Two purchases from the Musée de Fécamp at the Talabardon & Gautier sale

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27/3/23 - Acquisitions - Fécamp, Musée des Pêcheries - In the first of the two Talabardon & Gautier sales already widely mentioned in our columns, the Musée des Pêcheries de Fécamp was thus able to acquire two works, as we mentioned in one of our previous article.

1. Hippolyte Bellangé (1800-1866)
Étretat. The Old Fisherman and the Little Children, 1852
Oil on pebble, in a bronze frame - Total height: 20 cm
Fécamp, Musée des Pêcheries
Photo : Ader
See the image in its page

The first one (ill. 1) is well studied, since it was the subject of a notice in a catalogue of the gallery in 2011, and was also shown in the retrospective devoted to Eugène Le Poittevin in 2020 (see article). It is not actually a work by this painter, but a gift he received from his friend Hippolyte Bellangé, probably in 1852 on the occasion of the housewarming of La Chaufferette, a villa Le Poittevin had just had built in Étretat.

View of the painted pebble, next to the painting of the same subject by Eugène Le Poittevin (1806-1870) in a private collection, reunited at the Musée de Fécamp in 2020
in the exhibition "L’invention d’Étretat. Eugène Le Poittevin.
Un peintre et ses amis à l’aube de l’impressionnisme".
Photo: Didier Rykner
See the image in its page

This small painting is executed on a pebble, from Étretat of course, and depicts a scene such as the recipient of the work might have realised: an old fisherman and two children by the sea. Moreover, a circular painting on canvas, signed Le Poittevin, of the same size and showing an identical composition, is kept in a private collection in Paris (it was also exhibited in Fécamp three years ago - ill. 2). Which artist copied the other? It is likely that Bellangé, a pupil of Gros and a painter of mainly military subjects, wanted to pay tribute to his friend by copying the latter’s work on a pebble that he had mounted on a bronze frame, probably executed by the animal sculptor Pierre-Jules Mène, who was close to the two men [1].
The museum was able to purchase this object for the modest sum of €3,200 (including fees)

3. Jean-Paul Laurens (1838-1921)
View of the Cliff of Yport
Oil on canvas - 41 x 24 cm
Fécamp, Musée des Pêcheries
Photo: Ader
See the image in its page

The second work acquired by Fécamp (for €4,480 including fees), a View of the cliff of Yport (ill. 3), is therefore also a subject related to the Normandy coast. The painting is by the history painter Jean-Paul Laurens, who often stayed in this small town. It was here that he produced the few landscapes he painted himself, which he did not exhibit and which he intended for his family or friends. Jules Claretie describes a work that he saw at the home of the writer Hector Malot, and which is perhaps this one, offered by Jean-Paul Laurens: "a cliff among others, sheer overhanging a stretch of sea. It is admirable". Jean-Paul Laurens shows himself to be an excellent landscape artist in this small oil on canvas.

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