Notes to Reader

This catalogue is composed of entries on 106 French paintings and pastels made between 1600 and 1945 in the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The catalogue is arranged chronologically by artistic movement. Within each movement, the paintings are arranged in alphabetical order by artist’s name. Multiple paintings by the same artist appear in chronological order. In instances in which paintings were created as a pair or series, they are discussed in a single entry. Each painting or pastel has a curatorial entry by new or established scholars interpreting the subject and/or iconography and contextualizing the art within the artist’s career. The author’s name and the date of publication follow each catalogue essay. Some closely related artworks will be combined into a single entry. Conservation technical entries document how each work was constructed and the state of preservation of the artwork. Detailed provenance, related works, exhibition history, and bibliographic references appear at the bottom of each entry page.

Object Information

Each entry is preceded by object information arranged as follows:

Artist’s name, followed by nationality and life dates in parentheses
Primary title
Alternative titles (if applicable)
Object date
Medium and support
Dimensions of the unframed picture in inches followed by centimeters in parentheses; height precedes width
Signature and inscription (if applicable)
Credit line and accession number

Spelling of artists’ names and constituent names usually follow the Getty Research Institute’s Union List of Artist Names (ULAN). Unless a definitive authority (such as birth certificate) dictates otherwise, first names of French people born before 1789 are not hyphenated, except for names derived from saints (e.g., Jean-Baptiste). First names of French individuals born during or after 1789 are hyphenated. In most cases, the primary title of the painting is the earliest known title, often the English translation of the original French title. Alternate and variant titles may derive from exhibition catalogues from the first showing of the work in France or America, contemporary reviews of early exhibitions, catalogues raisonnés of the artist’s work, or variant titles given by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. A date range (i.e., 1873–1874) means that the painting was begun and finished within that timeframe. A forward slash (/) indicates that the artwork may have been painted at either the first or the second date. Single dates given with a “ca.” (circa) indicate that the painting was probably executed within a span of five years preceding or following the date. A span of dates accompanied by “ca.” indicates that the painting was executed sometime within those years. A backslash ( \ ) in the signature or inscription transcription indicates a line break.

Provenance

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art uses a variation of the provenance format suggested by The American Alliance of Museums Guide to Provenance Research (Washington, DC, 2001). Provenance is listed in chronological order, beginning with the earliest known owner. Methods of transaction and the relationship between owners, if known, are indicated at the beginning of each line. If the mode of transaction is not known, the line begins with the constituent’s name; if the next constituent is a dealer, the line begins with the word “with” to denote their commercial status. Life dates in parentheses are given for non-dealer constituents. The city in which they owned the artwork is also listed. Collectors active during the World War II era (1933–45) are an exception, in which case all cities where they lived are listed. The French word “née” indicates someone’s maiden name. When an agent acts as a representative of a buyer for a financial transaction, their name begins with the word “through.” Dates of a constituent’s ownership, when known, are indicated at the end of each line. Uncertain information is preceded by the terms “possibly” or “probably.” Footnotes are used to document or clarify information.

Related works are subdivided into four categories:

  • Related Works (including pendants, commissioned series or suites, and variants of the same subject)
  • Reproductions (including reproductive prints contemporaneous with the artwork)
  • Preparatory Work (including painted and drawn studies that show demonstrable similarities with the Nelson-Atkins painting)
  • Copies (including painted and drawn works)

Exhibitions

Exhibitions are listed chronologically from earliest to latest. When no catalogue could be found or one does not exist, the term “no cat.” is used. The term “unnumbered” is used if the artwork appears unnumbered in a catalogue. If it is known that the painting was lent to the exhibition, but the painting is not listed in the catalogue, the term “hors cat.” is used.

Bibliographic References

Bibliographic references are cited using the “Notes and Bibliography” format of the Chicago Manual of Style and are organized chronologically from earliest to latest. For publications with the same publication year, date-specific references (e.g., monthly or weekly periodicals) are listed first in chronological order. Annual periodicals follow, organized alphabetically. Other publications from that year are ordered alphabetically by last name of author or, if the author is unknown, by the title of the article or publication. Journal articles citing an exhibition follow the related exhibition catalogue (noted with the abbreviation “exh. cat.”). If it is possible but unconfirmed that a text cites a painting, the adverb “possibly” precedes the bibliographic reference. If a publication has more than three primary authors or editors, only the first author is listed, followed by “et al.” When a reference has been reprinted, the abbreviation “repr.” appears in the citation. Numbers listed at the end of a bibliographic reference indicate the page(s) on which the artwork can be found. Page numbers in journal supplements are preceded by the letter S. Citations of catalogues raisonnés include “no.” and “p.,” which indicate the catalogue number and page number(s) respectively. For a citation from two or more volumes in a multivolume edition, the volume numbers plus a colon and the appropriate page numbers are listed (i.e. 2:194, 4:41). The term “(repro.)” indicates that the artwork is reproduced in the publication. The term “[sic]” indicates that the word or phrase before it is quoted exactly as it stands in the original.

Technical Entries

The conservation technical entries include descriptions of the work’s support, preparatory layers, and technique, and a brief overview of its condition and treatment history. Each artwork was unframed for study under normal lighting conditions and with the following examination methods: stereomicroscope with magnifying power up to 80x, ultraviolet illumination, raking illumination, specular illumination, and infrared reflectography. X-radiography was undertaken only for those paintings that showed evidence of underlying paint textures or other intriguing questions that would benefit from this examination tool. Wood identification for panel supports is estimated unless otherwise stated. Artworks that were extensively studied using scientific analysis are described in the extended technical entry. Palette identification and media analysis could not be completed for every artwork. Technical imagery was produced by the conservators and scientists, unless otherwise stated.

