Eugène Appert

( 1814-1865 )


Eugène Appert was born in Angers. After finishing classical studies in his hometown and then in Paris, he pursued a career as a painter. Eugène Appert obtained, as early as 1834, a card allowing him to copy the paintings held in the musée du Louvre. The most recent biography on Eugène Appert indicates that he was a student of Jean-Dominique Ingres as soon as 1827. His first contribution with Shepherd playing with a tortoise, at the Paris Salon, dated from 1837. From his training with Ingres, Eugène Appert learnt the prevalence of drawing . In 1841, Eugène Appert took advantage of a trip to Italy to request a commission from the French State. He copied The Assassination of Saint Peter Martyr by Titian in Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice. An internal note from the French Administration anticipated the success of the young painter: “(...) the nature of his studies and his great taste for the Venetian School of painting are the guarantees of the success he represents”.The original painting by Titian was destroyed in a fire in 1867. The precious copy made by Appert held, until then, in the Church of Saint-Armel de Ploërmel, was bought for a significant sum (10,000 fr) in 1872 in order to be exhibited at the Musée des Copies in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. 

Eugène Appert’s participation to the Salon des Beaux-Arts in Paris and in Angers was regular from 1837 to 1865. The painter received a 3rd class medal after his participation at the 1844 Salonwhere he exhibited The Vision of Saint Orens, a religious painting commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior, and Bathers in the lagoons. His paintings shown at the Salons were often the result of State commissions or acquired after their display.Eugène Appert was very soon successful. Many of his paintings entered the French public collections during his lifetime 

During the Second Empire, Eugène Appert’s career took a new turn as he focused on monumental painting. His decorative panels “of foliage, fruits, flowers, and birds of the greatest taste” for the dining room of Achille Fould Minister of State’s private mansion (rue du faubourg Saint-Honoré) was described by art critic Edmond About as a“feast of the eyes”.Eugène Appert was appointed to the rank of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in August 1859.This was followed by the commission of six decorative lintels representing birds for Empress Eugénie’s green salon, the ceiling decoration for the blue salon at the Palais des Tuileries, and the painting of the ceiling of the large dining room of the apartment of the Ministry of State at the Palais du Louvre, carried out in 1860-1861. 

The Confession at the Convent
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