The Félicie de Fauveau Works Acquired by the Historial de Vendée


19/3/13 - Acquisitions - Les-Lucs-sur-Boulogne, Historial de Vendée - The Félicie de Fauveau exhibition currently showing at the Historial de Vendée in Lucs-sur-Boulogne and which we will soon look at more closely, provides us with a chance to discover several of her works, or some representing her, acquired by this museum since it was recently created and which we had not yet commented here.


1. Félicie de Fauveau (1801-1886)
Gorget Belonging to the Duchess of Berry, 1831
Gilded Bronze - 14 x 29.3 x 30.2 cm
Les-Lucs-sur-Boulogne, Historial de Vendée
Photo : Historial de Vendée

2. Félicie de Fauveau (1801-1886)
Gorget Belonging to the Duchess of Berry, 1831
Gilded Bronze - 14 x 29.3 x 30.2 cm
Les-Lucs-sur-Boulogne, Historial de Vendée
Photo : Historial de Vendée


The first piece was purchased from the dealers Lemaire-Frossard in 2007. This gorget (ill. 1 and 2) which we doubt was ever worn, was given to Marie-Caroline, Duchess of Berry, the mother of the Duke of Bordeaux, Henri V, in 1831 by Félicie de Fauveau. We know that the artist, along with her friend, the Countess of La Rochejaquelein, whose first name was also Félicie, had participated in the uprising in Vendée in order to place the young prince on the French throne.
Cast by Emile Jeannest, this gilt bronze - previously showing colors which today have disappeared - is a remarkable example of Neo-Gothic sculpture. The front shows a representation of the Virgin and Saint Michael on either side of the Cross and the Sacred Heart. Both Félicies were particularly devoted to Saint Michael, considered the holy patron of the kingdom of France until Louis XIII’s vow in 1638. He can be found on the lamp recently purchased by the Louvre (see news item of 21/2/13) as well as in a large polychrome lithograph (ill. 3) acquired by the Historial de Vendée in 2009 from the Elstir Gallery in Paris. This was a project for a monument which was never built in memory of Louis-Charles de Bonnechose, one of their companions in arms who died in January 1832 during the uprising.


3. Pierre-Alexandre Lapret
after Félicie de Fauveau (1801-1886)
Saint Michael Slaying the Dragon with Rooster Head,
project for a monument in memory of
Louis-Charles de Bonnechose

Lithography with Gold Heightenings,
polychrome - 56.3 x 24.5 cm
Les-Lucs-sur-Boulogne, Historial de Vendée
Photo : Historial de Vendée

4. Félicie de Fauveau (1801-1886)
Portrait of Henri V in a Mandorla, 1840
Marble, polychrome, gold - 57 x 37 x 17 cm
Les-Lucs-sur-Boulogne, Historial de Vendée
Photo : Historial de Vendée


All of the marble busts executed by Félicie de Fauveau were produced in Florence where she spent the rest of her life, after the aborted coup d’état which forced her to leave France. Most of them are placed in an architectural niche which varies in form and recalls more the art of the Italian Renaissance whose examples she saw everyday rather than that of the Middle Ages. Thus, she no doubt sculpted in this way the Duke of Bordeaux, who had become the Count of Chambord, thirteen times in three different models. There are only three known replicas today, of which one (ill. 4) was acquired in 2008, also from the Elstir Gallery.


5. Anonymous (monogrammed C. C.)
Félicie de Fauveau her Studio, via Serraglie, 1862
Oil on Canvas - 30.5 x 38.4 cm
Les-Lucs-sur-Boulogne, Historial de Vendée
Photo : Historial de Vendée

6. Anonymous
Félicie de Fauveau, c.1840
Charcoal - 55.5 x 31.5 cm
Les-Lucs-sur-Boulogne, Historial de Vendée
Photo : Historial de Vendée


Besides these three works by Félicie which have joined the museum collections in the last few years, a drawing and a painted sketch representing her were also acquired by the Historial, respectively in 1995 and 2004, both from the Talabardon et Gautier Gallery. We include them here simply as a reminder and in an attempt to be exhaustive. The sketch (ill. 5) bears the monogramm C.C. though this has not yet led to an identification of the author, and represents the sculptor in her studio. The charcoal drawing (ill. 6) is also anonymous.

Version française


Didier Rykner, jeudi 21 mars 2013



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