Some Internet websites

1. Charles de la Fosse (1636-1716)
A detail of the Christ on the ceiling on the Versailles chapel
Screen shot from the virtual visit of the chapel

19/5/10 – Internet websites – The château de Versailles is currently showcasing an exhibition highlighting the castle’s successive chapels. A virtual visit has been posted here for the occasion, allowing viewers to admire the décors executed by Antoine Coypel, Jean Jouvenet and Charles de La Fosse (ill. 1) for the ceiling in the slightest detail, however only by clicking in the small circle at the centre of the vault marked “See the vaulted ceiling in very high resolution…”.
A system based on a similar principle offers a visit of the Sistine Chapel on the Vatican website. We also point out the website where many other monuments can be seen in the same manner, but with a less precise definition than for the Versailles chapel.

2. Guillaume-François Colson (1785-1850)
The spirit of evil
is hurled into
the abyss after the
arrival of the Messias

Oil on canvas – 335 x 250 cm
Châlons-en-Champagne, cathedral
Photo : DRAC Champagne-Ardennes

The DRAC Champagne-Ardennes recently posted three interesting websites. Two present respectively the cathedrals in Reims and Chalons-en-Champagne. They present the history and architecture but a bit superficially, especially as relates to furnishing objects some of which are only shown and illustrated. For example, in Chalons viewers can see a photograph of a superb 19th century painting by Colson (ill. 2) but learn nothing about the work and need to go to the Base Mémoire to know that the canvas is by Guillaume-François Colson, exhibited at the Salon in 1833, was restored in 2000 and listed in 2002. On the other hand, the Annunciation by Jacques Wilbaut (1729-1816) is accompanied by an entry but is not reproduced.

The department of conservation for the Eure region has posted an important database of its heritage, both real estate and furnishings. We find it unfortunate that this very useful work, both for art historians as well as for amateurs, is not more user-friendly, often the case on many Internet databases. Hopefully, these flaws will eventually be corrected. The fields “Author” and “Title or iconography” should be based on the lists of authors and titles used in the database, in the first case, allowing users to access all of the artists represented in the Eure region and not have to search at random, and in the second to use the terms entered in the database, as these are not necessarily standardized. Furthermore, results appear by groups of ten only, making it impossible to consult anything a bit more extensive. Finally, small illustrations do not show up in the lists, nor do artists’ names, so that users then need to click systematically on the result until realizing that the work in question is perhaps of no interest [1].

3. Giovanni Serodine (1600 ?-1630)
Seneca ?
Oil on canvas - 93 x 101.7 cm
Le Mans, Musée Tessé
Photo : Musée Tessé

We had at one time mentioned the posting of theRépertoire des tableaux italiens (Repertory of Italian paintings) by the INHA (see news item of 23/6/08). Since then, this database has added two other regions : Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Pays-de-Loire. In browsing through them quickly, we found unpublished works, some of which we present below.
In the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, there are three paintings held at the Abbey of Sainte-Marie du Mont des Cats in Godewaersvelde, a Christ Praying by Jacopo da Empoli, a Moses Striking the Rock attributed to Ciro Ferri, as well as a Mary Magdalene attributed to Cavaliere d’Arpino.
The Pays-de-Loire region, it seems, offers even more, particularly at the Musée Tessé in Le Mans where a Seneca (?) attributed to Giovanni Serodine (ill. 3) has been identified, as well as a Jesus Turned over to the Executioner attributed to Jusepe de Ribera, a Virgin with Child with Saint John the Baptist ascribed to Denys Calvert and also Orpheus and Eurydice attributed to Ubaldo Gandolfi. At the Musée du Vieux-Château in Laval (a museum where all of the fine arts collections are in storage…), there is a Virgin with Child by Raffaello dal Colle from the Campana collection.
Finally, two anonymous 17th century paintings belonging to religious organizations can be seen : Saint Francis Praying Before the Crucifix in the cathedral in Le Mans and an Adoration by the Shepherds from Genoa at the church of Saint-Serge in La Boissière, Mayenne.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mercredi 19 mai 2010


[1] The author’s name in fact does not appear right away as users have to click twice to reach the entry. However, browsing from entry to entry is then very fast.

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