Wednesday, April 1, 2015

15 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Today, January 3, is Saint Genevieve's Day, With Footnotes - 162

Puvis de Chavannes
L'Enfance de Sainte Geneviève" (detailles), 1876 - 1878

St. Genevieve (422-512), was born at Nanterre, a village on the outskirts of Paris, during the time of Attila the Hun. She was a shepherdess, the only child of Severus and Gerontia, hardworking peasants. She was seven years old when Saint Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, was visiting the village with Saint Lupus, on their way to great Britain to combat the heresy of Pelagius. Seeing Genevieve in the crowd, Bishop St. Germain laid his hands on her head, and asked if she wanted to give herself to the Lord. Genevieve said “Yes!” Her mother opposed her decision, which angered Genevieve tremendously. Genevieve’s mother was struck blind until she was forgiven by her daughter. Taking a gold coin from his purse, Saint Germanus gave it to her, telling her to keep it always as a reminder of that day and of God to whom her life belonged.

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (14 December 1824 – 24 October 1898) was a French painter best known for his mural painting, who came to be known as 'the painter for France'. He became the co-founder and president of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and his work influenced many other artists, notably Robert Genin. Puvis de Chavannes was a prominent painter in the early Third Republic. Émile Zola described his work as "an art made of reason, passion, and will" More on Pierre Puvis de Chavannes 

Flemish School, late 16th century
Saint Genevieve keeping her sheep, from 1575 until 1600
Carnavalet Museum, Paris

Sainte Genevieve watching over her flock protected by a stone circle. When she did not destroy these prehistoric megaliths, the Church tried to Christianize the symbols "diabolic"

Flemish painting flourished from the early 15th century until the 17th century. Flanders delivered the leading painters in Northern Europe and attracted many promising young painters from neighbouring countries. These painters were invited to work at foreign courts and had a Europe-wide influence. Since the end of the Napoleonic era, Flemish painters had again been contributing to a reputation that had been set by the Old Masters. More FLEMISH SCHOOL

Charles Sprague Pearce (1851-1914)
Sainte Genevieve, c. 1887
Oil on canvas
82 x 66 in
Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, USA

On the deaths of her parents, she went to live with her godmother Lutetia in Paris, where she became a nun and dedicated herself to a Christian life. (Coincidentally, "Lutetia" was the former name of the city of Paris). She experienced visions and prophecies, which initially evoked hostility from Parisians--to the point that an attempt was made to take her life. But the support of Germanus, who visited her again, and the accuracy of her predictions eventually changed their attitudes. (Germanus also corrected some of her harsher penances during this visit.)

Charles Sprague Pearce (October 13, 1851 – May 18, 1914) was an American artist. Pearce was born at Boston, Massachusetts. In 1873 he became a pupil of Léon Bonnat in Paris, and after 1885 he lived in Paris and at Auvers-sur-Oise. He painted Egyptian and Algerian scenes, French peasants, and portraits, and also decorative work, notably for the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress at Washington. He received medals at the Paris Salon and elsewhere, and was made Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, decorated with the Order of Leopold, Belgium, the Order of the Red Eagle, Prussia, and the Order of the Dannebrog, Denmark. More on Charles Sprague Pearce

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553)
Detail from Saints Genevieve and Apollonia, c. 1506
This painting is part of the group: The St Catherine Altarpiece: Reverses of Shutters
Saint Genevieve of Paris holds the candle which she miraculously relit. On the brooch at her neck are the alpha and omega signs.
Oil on lime

120.5 x 63 cm
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London

She loved to pray in church alone at night. One day a gust of wind blew out her candle, leaving her in the dark. Geneviève merely concluded that the devil was trying to frighten her. For this reason she is often depicted holding a candle, sometimes with an irritated devil standing near.

Lucas Cranach the Elder (c. 1472 – 16 October 1553) was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, whose cause he embraced with enthusiasm, becoming a close friend of Martin Luther. He also painted religious subjects, first in the Catholic tradition, and later trying to find new ways of conveying Lutheran religious concerns in art. He continued throughout his career to paint nude subjects drawn from mythology and religion. He had a large workshop and many works exist in different versions; his son Lucas Cranach the Younger, and others, continued to create versions of his father's works for decades after his death. Lucas Cranach the Elder has been considered the most successful German artist of his time. More Lucas Cranach the Elder

Unknown seventeenth-century Artist
Saint Genevieve, Defender of Paris
Musée Carnavalet, Salle Henri III, Paris

In 451, When Attila the Hun approached Paris, with the help of Germanus' archdeacon, she upbraided the panic-stricken people of Paris who wanted to leave town. She reassured the people that they had the protection of heaven. Many of the inhabitants lost heart and fled in panic, but Geneviève again gathered the women around her, and led them out on to the ramparts of the city, where in the morning light and in the face of the spears of the enemy they prayed to God for deliverance. Providentially, the same night, the invader turned south to Orleans. 

Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes (1824 - 1898)
St. Genevieve Bringing Supplies to the City of Paris after the Siege  - Pierre Puvis de Chavannes
Paris, Pantheon

When Childeric I ( 440 – 481/482) (A Merovingian king of the Salian Franks)  besieged the Paris in 464 and conquered it, she acted as an intermediary between the city and its conqueror.  

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (14 December 1824 – 24 October 1898) was a French painter best known for his mural painting, who came to be known as 'the painter for France'. He became the co-founder and president of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and his work influenced many other artists, notably Robert Genin. Puvis de Chavannes was a prominent painter in the early Third Republic. Émile Zola described his work as "an art made of reason, passion, and will" More on Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

St. Geneviève

Geneviève took a boat and rowed out alone (more likely at the head of a company) upon the river into the darkness to Arcis-sur-Aube and Troyes. She slipped silently and secretly past the lines of the enemy, landing at dawn far outside the city, where she went from village to village imploring help and gathering food, and returned to Paris--again successfully evading the enemy--with eleven boatloads of precious corn. (Other sources say that nightly she captained eleven barges to collect grain in the Champagne region.)

François-Louis Dejuinne  (1786–1844)
Clovis 1st king of the Franks (465-511), c. 1837
Oil on canvas
Height: 145.5 cm (57.2 ″); Width: 92 cm (36.2 ″)
Palace of Versailles

On the death of Childeric, his son Clovis succeeded him and consolidated control of the land from the Rhine to the Loire.( c. 466 – c. 511) (The first king to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler. He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, c. 466 – c. 511) was the first king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler. He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty.) He married Childeric's elder daughter, Clothilde.

François-Louis Dejuinne (1786–1844) was a French painter. He was born in Paris in 1786, and learned the art of painting under Girodet. He visited Rome, where he studied the works of Titian, Paolo Veronese, and other great masters. He died in Paris in 1844. His paintings were mostly historical; among them are the 'Ascension of the Virgin ' and 'St. Geneviève' for Notre-Dame de Lorette, and 'The Four Seasons' for the Trianon Palace. More on François-Louis Dejuinne

Pierre-Louis Delaval (1818)
 "Sainte Clotilde urging Clovis before the battle"
Chapelle Sainte-Geneviève

Geneviève became his trusted counsellor. Clovis entered a harsh battle and promised to be baptized, if he should win. He won and under the influence of Geneviève, he converted in 496. His people and servants followed suit.

Pierre-Louis Delaval, born April 27, 1790 in Paris where he died around 1870, is a French painter.

A pupil of Girodet-Trioson , Delaval began at the Salon of 1810 with two historical pictures which had him included in the small number of artists exempted from conscription by imperial decree. A compliant imitator of his master in his early days, he showed, in the second half of his career, the qualities of colorist and draftsman who could have classified him among the masters if they had been developed by a more vigorous temperament.

Delaval painted mainly history and religious subjects. The historical galleries of Versailles also owe him many portraits. He obtained a second medal in 1817. More on Pierre-Louis Delaval

Master of Saint Giles (d. 511)
The Baptism of Clovis, c. 1500
National Gallery of Art, Washington

This was painted about a thousand years after Saint Rémy baptized the Frankish King Clovis, thereby converting him to Christianity. Master of Saint Giles has transferred the historic event from Reims to the interior of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, thus providing the earliest known record of the interior of the famous, still extant, building.

By the time she died King Clovis of the Franks had grown to venerate the saint. It was at Geneviève's suggestion that Clovis began to build the church of SS. Peter and Paul in the middle of Paris, where they interred her body. Later the church was renamed Sainte Geneviève and it was rebuilt in 1746.

The Master of Saint Giles was a Franco-Flemish painter active, probably in Paris, about 1500, working in a delicate Late Gothic manner, with rendering of textures and light and faithful depictions of actual interiors that show his affinities with Netherlandish painting. It is not clear whether the Master of Saint Giles was a French painter who trained in the Low Countries, or a Netherlander who emigrated to France.

His pseudonym was given him by Max Friedländer, who reconstructed part of the anonymous painter's oeuvre, starting from two panels that were part of the lefthand shutter of an altarpiece, and two further panels, now in Washington, from the same altarpiece. The hand of an assistant can be discerned in the Baptism of Clovis at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. All four panels have, or had, single grisaille figures of saints (Saints Peter, Giles, Denis and an unidentified bishop-saint) in niches, imitating sculpture, on the reverse. The Washington pair, which were in poor condition, have been separated and are lost, although photographs exist. Undoubtedly there were further panels, whose subjects cannot be guessed, as the combination of scenes is original. More on The Master of Saint Giles

Church of St. Genevieve, Paris
Miracles performed at her tomb made her and the Church famous all over France:

Gabriel François Dean, (1726–1806)
Miracles of the Ardents, c. 1773
Church of St Genevieve at St Roch

Miracle des Ardens or burning fever (ergot-poisoning) in 1129. Bishop Stephen of Paris had her shrine carried through the streets in solemn procession. Many thousands of the sick who saw or touched the shrine were immediately cured, and only several deaths from the plague were said to have occurred thereafter.

