An exhibition is dedicated to Hippolyte (1809-1864), Paul (1811-1902) and Auguste (1804-1842) Flandrin, three brothers who stand out amongst the most important painters born in Lyon in the 19th century.
Undoubtedly the most famous one, Hippolyte holds a crucial role in the art world of his age, as he enjoyed a great reputation amid his contemporaries. After an initial formation at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, Hippolyte attends Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’s atelier from 1829 and becomes his favourite pupil. He devotes himself to the genre of portrait, either painted or drawn, following Ingres’ example, and is the author of an important production in this field. His younger brother Paul lives in a symbiotic bond with his elder brother, and both their careers deeply interweave until Hippolyte’s death. Very soon, the landscape emerges as Paul’s favourite area of specialization. He is also the author of portraits drawn with a refined and perceptive touch. The eldest brother, Auguste, remains lesser known, due to his early death at the age of 38 and because of a limited production.
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The exhibition aims at presenting a new point of view on the three Flandrin’s works. The museum retains the main collection of their work: it houses about 200 paintings, drawings, engravings, photographs and archive documents, a large amount of which has never been shown nor even published. The collection represents the starting point and the backbone of the exhibition, completed with numerous loans. The exhibition will be organized around seven themed sections combining collectively Hippolyte’s, Paul’s and Auguste’s works: self-portraits and mutual portraits, artistic formation, academies, history painting, landscape painting, portrait, religious decoration. The focus of the exhibition will be centred on some key-questions, in order to understand their working methods and to highlight the mutual influences and creative process of the artists. In the exhibition, the underlying feature will be the constant collaboration amongst the three brothers throughout their works.
The last section, devoted to the religious monumental paintings, will benefit from the research and the technical investigations undertaken in parallel with the restoration of the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A digitalisation of the decors will enable visitors to fully experience the chromatic variety and intensity of Hippolyte Flandrin’s work, thanks to an immersive experience.