Presentation of a painting by Martin Freminet acquired by the Louvre through donation

Martin Fréminet (1567-1619)
St Martin’s Charity
Oil on canvas - 345 x 235 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : D. Rykner

1/4/08 — Acquisition — Paris, Musée du Louvre Saint Martin’s Charity, a rare painting by Martin Freminet acquired in 2007 through a tax donation, has just been put on display at the Louvre where visitors can enjoy it in room 16 on the second floor of the Richelieu wing.

We would like to refer our readers to the article by Cecile Scaillierez in the latest issue of the Revue des Musees de France – Revue du Louvre [1]. We will simply point out the importance of this canvas for early XVIIth century French painting, not only for its quality but also because paintings by this artist of the Second School of Fontainebleau are extremely rare in museums. Except for another retable at the Musee de Gap, the Adoration of the Shepherds, and the décor of the Trinity chapel at the château de Fontainebleau, only the four Evangelists and the four Fathers of the Church of the Musee d’Orleans are acknowledged as being by the artist. To this, we should add the six modelli in camaieu for the chapel at Fontainebleau, oil on canvas glued on cardboard, owned by the Department of Graphic Arts at the Louvre.
There is no information concerning where the retable, which turned up in 1997 and was sold by the Eric Turquin Gallery in Paris, was supposed to be installed originally. The attribution was made by Pierre Rosenberg and Jean-Pierre Cuzin. Before entering the Louvre, it had been in two private collections.
Dominique Cordellier identified a preliminary study for the head of the beggar among the anonymous Nordic drawings at the Louvre.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mardi 1er avril 2008


[1] Cécile Scailliérez, La Charité de saint Martin de Martin Fréminet entre au Louvre par dation, Revue des Musées de France. Revue du Louvre, 1-2008, p. 6-9.

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