Paul Joseph CARPAY (Liège, 1822 - Liège, 1892)
One more angel in Heaven
Oil on canvas
35 x 35 cm
With an unknown father, Paul Joseph bears the name of his mother, Françoise CARPAY. With a sibling of three, CARPAY is the grandson of Léonard Joseph CARPAY (1759-1834), painter and decorator, with whom he probably had to learn the basics of his art.
After his marriage in 1841 with a young German, with whom he had three children, CARPAY entered the Academy of Liège in 1842 and obtained in 1846 the first prize of the Academy, class of painting. Parallel to his studies, he already painted sets in Liège for the Théâtre du Gymnase and Théâtre Royal. In 1847 and 1848, he went to Rome to complete his training.
Upon his return in 1848, he launched himself professionally successfully so that he found himself everywhere in Liège both in religious buildings (Grand seminar of Liège, Saint-Jacques church, Saint Catherine church, Saint Barthelemy church, Saint Antoine church...) that public (Provincial Palace of Liège, Casino of the Beautiful Wall with Grivegnée ...) or private (Castle Saint-Gerlach in Valkenburg, Castle of Bethlehem in Maastricht, Castle of Vien in Anthisnes, Castle of Sart in Marneffe ...).
The reputation of CARPAY went beyond the borders of the city of Liège. He worked, among others, at Spa (baths and casino), Verviers (Society of Harmony), Brussels (Palace of the Count of Flanders), Maastricht, ...
Paul Joseph CARPAY participated in several Salons including Liège in 1847 and 1850 or Brussels in 1848.
The artist died on January 27, 1892 in Liège. He rests in his imposing mausoleum at the cemetery of Robermont, work of the architect MONSEUR and surmounted by a large bronze band by Léon MIGNON.
After his death, many of his works will still be presented at the Salon de Liège in 1895.
A street in Liège bears his name in the district of Droixhe.
We can cite some comments on the qualities of CARPAY, like the example of his contemporary Auguste CHAUVIN, another Liège painter known at the time: "The works of this kind accomplished by several alumni of our Academy stand out enough that we do not may omit to mention their names in the arts. Mr. CARPAY, talented draftsman, sometimes even goes beyond the narrow conditions imposed on decorative painting."
Or, Jules BOSMANT, in Painting and Sculpture in the Land of Liège from 1793 to the present day (Mawet, Liège, 1930) who says of him: "The decorators are entitled to more consideration. One of them, CARPAY, was a painter of great talent who showed in a difficult and bounded by the convention, a great originality and a beautiful independence ..."
Concerning our painting, the motif of the dead child in his white shroud resumes almost identical to the one used by CARPAY in his famous painting of 1851 entitled "One more Angel in Heaven" today preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts of Liège . Probably a creative search of the artist on small format before the final work to the more consequent size...