Referring to a previous post about painters buried at the Montmartre Cemetery, here is another one, who has got his own museum in Paris – Jean-Jacques Henner (1829-1905). Maybe not so well-known today, he was – and still is – a celebrated “sfumato” (“low contrast” like the “Mona Lisa”…) and also “chiaroscuro” (strong contrast between light and dark like Rembrandt…) painter, mostly concentrating on nudes and portraits. Here we can see Henner on a photo, on a self-portrait, on a bust (by Paul Dubois) and two of Henner’s paintings today exposed at the Quai d’Orsay Museum ... and his tomb.
The painting on the top is an example of a combination of the “sfumato” and the “chiaroscuro”. It’s called “L’Alsace, elle attend” (Alsace is waiting), painted in 1871, just after the Franco Prussian War (1870-71), where France lost Alsace and the northern part of Lorraine. This is not meant as a portrait of a specific person, but Henner was born in Alsace and the painting was a gesture of resistance and given to Léon Gambetta, a leading Republican statesman, originally a lawyer, who by the way first became known as a defender of a journalist who took the initiative to create a monument for Jean-Baptise Baudin who died on the barricades and was buried at the Montmartre Cemetery (see previous post).
On this map we can approximately see which area was concerned, an area which has gone back and forth to and from France during the centuries. It was given back to France after WWI, was somehow for a few years taken over by the Germans during WWII…
So, Jean-Jacques Henner has his own museum (Avenue de Villiers). He never lived or worked here. It was built for another painter (Guillaume Dubufe who e.g. painted part of the decoration of the famous restaurant “Train Bleu, Gare de Lyon, see previous post), but was in 1921 purchased by Henner family members to become a museum, recently renovated.
Here you can see where Henner lived from 1867 until his death in 1905, Place Pigalle.
Photos of a few other examples of portraits by Henner, taken at the museum.
… and, as usual, a map or two to make it easier to find your way, if you are interested.