Paul Fréart de Chantelou


Paul Fréart de Chantelou

Paul Fréart de Chantelou (1609-1694) was a French collector. He patronised and encouraged major artists of this era, in particular Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) and Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680).


=Chantelou and Poussin=

Poussin's return to Paris in 1640 would doubtless have resulted in the end of his artistic career had he not attached himself to a prestigious clientele of Parisian amateurs, among whom Chantelou was of the most influential. The two men had a long correspondence which even today provides a rich source of details on the artist's life and his artistic conception.

Among Chantelou's commissions from Poussin after his time in Paris is his "Seven Sacraments" (1644-1648), once in the collection of the duke of Sutherland and now in the store of the National Gallery of Scotland, and the famous "" (1650), now in the musée du Louvre.


=Chantelou and Bernini=

In 1665, Louis XIV, through his intermediary and minister Colbert, summoned Bernini to Paris to take part in the rebuilding of the Louvre. The king designated Chantelou to welcome him and accompany him during his stay in Paris. Chantelou kept a precise day-to-day "Journal" of this meeting - from Bernini's arrival in Paris at the start of June, to his departure five months later - survives to this day. Intended for his brother (who lived in the provinces at the time and unable to meet the sculptor in person), this "Journal" has become a source of the first importance for history and art history. It not only tells of the artist's personality and the conception of his art, but also of everday court life - this confrontation between the king of France and the most renowned Italian artist of his time reveals the king's political clout.

Bibliography

*fr icon C. Jouanny, "Correspondance de Nicolas Poussin", Archives de l'art français, Paris, 1911.
*fr icon Paul Fréart de Chantelou, "Journal du cavalier Bernin en France", ed. L. Lalanne, Paris, 1885 ; re-ed. Pandora, Aix-en-Provence, 1981. The text is available on [http://gallica.bnf.fr/ Gallica] .


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