A painting by François de Nomé acquired by the Musée de Metz

1. François de Nomé (1592/1593-1623/1624 ?)
View of Metz with Deploration or
View of Jerusalem with Deploration
Oil on canvas - 75 x 101,5 cm
Metz, Musées de la Cour d’Or
Photo : Musées de la Cour d’Or

11/11/07 — Acquisition — Metz, Musées de la Cour d’Or — Three years ago, the Musée de Metz had devoted an exhibition to the painters known under the generic name of « Monsu Desiderio », François de Nomé and Didier Barra. Their works are now respectively familiar enough to avoid any further confusion.

Today, one of the canvases displayed at that show (at the time it was in a private collection in Metz) has just been acquired by the museum from the Jean-François Heim Gallery in Paris. The title is View of Metz where the city is represented as Jerusalem, with the two thieves still crucified and Christ taken down from the Cross in the foreground on the left. Although Didier Barra had specialized in these panoramic views somewhere between a “veduta” and a topographical map, this work is by François de Nomé whose style of representing monuments is easily recognizable. The Musée de Metz owned only two works by François de Nomé until now : The Destruction of Cairo and Daniel in the Lions’ Cage.

2. East of France, c. 1450-1460
Angel of Annunciation
Jaumont limestone
Metz, Musées de la Cour d’Or
Photo : Musées de la Cour d’Or

The museum made a second acquisition this year, an Angel of the Annunciaton (ill. 2). This sculpture “shares several stylistic features” - particularly the hair sculpted on the head-with a Saint Jean from Ars-sur-Moselle, deposited by the Musée national du Moyen Age in the Metz museums, as well as with a Saint Sebastian discovered in Metz, which entered the collections in 1886 and with a second Saint Jean acquired in 2002. It is also close to a group ’from the workshop of the Madonnas of Metz’ [1], in reference notably to a Virgin with Child from Vic-sur-Selle", according to Anne Adrian.

Let us point out that she was formerly curator at the Musée de Moulins, and has, since last March, taken the position of “scientific director of the museums in Metz”, assisted by another curator who heads the archeological collections (Olivier Caumont, who will assume his position in November), and by a curatorial attaché, Raphael Mariani, who arrived a year ago. In the last few years, in fact, the museums in Metz have been directed by an administrator, not by a curator. Daniel Lucas was named in 2002. He was kind enough to explain the museum’s management to us and assured us that he did not meddle in scientific decisions, which we by no means doubt. Still, this little known case proves that the practice, which we have talked about regularly, of doing away with curators to direct a museum, has been applied precociously in Metz.

Version française

Didier Rykner, dimanche 18 novembre 2007


[1] H. D. Hofmann, Die lothringische Skulptur der Spätgotik, Sarrebruck, 1962.

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