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Jean-Baptiste Belin

Mar - 11 - 2013
Still Life

Morceau de réception de Belin à l’Académie. Musée du Louvre

Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay,or Jean-Baptiste Blin(b. 1653 Caen, France, d. 1715 Paris ), French painter, the son of Louis Blin, who may have specialized in flower painting. Early in his life, Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay had to choose between his religion and his career.The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 forced most Protestants to flee France to escape religious persecution. Belin instead decided to renounce his faith and converted to Catholicism in order to continue his work at the court of Louis XIV, king of France.His morceau de réception, the Bust of Louis XIV (Paris, Louvre), is a supremely confident painting. Over 1.8 m high, it shows the bust set on a plinth between two columns, overlooking a vase cascading with flowers, with fruit and armour heaped together below; it brings a new spatial coherence to the genre of the ‘table-top’ still-life as represented by the work of Jacques Linard, Sébastien Stoskopff and Lubin Baugin.
Belin was the pupil of Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer, whose daughter he married, and whom he succeeded as a flower painter at the Gobelins manufactory.Belin painted floral murals in several of the royal châteaux, including Fontainebleau and Versailles, where he worked on the Escalier de la Reine (Queen’s Staircase), since destroyed. He also collaborated with other painters, providing the floral borders in portraits and for tapestry cartoons for Gobelins from 1687. Towards the end of his life, the king honored him by providing him with a pension and lodgings in the Palais du Louvre.
Élysée Palace (Paris), the Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Louvre, the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Caen, France) and Versailles are among the public collections having paintings by Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay I.
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