A Gathering of Artists on the Banks of the Saône

Information sur l’artiste
Antoine Duclaux [Lyon, 1783 - Lyon, 1868]

Date de l’œuvre
Antoine Duclaux, Halte des artistes lyonnais à l'île Barbe, 1824.
Antoine Duclaux,
Halte d'artistes au bord de la Saône, 1824.
Image © Lyon MBA - Photo Alain Basset

Thirteen artists are gathered around the painter Antoine Duclaux himself in this group portrait, a manifesto for the Lyon School. The scene is set against a backdrop of the banks of the Saône near l’île Barbe, upriver from Lyon. Fleury Richard, wearing a hat, is surrounded by the painters Jean Marie Jacomin, Augustin Thierriat, Michel Genod, Anthelme Trimolet, Étienne Rey, Claude Bonnefond, and Hector Reverchon, the sculptor Jean François Legendre-Héral, a musician, and a writer. Richard, their older contemporary, who had been the professor of painting at the city's Fine Arts School, where they had all studied, had been forced to step down from his position a few months earlier in favour of Pierre Révoil, henceforth his rival. It would appear that Duclaux wanted to state his support for the professor by portraying him as the leading figure of the young generation of artists who were beginning their careers and gaining recognition at the Paris Salons.

Duclaux made a strong statement about his sense of local belonging with this painting, so much so that it was considered a founding act: the concept of the 'Lyon School' was penned by the critics from this moment on. Choosing a landscape rather than a studio setting enhances the intention behind the composition. It puts the emphasis on working in the open air, to the extent that the artist depicted himself in the background in his own self-portrait, surrounded by all the paraphernalia of the modern landscape artist.

Artwork label
Description de l’œuvre

Oil on canvas
H.  86.7; L. 130.3 cm
Purchased from the artist in 1825
Inv. A 142