The photos in which Seydoux appears are suspected to have been shot at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, which is hosting “Monet Mitchell,” an exhibition that places Mitchell’s work alongside that of French Impressionist Claude Monet, whom the American artist counted as a major inspiration. The Fondation, a contemporary art space that opened in 2014, is owned by Vuitton’s parent, the luxury conglomerate LVMH.
Christa Blatchford, director of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, told the New York Times she was “shocked” to see the ads. Blatchford says she twice denied requests from the company to use Mitchell’s art in a campaign last winter, despite an offer of a donation from LVMH chief Bernard Arnault, one of the wealthiest people in the world. Blatchford lamented the lack of separation between the Fondation Louis Vuitton and the brand, noting that the Joan Mitchell Foundation typically turns down all requests for commercial use. “We have not done it for anybody,” she said. “We have never done a cease-and-desist letter, either.”