A Special Study Exhibition on Auguste Morisot at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon


1/8/12 - Exhibition - Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts - In 2007 and 2008, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon enriched its collections through acquisitions and donations with an ensemble of stained glass windows, drawings (ill. 1) and watercolors by the painter and glassmaker Auguste Morisot, a native of this city who taught at the school of Fine Arts. The special study exhibition now being held on this artist provides us with the opportunity to take a closer look at this unfamiliar figure and the additions to the museum collections which we had not mentioned at the time due to lack of information.


1. Auguste Morisot (1857-1951)
A Portrait of the Glassmaker
Paul Nicod Reading
, 1883
Pencil, Ink Wash - 30 x 23.5 cm
Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

2. Auguste Morisot (1857-1951)
Sun Rays on the Uphill Path, circa 1910
Oil on Canvas - 116 x 73 cm
Marguerite and Paul Dini’s Collection
Photo : Didier Rykner


Set in a very pleasant layout, the exhibition shows us an extremely endearing and skilled artist. Known mainly as a painter (ill. 2) in a style often close to that of the Nabis and particularly Maurice Denis, he also produced stained glass windows (and cartoons for them) which now decorate buildings and homes in Lyon, not to mention designing many pieces of furniture (ill. 3).


3. Auguste Morisot (1857-1951)
Armoire with Decorative
Glass Elements Inserted
, 1883
Oakwood, Wrought Iron, Stained-Glass - 111 x 171 x 45.5 cm
Suisse, Private Collection
Photo : Didier Rykner

4. Auguste Morisot (1857-1951)
Armchair for the Hôtel Neyron de Champollon, 1910
1974 photograph, just before
the building was destroyed
Lyon, Société académique d’architecture lyonnaise


5. Auguste Morisot in front of the Fireplace
at the Hôtel Neyron de Champollon
Photo : D.R.

The exhibition presents his masterpiece in the field of decorative arts, the interior of the Hôtel Neyron de Champollon. This residence, built between 1882-1885 was entirely decorated and furnished by Morisot from 1902 to 1917 (ill. 4 and 5). The building (apart from the architecture itself) was in fact meant to be an art work as a whole like others produced during that period : decorative paintings, stained glass windows, furniture, wood paneling were all designed by Morisot and executed under his supervision by local craftsmen...The photographs from the period show the fine quality of the ensemble equal to that of the most beautiful Art Nouveau productions. Incredibly, it was entirely destroyed in 1974 with no apparent explanation. Everything seems to have disappeared and the catalogue does not say much more. In fact, we regret the fact that it is generally so brief, offering only three short essays. We were left without a clear idea of Auguste Morisot’s career and work, with no further help either from the extremely succint entries.
Again, we find it unfortunate that the exhibition was not accompanied by a more complete publication. Nothing is said about his other decorative arts projects, not much about his paintings or stained glass windows (ill. 6). Readers will need to consult the limited bibliography at the end, though for the most part references to articles in little known journals (or in unpublished theses or dissertations), to know a bit more.


6. Nicod-Jubin studio, after a drawing attributed to Auguste Morisot
Four Glass Walls, 1916
Colored Glass, American Glass, Lead, Grisaille Painting
212 x 55 cm (for each glass wall)
Paris, Musée d’Orsay
Photo : Didier Rykner


We will therefore simply reproduce some of the very beautiful works recently acquired by Lyon, mainly stained glass windows and preparatory studies for stained glass, but unfortunately with no other information as to their intended location, history or place in the artist’s career.


7. Auguste Morisot (1857-1951)
The "becquée" with self-portrait, circa 1899
Pencil, Chinese Ink and Watercolor - 20.4 x 7.9 cm
Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

8. Auguste Morisot (1857-1951)
The "becquée", circa 1900
Stained Glass - 29.3 x 81 cm
Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon


9. Auguste Morisot (1857-1951)
Two Studies for the Stained-Glass
Window "Wake"
, vers 1899
Pencil, Gouache, Watercolor - 15.9 x 17.5 cm
Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

10. Auguste Morisot (1857-1951)
Watch, before 1902
Stained-Glass - 26.5 x 78.5 cm
Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Didier Rykner


11. Auguste Morisot (1857-1951)
A Study of Woman Nursing, before 1916
Black Chalk, Watercolor, Gouache - 16.5 x 25.3 cm
Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

12. Auguste Morisot (1857-1951)
A Study of Woman Nursing, before 1916
Black Chalk, Watercolor, Gouache - 16.5 x 23.4 cm
Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon


Curators : Salima Hellal and Laurence Berthon

The exhibition runs from 23 June to 24 September 2012.


Collective work, Auguste Morisot (1857-1951), 2012, Editions Fage, 2012, 19€. ISBN : 9782849752647.


Visitor information : Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 20 place des Terreaux, 69001 Lyon. Tel : 00 33 (0)4 72 10 17 40. Open every day, except Tuesday, from 10 am to 6 pm, Friday from 10:30 am to 6 pm. Admission (including permanent collection) : 7€ (reduced : 4€).

Version française


Didier Rykner, lundi 13 août 2012



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