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Isabelle de Borchgrave

Fashioning Art from Paper


Isabelle de Borchgrave (Belgian, b. 1946). Pallas, 2007. Inspired by the c. 1482 painting Pallas and the Centaur by Sandro Botticelli in the collection of The Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Mixed media, primarily acrylic, ink, metallic powder, and adhesive. Collection of the artist.

Isabelle de Borchgrave (Belgian, b. 1946). Le Noir du Roi (The Black King), 2009. Costume designed by Léon Bakst for La Belle au Bois Dormant (The Sleeping Beauty) in 1921. Mixed media, primarily acrylic, ink, metallic powder, and adhesive. Collection of the artist.

Isabelle de Borchgrave (Belgian, b. 1946). Le Cheval de Mer (Sea Horse), 2010. Based on costumes designed by Natalia Goncharova for Sadko, 1911. Mixed media, primarily acrylic, ink, metallic powder, and adhesive. Collection of the artist.

An upcoming exhibition
at Artis—Naples

February — May 2019


Fashioning Art from Paper presents the full breadth of Isabelle de Borchgrave’s exploration of historical costume through the artful folding, crumpling, painting and sculpting of paper. From masterful recreations of elaborate Renaissance gowns to whimsical costumes from the Ballet Russes, de Borchgrave’s breathtaking, life-size works have been featured in major exhibitions around the world.

The exhibition celebrates the diversity of de Borchgrave’s work since the mid-1990s, including pieces from Papiers à la Mode, a survey of 300 years of fashion history presented by The Baker Museum in 2013; her Splendors of the Medici series exploring the Italian Renaissance costumes depicted in contemporaneous paintings; and her most recent work, Les Ballet Russes, which dovetails perfectly with the Naples Philharmonic’s performances of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and The Firebird. Many of the costume designs represented in Les Ballet Russes were fashioned by artists like Picasso, Bakst and Matisse.

In addition, organizing partner Frick Art and Historical Center commissioned de Borchgrave to create a gown inspired by a painting from Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of Charlotte-Marguerite de Montmorency, Princess of Condé, from ca. 1610. Both the dress and the original Rubens portrait will be on view at Artis—Naples.


This exhibition is organized by Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum; the Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh; the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis; the Oklahoma City Museum; and the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach.

Isabelle de Borchgrave (Belgian, b. 1946). Delphos Dress and Shawl, 2006-7. Based on Delphos dress with stenciled silk belt c. 1920-1930 with a fine silk gauze shawl all-over stenciled in multi-colored floral design with Venetian glass bead trim. Mixed media, primarily acrylic, ink, metallic powder, and adhesive. Collection of the artist.

CIsabelle de Borchgrave (Belgian, b. 1946). Madame de Pompadour Court Dress, 2001. Inspired by a c. 1756 portrait of Madame de Pompadour by François Boucher in the collection of Alte Pinakothek, Munich. Mixed media, primarily acrylic, ink, metallic powder, and adhesive. Collection of the artist.

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