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 Merry-Joseph Blondel



Merry-Joseph Blondel        Pages: 1

(b Paris, 25 July 1781; d Paris, 12 June 1853).

French painter. After an apprenticeship at the Dihl et Guerhard porcelain factory in Paris, where he was taught by Etienne Leguay (1762–1846), Blondel moved to Jean-Baptiste Regnault’s atelier in 1802. He won the Prix de Rome in 1803 with Aeneas and Anchises (Paris, Ecole N. Sup. B.-A.) but did not go to Rome until 1809, when he stayed there for three years. After gaining a gold medal in the Salon of 1817 for the Death of Louis XII (Toulouse, Mus. Augustins), Blondel embarked on a wide-ranging and successful career as official decorative painter. In addition to the decoration of the Salon and of the Galerie de Diane at Fontainebleau (1822–8) and the ceiling of the Palais de la Bourse ( Justice Protecting Commerce, sketch, 1825; Dijon, Mus. Magnin), he received commissions for several ceilings in the Louvre, of which the earliest and most remarkable is in the vestibule to the Galerie d’Apollon (The Sun or the Fall of Icarus, exh. Salon, 1819; in situ). The ceiling painting in the Salle Henri II (the Dispute between Minerva and Neptune on the Subject of Athens, exh. Salon, 1822) was removed in 1938, while those in the Salles du Conseil d’Etat, France Victorious at Bouvines (1828) and France Receives the Constitutional Charter from Louis XVIII (1827), are still in place. These monumental allegorical compositions belong to the tradition of David, which by the 1820s had become academic, and display more learning than originality.


Portrait of Felicite-Louise-Julie-Constance de Durfort, Marechale de Beurnonville


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