Monday, June 09, 2008

Pardons in Brittany

Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret (French, 1852–1929)
The Pardon in Brittany 1886
Oil on canvas; 45 1/8 x 33 3/8 in. (114.6 x 84.8 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret (1852-1929)
Les Bretonnes au Pardon 1887
Oil on canvas 125 x 141 cm
The Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon

In the mid 1880s and in the 1890s, Dagnan-Bouveret turned to religious themes. These became increasingly more visionary and supernatural during the early years of the 20th century. Spiritual themes reflected Dagnan's determined turn toward religious revivalism.

It also reflected the powerful influence of his wife whose own devout Catholicism was influential in moving Dagnan toward some of his religious themes. Dagnan's paintings found favour due to tthe Catholic Revival in France.

Both paintings have the look of exact photographic verisimilitude. They are the high point of his Naturalist technique.

Dagnan-Bouveret visited Brittany in 1886 to gather first-hand information in preparation for his first Brittany theme: The Pardon in Brittany. It was exhibited at the 1887 Salon. He worked from models dressed in Breton costume.

In the late 1880s Brittany attracted great interest from painters, amongst others. Many studied the culture of the region and recorded the religious ceremonies that had remained unchanged for centuries. Among these devotional processions were the Brittany pardons

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