Gabriel François Doyen (1726 – 5 June 1806) was a French painter, who was born at Paris.

He became an artist against his father's wishes, becoming a pupil at the age of twelve of Charles-André van Loo. Making rapid progress, he obtained at twenty the Grand Prix de Rome, and in 1748 set out for Rome, then visited Naples, Bologna and, crucially, Venice. While in the latter city Doyen was greatly influenced by the work of the famous colourists, such as Titian.

In 1755 he returned to Paris and, at first unappreciated and disparaged, he resolved by one grand effort to achieve a reputation, and in 1758 he exhibited his Death of Virginia. It was completely successful, and procured him admission to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. Doyen was also influenced by Peter Paul Rubens after a visit to Antwerp. This influence is, perhaps, best displayed in his Le Miracle des ardents, painted for the church of St Genevieve at St Roch (1767). This painting was exhibited in the salon of 1767. In 1776 he was appointed professor at the Academy.

During the initial stages of the French Revolution he became active in the national museum project; however in 1791 he left France for Russia on the invitation of Catherine II of Russia. He settled in St Petersburg, where he was much honoured by the Imperial family and Russian art establishment. He died there on 5 June 1806. More on Gabriel François Doyen

Maurice Quentin de La Tour
Portrait of King Louis XV, c. 1748

Louvre Museum

In 1741, Louis XV came to her church to thank her for a cure wrought at her intercession.

Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, (born Sept. 5, 1704, Saint-Quentin, France—died Feb. 17, 1788, Saint-Quentin), pastelist whose animated and sharply characterized portraits made him one of the most successful and imitated portraitists of 18th-century France.

Early in his youth La Tour went to Paris, where he entered the studio of the Flemish painter Jacques Spoede. He then went to Reims, Cambrai (1724), and England (c. 1725), returning to Paris to resume his studies in about 1727.

In 1737 La Tour exhibited the first of a splendid series of 150 portraits that formed one of the glories of the Salon for the next 37 years. He was able to endow his sitters with a distinctive air of charm and intelligence, and he excelled at capturing the delicate play of facial features. In 1746 he was received into the Academy and in 1751 was promoted to councillor. La Tour was made portraitist to the king in 1750, a position he held until 1773. La Tour retired at age 80 to Saint-Quentin. More on Maurice-Quentin de La Tour

Jean-Pierre Houël, (1735–1813)
Prise de la Bastille/ The Storming of the Bastille, c. 1789
In the center is the arrest of Bernard René Jourdan, governor of the Bastille, and his wife
Height: 50.5 cm (19.8 ″); Width: 37.8 cm (14.8 ″)
Bibliothèque nationale de France

When the Bastille was taken, people again came to thank her. In 1790, the Commune went to her church for Mass.

Jean-Pierre-Louis-Laurent Houël (28 June 1735 – 14 November 1813) was a French painter, engraver and draftsman. During his long life Houël witnessed the reign of Louis XV, the French Revolution, and the period of Napoleon's First Empire.

He was born at Rouen into a family of prosperous artisans, who sent him to the city's drawing academy when he was fifteen.

He was exposed to the art of early Dutch and Flemish painters, which was to have a defining impact on his chosen specialty of landscape painting. In 1758 Houël published a book of landscape engravings, and in 1768 he painted six views of the Duc de Choiseul's country estate, the Château de Chanteloup. The following year his influential patrons secured a place for him at the French Academy in Rome. Here, captivated with Italian customs, landscapes, and ancient sites, he traveled throughout southern Italy, making gouache drawings, which he presented at the Paris Salons of the early 1770s, exhibits that drew the attention of a wide public.

He spent the years 1776 to 1779 traveling in Sicily, Lipari, and Malta, after which, based on his journey, he published a series of four volumes of lavishly illustrated travel books (1782–1787). Houël's main intention was to illustrate local topography, but his delicate applications of watercolor also magnificently captured the effects of light and atmosphere. To help finance these projects, he sold his preliminary drawings in Paris in 1780. Louis XVI purchased 46, and Catherine II of Russia, more than 500, of which 260 are preserved at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

In his later years Houël published two illustrated treatises on elephants. Drawings of other animals suggest he was preparing to publish further zoological works; however, his death at the age of seventy-eight cut short his plans. More on Jean-Pierre-Louis-Laurent Houël

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