A Head of Christ by Charles Daverdoing at the Musée d’Arras

1. Charles Daverdoing (1813-1895)
Head of Christ, 1844
Oil on canvas - 42 x 33 cm
Arras, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Galerie Daniel Greiner

30/10/07 — Acquisition — Arras, Musée des Beaux-Arts — Charles Daverdoing, a student of Baron Gros from Belgium, who settled with his family in Arras at the age of seven was unlucky in his legacy. Most of his works, held in religious buildings in this city and at the municipal museum, disappeared in 1914. The paintings on the cupola of the Chapel of the Virgin in the cathedral, the only mural, were also destroyed. Consequently, very little is known about the artist whose name was practically forgotten until the publication of an entry in Arras et l’Art au XIXe siècle[G. L. Marchal, P. Wintrebert, Arras et l’Art au XIXe siècle. Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, graveurs, architectes, photographes, critiques et amateurs d’art (1800-1914), Arras, 1987.]]. Even a canvas preserved in a church in the Essonne, at Etiolles, Saint Anne and the Virgin, has been lost. Nonetheless, we would like to point out the cartoon for the tapestry in the Galerie d’Apollon in the Louvre, representing Pierre Mignard, held at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Troyes (with a XIXth C. collection almost entirely in the reserves...) and a Saint Philomena at the Musée de Saint-Pol.

2. Charles Daverdoing (1813-1895)
Baptism of Christ, 1844
Oil on canvas
Formerly : Arras, Cathedral

The purchase by the Musée d’Arras of a study for the Head of Christ (from the Daniel Greiner Gallery in Paris) is worth mentioning. Without a signature, it would have been difficult to place the artist. Given the style the names of his more renowned contemporaries, Victor Orsel or Alphonse Périn, seemed more likely because of the style an of the manner in which the background is treated recalls some of the preliminary studies for the chapels at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in Paris. This head is a study for the Baptism of Christ, a painting shown at the Salon of 1844 then installed at the Cathedral in Arras, and which was destroyed as well during WWI but for which there is a photograph taken before 1914 (ill. 2).

Version française

Didier Rykner, mardi 30 octobre 2007

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