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Monumental Lenepveu

The Museum of Fine Arts of Angers presents until January 8, 2023 an exhibition dedicated to Jules-Eugène Lenepveu (1819 - 1898). First Prize in Rome in 1847 with his painting "The Death of Vitellius", he directed the Villa Medici from 1873 to 1878. As famous during his lifetime as he has fallen into unjust oblivion today, Lenepveu, an exact contemporary of Courbet, remained faithful to the allegorical themes as depicted on the ceiling of the Paris Opera, before it was covered by the work of Marc Chagall in 1964.

Berthe Morisot - Julie Manet et sa chienne Laerte. 1893. Musée Marmottan Monet. Paris
Jules-Eugène Lenepveu, Hylas attiré par les nymphes, 1865, musée des Beaux-Arts d'Angers © RMN-Grand Palais, Mathieu Rabeau et Benoît Touchard

Born in Angers, this tall, shy, somewhat gloomy man found it difficult to show off to the point that Charles Garnier thought he looked like "wood, iron, hardened rubber".

A living antithesis of the Impressionists, Lenepveu advocated strict compliance with academic rules and many of his works have unfortunately disappeared.

Opéra Garnier à Paris. A gauche, le plafond de Lenepveu, à droite celui de Marc Chagall qui l'a recouvert


As if fate had not intended them to be simply destroyed, they were rec

open like the ceiling of the Opéra Garnier or the Daru staircase at the Louvre, or even partly hidden from public view, like the cycle dedicated to Joan of Arc at the Panthéon, which is found behind the sculptures that Anselme Kiefer dedicated to the dead of the Great War.

Jacques-Barthélémy Appian. Le haut du bois des roches à Rossillon. 1870.  Par Semnoz — Monastère de Brou - France
Jules-Eugène Lenepveu, Jeanne d'Arc bergère. Panthéon Paris

The exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Angers brings together 280 canvases, cartoons or drawings by the artist.


14 Rue du Musée

49100 Angers


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