Restoration of the cycle of the Life of Christ by Laurent Pécheux at the Collégiale de Dole


26/6/09 – Restoration – Dole, Collégiale – Between 1762 and 1781, Laurent Pécheux produced an ensemble of twelve paintings for the collegiate church in Dole. This cycle, representing the life of Christ, was still in place in the nave and the choir. The condition of the works was particularly serious (ill. 1) and it had become necessary to do a basic restoration. It has just been completed and the paintings have been hung up again (ill. 2). A small book has been published at the same time narrating the history of the cycle and of their restoration.

1. Nave of the collegiate church in Dole
(before restoration of the paintings by Laurent Pécheux)
Photo : All rights reserved

1. Nave of the collegiate church in Dole
(after restoration of the paintings by Laurent Pécheux)
Photo : Samuel Monier


Building for the church started in 1509, and it was enhanced in the 18th century by the addition of a choir screen then by the installation of new baptismal fonts and an organ. The paintings by Pécheux were commissioned by the canon Claude-Antoine de la Marre (1691-1773). The first composition was a Crucifixion (ill. 3) installed in 1765, followed by The Resurrection of Christ (1765), The Adoration of the Shepherds and The Adoration of the Magi (1765), The Annunciation (ill. 4) and The Presentation at the Temple (1769) ; Pentecost and The Last Supper were installed in 1774. The canon de la Marre had died the year before and the commission was then continued by the Dole city council with four paintings, including three copies : The Transfiguration after Raphael and The Resurrection of Lazarus after Salvatore Rosa (1779), Jesus among the Doctors of the Law, an original composition and The Descent from the Cross after Volterra (1779).

3. Laurent Pécheux (1729-1821)
The Crucifixion, 1762
Oil on canvas - 457 x 350 cm
Dole, Collegiate church
Photo : All Rights Reserved

4. Laurent Pécheux (1729-1821)
The Annunciation, 1767-1768
Oil on canvas - 457 x 350 cm
Dole, Collegiate church
Photo : All Rights Reserved


5. Laurent Pécheux (1729-1821)
after Salvator Rosa
The Resurrection of Lazarus, 1779
Oil on canvas - 457 x 350 cm
Dole, Collegiate church
Photo : All Rights Reserved



This ensemble of canvases is, on the whole, of excellent quality. They are inspired mainly by sources from the 16th and 17th centuries : Raphael and Correggio, Annibale Carracci, Rubens and Le Brun notably. This in no way prevents the artist from reflecting his era, as his work falls perfectly within Roman painting of the second half of the 18th century, particularly as related to the art of Pompeo Batoni. Pécheux in fact spent most of his career in Italy, first in Rome starting in 1753, then in Turin where he settled in 1777 and then died. We look forward to the exhibition planned by the Musée de Dole on Laurent Pécheux in 2010.

Sylvain Laveissière, Sylvie de Vesvrotte, Bénédicte Gaulard and al., Un grand décor peint du XVIIIe siècle restauré. Le cycle de la vie du Christ de Laurent Pécheux à la collégiale de Dole, Edition Association des Amis des musées du Jura, 2009, 5 €. ISBN : 2-910598-28-4.

Version française


Didier Rykner, vendredi 26 juin 2009



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