Attribué à Charles-Alphonse Dufresnoy Paris, 1611 - 1665 La mort de sainte Cécile Huile sur toile

Lot 4: Attribué à Charles-Alphonse Dufresnoy Paris, 1611 - 1665 La mort de sainte Cécile Huile sur toile

Artcurial

November 14, 2016, 7:00 PM CET
Paris, France
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Description: Attribué à Charles-Alphonse Dufresnoy Paris, 1611 - 1665 La mort de sainte Cécile Huile sur toile The death of Saint Cecilia, oil on canvas, attr. to Ch.-A. Dufresnoy h: 160 w: 240 cm Commentaire : La redécouverte du corps intact de sainte Cécile, martyrisée au IIIe siècle, à l''occasion des fouilles effectuées lors de la restauration de la basilique du Trastevere à Rome en 1599, marqua durablement les esprits et fut une source d''inspiration pour de nombreux artistes présents dans la Ville éternelle dans les premières décennies du XVIIe siècle. Le premier d''entre eux fut le sculpteur Stefano Maderno qui réalisa en marbre blanc une sculpture reproduisant fidèlement la dépouille de la sainte telle qu''elle avait été retrouvée. Quelques années plus tard, vers 1615, le Dominiquin peint à fresque dans une chapelle de l''église Saint-Louis-des-Français un cycle relatant l''histoire de la sainte romaine. Les nombreux artistes français de passage à Rome purent admirer ces œuvres et représentèrent à leur tour la jeune martyre, le plus souvent jouant de l''orgue (une musique céleste entendue au moment de sa mort en avait fait la patronne des musiciens), soit dans ses derniers instants, au cours de sa lente agonie qui dura trois jours et lui laissa le temps de confier tous ses biens au pape. Jacques de Voragine relate en effet que le bourreau chargé de la décapiter n''y était toujours pas parvenu au troisième coup de hache et, la loi romaine interdisant un quatrième coup, il avait abandonné la sainte à ses souffrances. C''est ce que l''auteur de notre tableau a ici décrit, plaçant dans une architecture à l''antique sainte Cécile allongée contre une colonne, entourée de personnages venus la pleurer tandis qu''un ange descend lui apporter la couronne du martyr. Tout dans notre composition indique la dette de l''artiste envers la fresque du Dominiquin (fig. 1). Son auteur ne peut être qu''un peintre ayant séjourné à Rome et ayant pu s''imprégner de cette œuvre pour la réinterpréter sur cette toile de grand format. La rigueur apportée à la construction de cette composition, le classicisme des figures et le cloisonnement du coloris nous invitent à rapprocher cette œuvre de la production romaine d''artistes français comme Nicolas Poussin ou Pierre Mignard. Un nom s''impose plus particulièrement en examinant le tableau: celui de Charles-Alphonse Dufresnoy. Elève de François Perrier et de Simon Vouet, il séjourna longuement à Rome de 1633 à 1653 en compagnie de Pierre Mignard et fut profondément marqué par le classicisme romain des années 1630 dont son compatriote Poussin était l''un des grands représentants. Notre tableau peut ainsi être comparé à La mort de Lucrèce du musée de Kassel rendue à Dufresnoy par Jacques Thuillier1 (fig. 2). La puissance de l''architecture, la théâtralité de la composition et le sens du placement des figures dans l''espace y sont similaires. La figure de la femme drapée les deux mains jointes à droite de notre composition se retrouve inversée à l''arrière-plan à gauche du tableau de Cassel. Cette Mort de sainte Cécile viendrait ainsi poser un nouveau jalon au sein des tableaux d''histoire connus de l''artiste, dont Sylvain Laveissière a établi le catalogue dans un article de 1996². Elle témoigne de l''attraction continue exercée par la ville des papes sur les artistes français, de leur admiration toujours renouvelée pour les maîtres italiens et de leur capacité à s''en inspirer pour nourrir leur propre sensibilité. 1. Jacques Thuillier, "A propos de Charles-Alphonse Du Fresnoy : du "Maître de Stockholm" au "Maître de Cassel"", in ''La Revue de l''Art'', 1996, n° 111, p. 57 2. Sylvain Laveissière, "Les tableaux d''histoires retrouvés de Charles-Alphonse Dufresnoy", in ''La Revue de l''Art'', 1996, n° 112, p. 38-58
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Old Master & 19th Century Art

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