A painting by Frere Andre for the church of Saint Thomas d’Aquin


1. Jean André, called Frère André (1662-1753)
Saint Louis Receiving the Crown of Thorns
Before restoration
Oil on canvas - 274 x 435 cm
Paris, église Saint-Thomas d’Aquin
Photo : All rights reserved

20/7/10 – Acquisition – Paris, Eglise Saint Thomas d’Aquin - Thanks to family patronage, in memory of a child, the Parisian church of Saint Thomas d’Aquin will soon welcome a large painting by the Dominican Frere Andre, a student of Carlo Maratta and Jean Jouvenet, representing Saint Louis Receiving the Crown of Thorns (ill. 1).

The work had resurfaced at an auction in December 2007 at Piasa’s where it had gone for 43.000 euros to an antiques dealer, then auctioned off again at Jean-Marc Delvaux’s in June 2009 where it remained unsold. Acquired by the family directly from the antiques dealer, it was donated to the Fondation Notre-Dame, whose goal is to promote Christian culture in Paris. The canvas has been definitely assigned to the church of Saint Thomas d’Aquin and, after being listed as a historical monument, will thus become part of the patrimony of the churches within the City of Paris whose conservation is managed by the COARC (Conservation des oeuvres d’art religieuses et civiles) which participated in designating the assigned location for the gift. Frere Andre painted several dozen works for the Dominican novitiate in Paris, for which the church of Saint Thomas d’Aquin served as a chapel. Saint Louis Receiving the Crown of Thorns was formerly in the convent’s refectory, a building which is today occupied by the Ministry of Defense and no longer accessible to the public.

2. Jean André, called Frère André (1662-1753)
Saint Louis Receiving the Crown of Thorns (detail)
In restoration
Oil on canvas - 274 x 435 cm
Paris, église Saint-Thomas d’Aquin
Photo : All rights reserved

3. Jean André, called Frère André (1662-1753)
Saint Louis Receiving the Crown of Thorns (detail)
In restoration
Oil on canvas - 274 x 435 cm
Paris, église Saint-Thomas d’Aquin
Photo : All rights reserved


The painting is currently undergoing a restoration (ill. 2 and 3). The canvas has been relined and the many repainted areas removed thus revealing a rather well preserved pictorial layer. Of particular notice is Saint Louis’ superb cloak, executed in lapis lazuli. The painting will then be mounted on a new stretcher and the pictorial layer will be reintegrated. It will be hung at the end of the year in the curch, on the inside of the façade, above the entrance portal.


Didier Rykner, mardi 20 juillet 2010



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