Two Works by Louis-Nicolas Lemasle Acquired by the Musée Antoine Lécuyer

1. Louis-Nicolas Lemasle (1788-1876)
Philip II Ordering Don Carlos’ Arrest
by the Inquisition
, 1820
Ink and Watercolor - 33.5 x 26.2 cm
Saint-Quentin, Musée Antoine Lécuyer
Photo : Musée Antoine Lécuyer

12/4/12 - Acquisitions - Saint-Quentin, Musée Antoine Lécuyer - The heading " Research Announcements" is open to both students or dissertation candidates working on a subject as well as art historians preparing a book or even museums organizing an exhibition. These ads - which are free - are often extremely effective. In one case, for instance, we will enjoy the results first-hand at the Musée Antoine Lécuyer in Saint-Quentin, during the exhibition devoted to Louis-Nicolas Lemasle to be held at the end of the year. Born in Paris, Lemasle spent twelve years in Italy, including ten in Naples at the Bourbon court, then worked in Saint-Quentin (where he founded the first museum in 1833) and also in the Aisne region where he was the first inspector for historical monuments.

Thanks to the announcement placed in 2006 in La Tribune de l’Art, Hervé Cabezas, the curator of the Musée Antoine Lécuyer [1], told us he received seven useful responses, which allowed him notably to discover four works abroad, in private hands and also on the art market (two in the United States and two in Italy). An acquisition was even made possible after an art dealer from Milan, Matteo Crespi, having seen the ad, offered a large drawing by the artist which has just joined the museum thanks to funding by the BNP-Paribas bank (ill. 1). Dating from 1820, this typically ’troubador’ work represents Philip II Ordering Don Carlos’ Arrest by the Inquisition. As Hervé Cabezas explains in his entry to appear in the next issue of the Revue des Musées de France the story represented here (which inspired many authors, including Verdi), "also constitutes an episode in the history of the kingdom of Naples and Sicily where Philip II was king and, as such, the predecessor of Ferdinand I (1751-1825), the father of Léopold de Bourbon des Deux-Siciles, Prince of Salerno (1790-1850) and protector of Louis Nicolas Lemasle, painter and curator of his gallery".

2. Louis-Nicolas Lemasle (1788-1876)
The Man with the Glove, 1819
Oil on Canvas - 72.5 x 59.5 cm
Saint-Quentin, Musée Antoine Lécuyer
Photo : Musée Antoine Lécuyer

In 2010, the Musée Antoine Lécuyer managed to purchase another work by Lemasle (ill. 2), a portrait of an unidentified man, known as The Man with the Glove (it is indeed possible that the artist wished to evoke Titian’s famous painting). The canvas, of very beautiful quality, reveals the artist’s training, of which nine years were spent in David’s studio, until 1811.

3. France, XVIIIe siècle
The Execution of a Portrait in Pastel
Pastel on Vellum - 50 x 59.5 cm
Saint-Quentin, Musée Antoine Lécuyer
Photo : Musée Antoine Lécuyer

4. Maurice Raphaël Quentin Point (1875-1953)
Portrait of Jules Degrave
Red Chalk - 46 x 33.4 cm
Saint-Quentin, Musée Antoine Lécuyer
Photo : Musée Antoine Lécuyer

That same year, the museum also acquired an 18th century anonymous pastel representing a woman artist executing a pastel (ill. 3), fitting in quite harmoniously among the collection as it includes many works by Maurice Quentin de la Tour.
Finally, we would like to point out the purchase in 2010 of a large oval platter with birds in faience from the Fabrique de Sainceny, in the Aisne region, and the donation by Mrs. Monique Séverin, former archivist at the Société Académique de Saint-Quentin, of two drawings by Maurice Raphaël Quentin Point, an artist born in this city and a student of Gérôme (ill. 4).

Version française

Didier Rykner, vendredi 13 avril 2012


[1] We are grateful to him for the biographical elements concerning the artist presented in this news item.

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