“Lumières célestes” celebrates the meeting of two cultures, the French and the Chinese, with the alliance of the diamond’s ardent sparkle and the pearl’s iridescent shimmer.
Louis-Jacques Dubois’s “Cérès” (Château de Compiègne, France) depicts the Roman goddess with a cornucopia of mixed wheat and flowers — they are equally precious to her, a deity worshipped for protecting grain crops and mother-daughter relationships. “Your Golden Hair, Margarete” (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) is a World War II-themed painting by modern artist Anselm Kiefer, based on a poem by Paul Celan.
With its vibrantly rendered straw, the work represents life cycles, fragility, and the German love of land. Impressionists and Fauvists such as Monet, Dufy, and Valtat employed an array of techniques to depict wheat, using color, texture, and pastoral themes. The 1890 work “Wheat Fields With Reaper” by Van Gogh (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio) is a beloved portrait of the grain’s importance to life in the French countryside.