Three masters of drawing Philippe de Champaigne, Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne, Nicolas de Plattemontagne (1625-1706) - Exhibition catalogue
This French catalogue was published for the exhibition Three Great Draughtsmen Philippe de Champaigne, Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne, Nicolas de Plattemontagne (1625-1706) presented at the Port-Royal des Champs Museum, Magny-les-Hameaux until June 29, 2009.
A major artist during the reign of Louis XIII, Philippe de Champaigne, who was born in Brussels in 1602, is remembered as the painter of Port-Royal.
It was from him Mother Angelica commissioned the paintings of the abbeys in Paris and the country about 1648. His daughter Catherine took the veil there and when, in 1662, she miraculously recovered after months of paralysis, the artist painted his masterpiece (Ex-Voto, now in the Louvre) for the convent.
The Musée de Port-Royal has already exhibited the works painted for Port-Royal, first in 1957 and again in 1995. The monograph exhibition in Lille and Geneva in 2007-2008 showed the paintings only. Philippe de Champaigne's drawings have never been the main focus of an exhibition.
In fact, few drawings by the artist's hand have survived - about fifty have been clearly identified. They are mostly preparatory drawings for his paintings. Drawing seems to have been a means and not an end in itself for him. However, in these portraits, such as the one of his wife, Charlotte Duchesne (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art), he manages to suggest the same strong presence as in his most accomplished paintings.
The exhibition also shows that Champaigne was an astonishing landscapist. During his stay in the valley of Chevreuse in 1654, he sketched a View of Port-Royal des Champs (Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts), one of the very few surviving seventeenth-century representations of the abbey, which was demolished in 1711. These landscapes recall the lesson he learned from his Flemish masters and their great precision reveals the pleasure he took in drawing.
In his workshop, the artist was assisted by pupils he had trained himself and even today it is difficult to distinguish their respective works.
Bernard Dorival, the founder of the Musée de Port-Royal, and the first great specialist on Philippe de Champaigne, started to study his drawings. In his exhibition on Champaigne in the Orangerie, in 1952, he showed six drawings by Philippe de Champaigne and two of his closest collaborators, his nephew Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne (1631-1681) and Nicolas de Plattemontagne (1631-1706). In the School of Philippe de Champaigne, an exhibition at the Musée d'Evreux in 2007, gave visitors an opportunity to rediscover the work of these two artists and to distinguish their individual manners.
At the same time, the publication of the catalogue raisonné which studies two hundred and seven drawings by the three men gives us a better understanding of the art of these Three Great Draughtsmen and gives each his rightful place.
- Publication :
- Avril 2009
- Diffusor :
- EDITIONS FLAMMARION
- Distributor :
- EDITIONS FLAMMARION