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Louis Boulanger. Peintre rêveur.

Louis Boulanger. Peintre rêveur. : Louis Boulanger, La Esmeralda défendue par la Sachette, 1831 ©Maisons de Victor Hugo Paris-Guernesey Paris Musées   

The exhibition

Continuing its program of Hugolian Romantics, the writer's house exhibits one hundred and thirty works by Louis Boulanger, their leader. A family son, Louis Boulanger (1806-1867) was provided with a Latin tutor, an uncle of the Devéria brothers who opened him up to painting. Thus, after his years of apprenticeship at the school of a tempered Davidism at Guillon-Lethière, he will be associated with the romantic thought broth advocating the return to history, the atomization of the hierarchy of genres by demanding the brotherhood of the arts. Romanticism in cinema format, he was noticed at the Salon of 1833 by exhibiting the tragic end of Mazeppa after Byron, before coming up against the intransigence of the jury, which refused him several times. Thus, raising the literary subject to a major genre, he became an agent of the reform that forbade actors to dress as they pleased and, as Baron Taylor's right-hand man, invented the authentic stage costume, thus participating closely in the setbacks of Hernani as well as in the success of Alexandre Dumas. Discoverer of Spain, which he traveled with Dumas, he also signed watercolors that were intended to be oil paintings, vivid portraits of a delicate intimacy and impressive decorative works for the churches of the return to grace of the Bourbon France. A beautiful exhibition which regrets the massive absence of monumental canvases by the painter, a sign of this change in taste which, during Boulanger's own lifetime, was to darken his career.

Extract from the article by Vincent Quéau published in the N°104 de la revue Art Absolument. Published February 3, 2023


10/11/2022 - 05/03/2023