Electron-Beam-Excited X-ray Spectrometry

EDAX energy-dispersive Si(Li) drift detector. Spectra were collected and processed via an iXRF Corporation multichannel analyzer and iXRF’s Iridium software.

Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

Mattson Galaxy 5020 FTIR with Quantum external microscope attachment using a liquid-nitrogen-cooled MCT detector. Spectra were collected over 128 scans at a resolution of 4 cm-1.

Infrared Examination

Infrared examination was initially performed using a Hamamatsu C1000-03 vidicon camera, fitted with a B-2606-10 lead sulfide tube and Nikon 55 mm lens, a C1000-03 camera controller, and a Tektronics 634 monitor. Unless otherwise stated, reflected infrared digital photographs were captured using a Nikon D300 IR modified camera with Kodak Wratten 87C filter (pre-2020); or Nikon D700 UV-VIS-IR modified camera with Kodak Wratten 87C filter (2020 onward).

Macrophotogrammetry

Images were captured using a fixed Nikon D800 with Nikkor 105 mm macro lens, two Flashpoint Blaz 300 strobes and a movable, wall-mounted easel that provides incremental vertical and horizontal movement of the artwork. Images were processed using Agisoft Metashape version 1.5.5.

Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM)

Nikon Microphot FXA-POL microscope, using 4×, 10×, 20×, 40×, 60× and 100× oil-immersion, planapo objectives.

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Leo1550 SEM, utilizing a Schottky FEI source and both secondary and backscatter electron imaging modes. Fracture sections and particulate samples were adhered to conductive carbon tape. Both fracture sections and embedded cross sections were rendered conductive by coating with vacuum-evaporated carbon prior to examination. Beam-accelerating voltage was typically 20 kV for backscatter imaging. Secondary electron imaging of low-density structures was conducted at 12 kV when necessary.

Stereomicroscopy and Photomicrographs

Stereomicroscopy was conducted on every artwork using Leica M8, M10, MZ APO, or M80. Photomicrographs were captured using a Nikon D850 camera in conjunction with the Leica M8 and the CamRanger Mini wireless tethering image capture, or with the Leica M80.

Raman Spectroscopy

Chromex Senturion dispersive Raman spectrometer, using 785 nm excitation. Spectra were collected in Stokes mode over the range of 180 cm-1 to 1680 cm-1, with resolution of 4 cm-1.

Reflected Light Microscopy (of cross sections)

Olympus modular wafer-inspection microscope, equipped with fixed and rotatable polarizing filters, using brightfield/darkfield, infinity-corrected 5×, 20×, 50×, and 100× LMPlanfl objectives.

Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI)

Images were captured using a Nikon D600 camera with 105 mm lens, a handheld flash unit, and two reflecting balls. Algorithmic rendering of images was accomplished with RTI Builder 2.02 software.

Ultraviolet-Induced Visible Fluorescence Examination

Examinations were conducted in the longwave UVA (320-400 nm). Two sets of UV lights were used: Philips TL40W RS F40T12 BLB (two banks each with two bulbs) and WildFire VioStorm VS-60 60W 365 LED UV Lights. Ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence images were captured using a Nikon D700 camera with Heliopan BG 38, Pica 918, and Kodak Wratten 2E filters; or a Nikon D800 camera with Pica 918 and Kodak Wratten 2E filters.

Ultraviolet-Induced Visible Light Fluorescence Microscopy (of cross sections)

Nikon Microphot FXA microscope, using 4×, 10×, 20×, and 40× planapofluor objectives with a Nikon UV20 filter block (UV excitation, full visible spectrum emission).

Visible light photography

Normal light, raking light, and transmitted light images were captured using UV-VIS-IR modified Nikon D700 with polarized light and Heliopan BG 38 filters; or a Nikon D800 with polarized light filter.

X-radiography

X-radiographs were produced using a Lorad LPX 300 industrial liquid cooled X-ray unit with a kilovolt range from 10 kV to 300 kV. The image was captured with Kodak Industrex AA film or digitally, using Fujifilm FRC Fuji IP cassette Type CC, depending on the resolution requirements of the artwork.

X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF)

Handheld, portable Bruker TRACER 5i (Rhodium X-ray tube).

X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF) Elemental Mapping (also called MA-XRF)

Elemental mapping to discern the distribution of different pigments in the painted composition was completed using an instrument built in-house in collaboration with the Laboratory of Molecular and Structural Archaeology (CNRS/Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris). It uses a 4-watt X-ray tube with palladium transmission-target (Moxtek) collimated to 0.7 mm, coupled with a 70 mm2 SSD X-ray detector, preamplifier, and multichannel analyzer (Amptek X123 spectrometer). The effective spot size on the painting has a diameter of 1 mm. X-ray spectra were acquired at 1 mm intervals by rastering the instrument over defined areas up to 300 x 300 mm with two Thorlabs LDS stages under software control written in python. Peak fitting, background subtraction, and graphical results were extracted using the open-source program PyMca.

Revision History

Any revisions or corrections made to this publication after the first edition date will be listed on the About page and in the project repository at https://gitlab.com/nelsonatkins/catalog-french-paintings, where a more detailed version history is available. The revisions branch of the project repository, when present, will also show any changes currently under consideration but not yet published here. The data in the catalogue is not certified or warrantied by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, its curatorial staff, or its research affiliates. Any derivative representations or conclusions are drawn by the reader at their sole responsibility.

The Nelson-Atkins welcomes any information that might help to clarify the provenance or interpretation of artwork in its collection. For inquiries and questions, please contact the museum at FrenchPaintings[at]nelson-atkins.org or Curatorial Division, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO 64111.

doi: 10.37764/78973.6.60