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|Title: ||"Les Caravage de Philippe de Béthune"|
|Authors: ||Fowler, Virginia|
|Supervisors: ||Marr, Alexander|
|Keywords: ||The Enigma of Philippe de Béthune's Caravaggio paintings in the French town of Loches-en-Touraine|
La Cène à Emmaüs
L’Incrédulité de Saint Thomas
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Philippe de Béthune
St Antoine, Loches-en-Touraine
|Issue Date: ||2010|
|Abstract: ||This thesis will investigate the impact of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
(1571-1610), on French patrons and his reception among French artists and collectors
in the early seventeenth century, focusing on “les Caravage de Philippe Béthune,” two
paintings which are currently on display at the “Chancellerie” in Loches-en-Touraine in
central France. The paintings, La Cène à Emmaüs and L’Incrédulité de Saint Thomas
are important because they were the first Caravaggesque paintings to be introduced to
France when Philippe de Béthune brought them back from Italy in 1605.
French interest in Italian paintings had fallen into decline during the sixteenth century,
largely as a result of the breakdown in diplomatic relations with Rome due to the
French Wars of Religion (1558-98), and the continued hostilities with Spain. “Les
Caravage de Philippe de Béthune”, are therefore significant in the history of French art
collecting and are fundamental to this project.
One of the principal aims of this study is to assess the importance of Philippe
de Béthune (1566-1649) as an early French collector of modern Italian paintings.
Béthune was first introduced to Caravaggio’s dramatic and psychologically powerful art
during his first period of office (1601-1605) as the French Ambassador to Rome,
through his professional relationship with Cardinal Del Monte, one of Caravaggio’s
important early patrons.
This study will discuss the polemic surrounding the attribution of Béthune’s
paintings to Caravaggio and examine the comments made by leading art experts
regarding “Les Caravage de Philippe de Béthune,” together with the difficulties faced by conservators when trying to establish the true authorship of paintings. Caravaggio was an
extremely popular and highly commercial artist in his own lifetime and consequently his
work was much copied. This study will therefore investigate the culture of copying
during this period.|
|Publisher: ||University of St Andrews|
|Appears in Collections:||Art History Theses|
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