8.2.11

Another painter buried at the Montmartre Cemetery

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.

31 comments:

Simony said...

Hello Peter, I loved the paintings.
Chiaro-scuro (light-dark) is a characteristic of the Baroque Art, isn't it? Contrasts of dark background with the pale faces and bodies make them pop out of the picture.
Sfumato (foggy) makes the not so important parts blend with the background... Like a dream.
Very beautiful technique.

Owen said...

Guess I'm going to have to add the museum to the growing list of places I've yet to discover in Paris... it is a never ending feast. Fortunately, we have a good chef in you, preparing these excellent dishes...

Seems he liked red hair... I like that ! Toulouse Lautrec did also...

Catherine said...

another fantastic post - love all these cemetery ones - and now will have the chance to see it all at first hand as will be moving to South of France in August to take up a teaching position at the International School of Monaco...

Maria O. Russell said...

Those three nudes of M. Henner's have a strong Pre-Raphaelite flavor, (red hair included) What a fantastic post, Peter! Thank you so much.

Studio at the Farm said...

Peter, thank you again for a great post. I love your photos of the museum's interior.

Olivier said...

le tres beau "train bleu", je savais pas que c'etait JJ Henner qui l'avait decore, c'est vraiment un tres beau restaurant

Jane said...

Love your posts Peter, the history described, it is a phenomenal guide in Paris. I used to live in Paris , from 1973 to 1978, beautiful years, and I still go back whenever possible. Hej med dig!

claude said...

Je ne connaissais pas du tout ce peintre, qui était vraiment un vrai artiste. Ses peintures sont magnifiques et puis si en plus il a décoré une partie du Train Bleu ....
Je vais me coucher moins bête ce soir !

Bettina said...

His portraits are really beautiful and the top one would look very nice in my livingroom ;o)
I was scrolling up and down to find the cat of the day - but NO ?

Ola said...

I did not know him but the portraits seem worth seeing

Cezar and Léia said...

The paintings are wonderful but I'm enchanted by your pictures from the "stairs", amazing angles and composition!
Very well done!
Léia

*** any kitty around?

hpy said...

Il y en a des morts! Plus on avance dans le temps, et plus il y en a.

Hotel Paris la Defense said...

Brilliant. I'm falling in love with these paintings. Compliments

Abraham Lincoln said...

Interesting post, Peter.

You were 11 in 1954 and I was 20 and overseas a year already.

ParisBreakfasts said...

I LOVE “sfumato”!!!
My all time favorite low contrast artist is
HENRI FANTIN-LATOUR
miam-miam
Wonder where HE is buried..?
I would go pay homage in a heartbeat.
I went to Lausanne to see an exhibit of his (just for one day)
Thanks for the reminder Peter

Drew Benn said...

Those portraits are remarkably striking. I love them.

Peter you should be getting paid by the tourist board to present this Blog. It's utterly enthralling and extremely insightful.

Thank you :)

ALAIN said...

Difficile de connaître tous les peintres français ! Certains tableaux rappellent un peu Toulouse Lautrec.

Cergie said...

Quel choc ! Ma tante MR avait ds son corridor une reproduction de ce tableau du haut avec marqué "elle attend" ; je l'ai demandé à mon autre tante, j'aurais aimé l'avoir, et elle ne savait ce qu'elle en avait fait et je ne l'ai pas retrouvé en débarrassant son appartement.
La rue Henner (où habitait mon fiston, tu le sais de même que Apollinaire et que maintenant il -mon fiston- est rue des Batignolles depuis vendredi dernier) est donc pas loin d'où il a vêcu...

Mo said...

Another fabulous post. Do the gallleries not mind you taking photos of the paintings?

JM said...

The top shot is so beautiful! Not only the painting but also the combination with the colours of the frame and wall.

Virginia said...

I enjoyed all of his work but the red haired nude reading I think is especially wonderful.
V

Maddalena said...

Hi, Peter!

Yes, "Pantaleon" was great, now I reccomend you "The Way to Paradise", it is about Gaugin, he wrote it in 2003, and it is a wonderful book, too.

Best regards!

Maddalena said...

ps. The cats in your earlier posts are veeery sweet! :-)

amatamari© said...

Ah, a great artist and you've seen the intensity of the painting and have photographed beautiful portraits... the first at the top is really great!!!
The Art is immortal and the Montmartre Cemetery is a great starting point!
:-)
Thanks for sharing!
:-)

caterpillar said...

Such beautiful paintings!

V Rakesh said...

Speaking for myself, I'd never feel overloaded with history!

Brilliant pictures, as ever!

Jack said...

Peter, you do so much work to benefit your viewers. What a gift!

Mona said...

like I feel always...your blog is an absolute treasure in itself!

Trotter said...

Wonderful post; I first heard of Gambetta on school when reading Eça de Queiroz and his stories of the Portuguese 19th century society, influenced by French culture and politics... But not about Henner. Always learning here!!

Jeanie said...

I am not familiar with M. Henner and am glad for the introduction. I find his paintings very calm and beautiful -- particularly the one who showed near the top of the post of the nude reading a book. As always, I learn so much when I visit you, I always leave feeling quite fulfilled!

joanny said...

Peter:

You spoil us.... C'est Magnifique! Another brilliant post of yours. Inspirational as well.

joanny