TOULOUSE, FRANCE - The Musée des Augustins just closed the first monographic exhibition devoted to the work of a major French 17th century painter. Jacques Stella (Lyon, 1596 - Paris, 1657) Richelieu's painter. The son of a Flemish painter, Jacques Stella is documented in Florence in 1616, where he met Jacques Callot, then in Rome in 1623 where he forged an unfailing friendship with Poussin and earned his name. Having returned to France towards 1634-1635, he established links with Richelieu, also producing major church paintings.
Stella is one of the masters of French classicism. He painted numerous small paintings on precious supports (copper, slate and marble) for connoisseurs. His delicate style is immediately recognizable with slender figures, a cold palette and smooth materials. Although the chronology of the painter's works has not yet been settled and still provokes debate, the purpose of the exhibition is to bring together over 100 works, including paintings, drawings and engravings from either side of the Atlantic.
Jacques Stella is represented in the collections of the Musée des Augustins by three paintings, two are of major significance: the Mariage de la Vierge (The Marriage of the Virgin), a vast tapestry cartoon for Notre-Dame de Paris and the Repos de la sainte Famille (The Holy Family at rest), one of the jewels of Stella's intimist painting on copper.
Since 1793, the Augustins museum, musée des Beaux-arts de la ville de Toulouse, seated at the historical heart of the city in a remarkable convent building characteristic of the southern gothic style, has been home to collections of paintings and sculptures dating from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th century.
The variety and richness of the works highlight the most important movements in the history of western art. Particularly rich in sculptures, the Augustins museum owns a unique collection of Romanesque sculptures and has an equally superb ensemble of masterpieces representing southern gothic sculpture as well as numerous 19th century sculptures, representative of the vitality of artistic life in Toulouse.
Visit Musée des Augustins at : www.augustins.org/