The galleries of the MFAH main campus, Rienzi & Bayou Bend are open on a new schedule. Advance timed tickets are recommended. We welcome all visitors at any time. Learn more & get tickets 

Bastille Day: Celebrate French Independence with Rienzi July 7, 2020

By The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Tags: music, france, art, history, museum, houston, rienzi, mfah, bastille-day, ars-lyrica, family-activities

Sèvres - Revolutionary Cup and Saucer

Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, painted by Pierre Massy, gilded by Pierre-Jean-Baptiste Vandé, Cup and Saucer with Revolutionary Emblems and Flowers, 1794, hard-paste porcelain, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rienzi Collection, Museum purchase funded by the Rienzi Accessions Endowment and Leng Hunter in memory of John A. Matledge, Jr.

Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, Bust of Madame du Barry, c. 1771–73, soft-paste porcelain, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rienzi Collection, Museum purchase funded in memory of Caroline Wiess Law by The Brown Foundation, Inc., Isla and Tommy Reckling, Mrs. James Anderson, Jr., James A. Elkins, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. J. Cooke Wilson, Jr., Fayez Sarofim, James and Elise Reckling, Mr. and Mrs. A. Leslie Ballard, Jr., Mrs. Fred T. Couper, Jr., Mary Criner Blake, Alfredo and Celina Hellmund Brener, Rosslyn and Marshall Crawford, Ellen and Ed Randall III, Mr. and Mrs. Cliffe Reckling, Wilhelmina and Ed Smith, Jr., Mrs. Harold Stream, Jr., Sue and Bill Whitfield, Isabel B. Wilson, Jas A. Gundry, Betty Lou and John Carter, Jr., Joan and Irvin L. Levy, Harry Masterson IV, Alice C. Simkins, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Anderson, Kitty Neuhaus, Buddy English, Jr., Fran Fauntleroy, Katherine S. and George E. Howe, Carolyn and Harry Hudson, Mrs. Joseph C. Hutcheson III, Barbara and John Riddell, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Wickman, and Caroline Rotan.

Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, after a model by Louis-Simon Boizot, Bust of Louis XVI and Bust of Marie Antoinette, c. 1785, porcelain, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rienzi Collection, Museum purchase funded by the Rienzi Society, Jas Gundry, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas R. Reckling III in honor of Dr. Marjorie Horning and Mrs. Rosanette Cullen, and Lucy J. Currie in memory of Mary Ellen Carey.

Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, decorated by Jacques Fontaine, Plate, 1784, soft-paste porcelain, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rienzi Collection, Museum purchase funded by Carol C. Ballard, Rose and Harry H. Cullen, Isla and Tommy Reckling, Jas A. Gundry, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Hudson, Jr., Mrs. Thomas W. Blake, Mr. and Mrs. Rodney H. Margolis, Mr. and Mrs. David Beveridge, Harriett S. Goodman, Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff, and Maria Burke Butler, with additional funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III, by exchange.

Paul Crespin, Pair of Sauceboats, 1752–53, sterling silver, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rienzi Collection, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Rienzi Society, with additional gifts from Isla and Tommy Reckling, Windi and David Grimes, Hugh E. McGee, Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Tate, and Meg Goodman and Mike Bonini.

Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, Dinner Plate from the “Empress Catherine” Service, 1778, soft-paste porcelain, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rienzi Collection, Museum purchase funded by the Rienzi Society.

Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, gilding by Henri-Martin Prevost, Cup and Saucer, 1781, hard-paste porcelain with enamel and gilding, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rienzi Collection, Museum purchase funded by various donors in memory of Richard Luna and the Rienzi Accessions Endowment.

Attributed to Francois Herve, possibly designed by Guillaume Gaubert, Pair of Bergères, c. 1791, giltwood, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rienzi Collection, Museum purchase funded by the Rienzi Society.

Mark your calendars, Rienzi enthusiasts, for Bastille Day on July 14! Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts, is hosting virtual, art-inspired activities and entertainment to commemorate France’s national holiday.

Musical Performance by Ars Lyrica
Tuesday, July 14, 6 p.m.
Experience Ars Lyrica, a group of Houston-based musicians who specialize in Baroque-era music. Inspired by Bastille Day, this virtual performance features an array of classical French music, including Claude Balbastre’s March des Marsellois et l’Air Ça-ira (organ solo), Jean-Baptiste Barrière’s Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Continuo (Livre 1, no. 2), and Ignaz Pleyel’s Trio in D Major, Op 29.

Performed with traditional French instruments, the Balbastre and Barrière pieces, recorded at St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston, feature the harpsichord and baroque organ. The Pleyel work, recorded at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, features the fortepiano. See the performance here!

Bastille Day Quiz
Put your knowledge of French history, art, and culture to the test with this downloadable quiz featuring works of art from the Rienzi Collection: Bust of Madame du Barry, Dinner Plate from the “Empress Catherine” Service, Pair of Sauceboats, Captain Peter Hawker of the 14th Light Dragoons, Pair of Bergères.

Art Activity: Bastille Day Tricolor Cockade
Create and don your own tricolor cockade, a circular knot of ribbons fashioned after the first French cockade. Made in July 1789, it was a symbol of hope for freedom and democracy. See how to make your own cockade, using this how-to video and downloadable instruction guide.

Learn more about Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts