Art: Braque at the Louvre

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Of the artists who decorated the ceilings in Paris' famed Palais du Louvre, the two best remembered are the 19th century masters Ingres and Delacroix. Last week news leaked out that a third big name is about to be added. France's spry old (70) Georges Braque, currently breaking new ground with a show of his latest (and surprisingly airy) paintings in Manhattan, has recently been asked to design a large ceiling for the Louvre's ornate Salle Henri II.

Just what Braque has in mind for the Louvre no outsider knows. The Louvre itself would only confirm that Painter Braque "has been approached. We are awaiting his proposals." But there is no doubt that the conservative old Louvre wants (and is likely to get) something modern yet rich and restrained enough to match the room's display of Etruscan pottery. Said a friend. "Braque was chosen because he, among all living painters, is most representative of the modern trend in French art."