Two Paintings Acquired by the Musée de Fécamp

1. Attributed to Jean de Saint-Igny
(c. 1600-1649)
Saint Ursula and her Companions
Oil on Copper - 36.5 x 28.5 cm
Fécamp, Musée
Photo : Musée de Fécamp
Fécamp, Musée
Photo : Musée de Fécamp

15/11/12 - Acquisitions - Fécamp, Musée - The new Museum in Fécamp, located in a former cannery, was supposed to open in late 2011. At least, this is what we had announced in an article published on 17 June 2010 (see article in French). Since then, delays - as is often the case in this type of project - had repeatedly come up and the inauguration is now planned for the second half of 2013.
This has not however prevented the establishment from adding to its collections and it has thus recently purchased two paintings.

The first is a work on copper attributed to Jean de Saint-Igny representing Saint Ursula and her Companions (ill. 1) in which we see the saint protecting the virgins who accompanied her in her martyrdom under her robe (a very large one since there are eleven thousand !) ; according to the Légende Dorée, they died under the arrows of the Huns.
The attribution is due to Philippe Malgouyres, one of the authors of the painting catalogue which we mentioned on this site (see article in French). He explains that this small painting presents some analogies notably with two grisailles by the artist residing at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen : The Adoration of the Magi and The Adoration of the Shepherds. It is indeed clear that this is a French painting of the first half of the 17th century, whose treatment or "faire précieux" is similar to that of contemporaneous artists such as Claude Vignon, Pierre Brébiette and Juste d’Egmont. The mention "attributed to" therefore seems to be wisely chosen. The name of Saint-Igny, which seems quite likely, should be confirmed after further reasearch on the painter.
Jean de Saint-Igny was originally from Normandy (he was born in Rouen) and the Musée de Fécamp already owned a Holy Family by him. Furthermore, an Assumption of the Virgin, signed and dated 1636, resides at the Abbaye de la Sainte-Trinité in this same city.

2. Eugène Le Poittevin (1806-1870)
View of the Beach at Etretat with Fishermen
Oil on Panel - 38.5 x 47 cm
Fécamp, Musée
Photo : Musée de Fécamp

The other painting acquired by Fécamp from the Galerie Talabardon & Gautier in Paris, is a View of the Beach at Etretat with Fishermen by Eugène Le Poittevin (ill. 2). We can see the characteristic cliffs of the coastline, so often represented by 19th century artists, notably Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet.
Le Poittevin, a student of Louis Hersent, participated in the Prix de Rome for historical landscapes but obtained only second place in 1829. He was influenced by 17th century Dutch art, specializing in seascapes, painting both genre scenes describing the world of fishermen, as well as naval battles. In the Salle des Croisades [Crusades] in Versailles, he produced The Naval Battle at Imbres as well as The Capture of Beirut where the action takes place essentially on land, with the sea visible only on the left side of the background.
This Fishermen at Etretat is typical of the artist. The beautiful Romantic landscape with the approaching storm, is close to the art of Eugène Isabey to whom Le Poittevin was often compared. Due to its subject and the treatment, this canvas also evokes those of his near-contemporary Philippe-Auguste Jeanron (see article in French).
The Musée de Fécamp already held two canvases by Le Poittevin : one served as a sign for the hotel Blanquet where Claude Monet stayed.

Version française

Didier Rykner, vendredi 16 novembre 2012

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