Update on our current and forthcoming exhibitions

Following the obligatory closure of the Fondation Custodia in mid-March, a period of great quiet set in at 121, rue de Lille. The past couple of months have made us realise once more that it is our visitors who bring the Fondation to life. We therefore have the greatest pleasure in announcing that our exhibitions will re-open on 7 July.

Studi & Schizzi. Drawing the Human Figure in Italy 1450-1700
Anna Metz. Etchings
Siemen Dijkstra. À bois perdu

We shall be open from 12 to 6 pm from Tuesday to Sunday. The exhibitions will be extended until 6 September 2020.

In order to comply with the social distancing required to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, we have put in place a number of protective measures. The wearing of a face mask is compulsory, and we shall limit the number of visitors to the Fondation Custodia. We ask you to observe 1 metre physical distancing and to follow the instructions given by our personnel. In this way, conditions will be optimal for your enjoyment of a safe visit to our galleries.

Meanwhile, we have published the online catalogue of our exhibition Studi & Schizzi. The show presents a selection of the Italian drawings kept in our collection and for the most part assembled by Frits Lugt in only half a century.

At the same time as the exhibition, we also launched the Fondation Custodia’s online database, offering art lovers the world over access to the entire collection of Italian drawings (more than 600 objects) held within our walls.


The two exhibitions that were due to take place this summer (from 13 June to 13 September 2020), will be postponed until spring and autumn 2021.

True to Nature. Open-air Painting 1780-1870 is organised in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Around a hundred works, from these three institutions and a private collection, shed a new light on plein air landscape painting between the end of the eighteenth century and late nineteenth century. The exhibition focuses on the artists’ wish to convey the immediacy of nature observed at first hand. The artists represented include Thomas Jones, John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, Achille-Etna Michallon, Camille Corot, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, Johan Thomas Lundbye, Vilhelm Kyhn, Carl Blechen, Johann Martin von Rohden, Johann Jakob Frey, among others. The exhibition is organized thematically, reviewing, as contemporary artists did, motifs such as trees, rocks, water, volcanoes, and sky effects, and favourite topographical locations, such as Rome and Capri.

Léon Bonvin (1834-1866). Drawn to the Everyday presents the work of this draughtsman of talent who found his subjects in his domestic environment. Bonvin liked to depict bunches of wild flowers in a glass, kitchen still-lifes, and the reality of the life of the rural poor in the surrounding Plaine de Vaugirard. The image – or the myth – that has rapidly grown up around this unfortunate figure is of a misunderstood artist, obliged to take over his father’s inn in order to survive, and who put an end to his days at the age of thirty-one. The exhibition will bring together about one hundred works by Bonvin, now dispersed through prestigious private and public collections around the world.


Regarding the exhibitions you may have seen at the Fondation Custodia at the end of 2019: Willem Bastiaan Tholen (1860-1931), a Dutch Impressionist and Palézieux (1919-2012). Works on Paper, they are also extended throughout the summer, respectively at the Dordrechts Museum in the Netherlands and the Musée Jenisch in Vevey, Switzerland.


We remain at your disposal by e-mail and look forward to welcoming you back at the Fondation Custodia soon.

In the meantime, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, where we are sharing our favourite works of art from the collection, picked for you by our staff members.