Oct. 22, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government has contributed $12,500 to restore a painting by French artist Louis Boulogne le Jeune. Hédard Albert, minister of wellness, culture and sport, and minister responsible for the Francophonie, made the announcement today.
"With our financial participation, the expertise of our conserver and the team at the Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton, Présentation de Jésus au temple, which had been hidden away, has been restored to its former glory," Albert said. "Our government is proud to support this type of project. Given the unique nature of the painting, it was imperative that we ensure its protection and conservation to allow both the general public and art lovers to discover the beauty and richness of French religious art of the 17th century."
The Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport provided the support to the Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton through the fine art conservation program. Under this program, non-profit organizations possessing works that they wish to restore can receive financial assistance of up to 50 per cent of the total value of the project.
"I would like to congratulate the Université de Moncton and the Musée acadien staff, as well as conserver Adam Karpowicz, for the dynamism they have shown in restoring this piece that demonstrates so well the important role that religion and religious art played in France during the Revolution, and later in Canada and the Acadian region," Albert said.
The painting, which dates back to 1688, was sent from France in 1820 by Rev. Philippe-Jean-Louis Desjardins to his brother, Rev. Louis-Joseph Desjardins, chaplain of the nuns at Hôtel-Dieu in Québec. The work was part of a group of 60 paintings saved from the French Revolution. They are still displayed in various churches, monasteries and museums in Quebec, and, until 1969, in the church in Grande-Digue. They were intended to be sold and distributed in the parishes of the diocese of Quebec and in the Acadian regions.
Louis Boulogne le Jeune was born in Paris in 1654, and in 1725 was appointed the king's painter under the reign of Louis XV. He specialized in religious subjects, and produced several works for large French castles and such institutions as the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, Paris City Hall and the Castle of Versailles. One of his works is also found in the Louvre. He died in 1733, in Paris.
The restored painting will be part of the new permanent exhibit at the Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton, in Moncton.
MEDIA CONTACT: Vicky Deschênes, communications, Wellness, Culture and Sport, 506-457-6445.