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Henri Frédéric Schopin (1804 -1880) - Manon Lescaut and d'Esgrieux
Henri Frédéric Schopin (1804 -1880) - Manon Lescaut and d'Esgrieux - Paintings & Drawings Style Henri Frédéric Schopin (1804 -1880) - Manon Lescaut and d'Esgrieux -
Ref : 111474
16 000 €
Period :
19th century
Artist :
Henri Frédéric Schopin (1804 -1880)
Provenance :
Medium :
Oil on canvas
Dimensions :
l. 18.9 inch X H. 25.59 inch
Paintings & Drawings  - Henri Frédéric Schopin (1804 -1880) - Manon Lescaut and d'Esgrieux 19th century - Henri Frédéric Schopin (1804 -1880) - Manon Lescaut and d'Esgrieux
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Paintings and drawings from the 17th to the 19th century

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Henri Frédéric Schopin (1804 -1880) - Manon Lescaut and d'Esgrieux

Henri Frédéric Schopin (Lübeck, 1804 - Montigny-sur-Loing, 1880).

Manon Lescaut and D'Esgrieux in the desert.
Salon des Artistes Vivants, Paris, 1844, no. 1615.
Oil on canvas.
Faded signature: "Sc...n" lower left.
65 x 48 cm (25 ?/? x 18 ?/? inches).

Provenance :
Collection A. Binant Collection, paintings, objets d'art and furnishings, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 April 1904, study of Mr Paul Chevalier, expert M. Durand-Ruel, no. 63.

In a rocky landscape, Manon Lescaut is bandaging the arm of the Chevalier Des Grieux. The two young men look at each other languidly. The slight blurring of the faces, Schopin's trademark, accentuates the beauty of the figures, while the velvety quality of his brushwork on the drapery lends preciousness to a scene that heralds the end of the romance between the two characters, as Manon dies of exhaustion in the desert in the background. This dramatic outcome seems to be heralded by the twilight, which tints the sky orange and bathes the scene in a soft light.

Born in 1804 in Lübeck, Germany, Henri Frédéric Schopin was initially a pupil of his father, Jean-Louis-Théodore Chopin (c. 1747-1815), a sculptor, and worked with him on the decorations for the Imperial Palace in Saint Petersburg for Catherine II of Russia. When he returned to France, he joined the studio of the history painter Antoine-Jean Gros (1771-1835) and entered the Grand Prix for painting in 1826. He won the second Prix de Rome in 1830[1] and the first prize in 1831 with his painting Achille poursuivi par le Xanthe[2]. A resident at the Académie de France in Rome, he returned to Paris in late 1834 or early 1835[3] and exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1835 to 1879. Contrary to what has sometimes been said,[4] he was not the brother of the pianist Frédéric Chopin. He added an "S" to the beginning of his surname to distinguish himself in 1831.

Schopin's academic training was steeped in neoclassicism, but he was able to adapt to his time, which was less fond of grandiloquent Davidian scenes, by exhibiting both genre and historical scenes. The artist found his clientele both through official commissions and state purchases - four paintings were chosen by Emperor Napoleon III from the artist's studio, which he visited in person in 1860[5] - and through private individuals with his small genre subjects.
His genre scenes were a great success with the public, particularly some series inspired by popular novels such as Paul and Virginie, Don Quixote and Manon Lescaut. These historiated scenes are accompanied by an extract from the book from which they are taken when they are presented at the Salon. This was the case with Manon Lescaut,[6] exhibited under number 1617 in 1844 and described as follows:

"We walked as long as Manon's courage could support her, which was about two leagues; for this incomparable lover constantly refused to stop any sooner. Finally overcome with weariness, she confessed to me that it was impossible for her to go any further. Her first concern was to change the linen on my wound, which she had dressed herself before we left"/ (Prévost).
This painting appealed to the fashionable public, as evidenced by a comment in the Journal des femmes:
"The two small paintings by M. Schopin, whose subject is taken from the novel Manon Lescaut, are two spiritually executed compositions. This painting is delightfully coquettish and brilliant"[7].
It was therefore only natural that this painting should be reproduced in engravings, notably by Hippolyte Louis Garnier as early as 1844.
See Hippolyte Louis Garnier (1802-1855) after Henri-Frédéric Schopin, Tessari et Cie, Paris, Chez J. Daziaro.

[1] Procès-verbaux de l'Académie des Beaux-Arts: 1830-1834. Fifth volume (2004). France: École des Chartes, p. 61.

[2] Ibid. p. 127.

[3] Archives of the Académie de France in Rome. Exhibit 20180611/5-136 - quittance pour les frais de retour en France, from painter Frédérick Schopin to Horace Vernet, 1 November 1834, fol. 322.

[4] Nouveau Larousse illustré, volume VII, 1904, p. 593.

[5] Catherine Granger. The Emperor and the Arts. The civil list of Napoleon III. Mémoires et documents de l'École des chartes, t. 79, 2005. Preface by Jean-Michel Leniaud, p. 622.

[6] Explication des ouvrages de peinture, sculpture, architecture, gravure et lithographie des artistes vivants, exposés au Musée Royal le 15 mars 1844, Paris, Vinchon, fils et successeur de Mme Ve Ballard, imprimeur des Musées Royaux, rue J.-J. Rousseau, n°8. 1844, n°1617.

[7] Journal des femmes: revue littéraire, artistique et d'économie domestique... No. 6, June 1844, p. 268.

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19th Century Oil Painting