Libourne Launches a Fundraiser for a Study by Princeteau

17/4/14 - Fundraiser - Libourne, Musée des Beaux-Arts - We all remember the major restrospective at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Libourne, at the time under the direction of Marguerite Stahl, highlighting René Princeteau (1843-1914), staged in various chapters between 2007 and 2009 (see articles of 5/6/09 and 5/8/09). Known mainly today for having been Toulouse Lautrec’s master, this painter who was born and died in Libourne (Fronsac to be precise) enjoyed a brilliant career in Paris.

1. René Princeteau (1843 – 1914)
Uhlan Patrol Surprised by a Sniper Ambush, 1871-1872
Oil on canvas - 50 x 110 cm
Private collection
Photo : D. R. (domaine public)

2. René Princeteau (1843-1914)
Uhlan Patrol Surprised by a Sniper Ambush, 1872
Oil on canvas - 195 x 430 cm
Libourne, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Véronique Schiltz

This year, the one hundredth anniversary of Princeteau’s death, the museum, headed by Thierry Saumier since 2010, is launching a fundraiser in order to acquire an oil study held in a private collection and on offer at 10,000€ (ill. 1) : it is preparatory for a famous monumental canvas exhibited at the Salon of 1872, acquired by the French state and deposited in Libourne in 1875, A Uhlan Patrol Surprised by a Sniper Ambush (ill. 2). Princeteau fought in the war of 1870-1871, serving in the artillery corps of the Loire army. We can see that the final composition is already in place in the study. The various horses seem to decompose the fall of just one animal. The whiteness of the snow underscores the interaction of the bodies, both of the men and the horses, black outlines and bay coats. In fact, this work appears to repeat the theme of the divertissements hippiques which had become Princeteau’s specialty, transforming it into an equestrian history painting, whereas the dark tones prefigure the peasant world which the artist depicted much later in his canvases. A horse enthusiast, he represented elegant equestrian scenes, hunts and steeplechases, in the vein of Alfred de Dreux, before turning his interests to a more rustic universe.
The museum owns an extensive ensemble of works by René Princeteau - about thirty paintings, over 200 graphic works - including sketches and preparatory drawings for A Uhlan Patrol, as well as ten sculptures. Thierry Saumier explained that of the 10,000€ needed to acquire this oil study, about 6,500 have already been raised.

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Bénédicte Bonnet Saint-Georges, jeudi 17 avril 2014

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