of his most daring works”. The fashion conglomerate has a lengthy history of participating in the acquisition of national assets, as reported by the Observer.


caillebotte paris painting 1877
Paris Street, Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte, 1877, via Wikipedia


It is the seventh such work that the company has helped the French government acquire for public collections. Earlier this year, the company donated about $46 million to acquire Gustave Caillebotte’s painting A Boating Party (1877), which was classified as a national treasure in 2020, for the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.