Splendeur du Baroque

Biographies

Nicolas-Augustin de la Croix d'Azolette (Proprières 1779, Lyon 1861)
Head of the Roman Catholic seminary of Lyon, he asked for the creation of the Institution of the Priests of Saint-Irénée, called the "missionaries of the Carthusian monks" and he became its first leader in 1816.
Vicar of Saint-Bruno from 1817 to 1823, he tried to reassemble the furniture of the church. He installed in 1817 the barriers which are before the altars of the side chapels and bought the bells which continue to ring still today.
Named archbishop of Auch in 1840, he finished his life in a cell of the cloister of the Carthusian monks in Lyon.

Bon Boullogne (Paris 1649-1717)
Author of the painting "Saint-Bruno in the desert" of the sacristy
Professor at the Royal Academy, he worked for the Great Trianon and the churches in Paris. His art is a transition between the 17th century spirit created by Le Brun and the noble art of the 18th century, here represented by Tremolières, Brenet, etc.One of his masterpieces can be seen in Lyon: "The Adoration of the three wise men" locaded in the Saint-Just's church.

Nicolas-Guy Brenet (Paris 1728-1792)
Author of the painting "The pacified storm" of Sainte Philomene's Chapel
A pupil of François Boucher, Brenet is the renovator of the "monumental genre" of historical and virtuous painting in the second part of the 18th century.
Living in Rome since 1756, he began showing his work in the Salon de Paris in 1763 and thereafter never stopped composing great and noble religious paintings for several churches in France; two series of them exist in the region of Lyon: in the church of Saint-Chamond and that of Pont de Vaux, both originating from the Charterhouse of Montmerle.

Saint Bruno (Cologne vers 1035, Serra San Bruno 1110
A bright theologian, he trained at the University of Reims several disciples and embraced monastic life in 1080. He founded in June 1084 the Great Carthusian Monastery with six fellows under the protection of the bishop of Grenoble, Hugues de Chateauneuf. The discipline of solitude he imposed upon himself and his followers is in keeping with the movement of monastic renewal of the 10th and 11th centuries. His attempt to create a monastic order was undoubtedly inspired by some Italian precedents at the beginning of the 11th century: Camaldoli, Fonte Avellana, Vallombrosa. He was far more successful than his predecessors.
He was called to Rome in 1090 by his formed student, the Pope Urban II.
In 1092, he retired in Calabria where he founded a Carthusian monastery where he died. He was canonized in the 17th century.
Saint-Bruno doesn't leave any particular rule. The life he lead with his companions in the wooden cabins of the first Charterhouse was that of hermits who practised in common a few liturgies. His disciples decided to adapt the basic principles of the rule of Saint-Benoit in the spirit of their founder.
The regulations of the Order were written around 1127 by the fifth Prior of the Charterhouse, Guigue the Venerable.

Marc II Chabry (18th century)
Sculptor of the stalls and wainscoting in the choir (with François Vanderheyde)
Sculptor, painter and architect, son of a sculptor and painter of the same name, he completed several works in Lyon between 1731 and 1761. Besides his participation in the decoration of the Charterhouse, he is remembered for the basins of the square Louis-le-Grand (place Bellecour), grotesque masks for the facade of City-Hall, decorations sculptured for the convents of the city, the pulpit of the Barefoot Carmelites presently in the Hotel-Dieu chapel.

Charles Michel-Ange Challe (Paris 1718-1778)
Author of the painting "The wedding of the Virgin" in the chapel of the chairs
A pupil of Boucher, he received the "Prix of Rome" in 1741 and stayed in Italy from 1742 to 1749. Author of religious or mythological paintings, of landscapes in ruins, he is today more famous for his projects of festivals and his sketches of imaginary monuments, in the spirit of Piranèse.

Ferdinand-Sigismond Delamonce (Munich 1678, Lyon 1753)
Architect of the 18th century St Bruno's Church as we see it today
Son of an architect, he worked first with his father who died in 1708, then in Italy from 1715 to 1728. He settled in Lyon in 1731.
Supervisor of the construction of the Charterhouse in Lyon from 1733 to 1737, he still produced drawings as late as 1742. He also completed in Avignon, the chapel of the Oratorians; in Lyon, the Tolozan House, under the order of Soufflot, as well as the restoration, the enlargement and the decoration of several buildings among which the choir of the church of Trinity Chapel (lycée Ampère), the facade of "Saint-Just of the Maccabees" church.

Tony Desjardins (Lyon 1814, Belmont-Ain 1882)
In 1848 he was Professor of drawing at the La Martinière School.
From 1848 to 1882, architect of the diocese of Lyon,
from 1854 to 1870, Chief architect of the city of Lyon.
He restored in 1863 the chapel of the Virgin with a decoration in white and gold stucco, which served as a model for the other side chapels of the church.
He built, among others, the chapel of the Institution of the Charterhouse, the Petit Lycée Saint-Rambert (presently Collège Jean-Perrin), the chapel of Brouilly. He created also the large ballroom of the Lyon City Hall. He built and restored churches and private houses in Lyon, in the departments of Rhone and Loire.

Chloé Du Pasquier (known in Lyon between 1841 et 1868)
Author of the painting "The Adoration of three wise men" according to Rubens in the Saint-Irénée chapel
Painter of still lives, of pastel portraits in pastel and genre paintings, Chloé du Pasquier also executed for the churches in Lyon copies of famous paintings. A contempory example is kept in church Saint-Denis of the Croix-Rousse: "An Entombment" according to a Titien painting in the Louvre.

Joseph-Hugues Fabisch (Aix-en-Provence 1812, Lyon 1886)
Sculptor of the alabaster statue of the chapel of the Virgin
In 1840: he settles in Saint Etienne, as professor of drawing in the local High School.
In 1845: he comes to Lyon, first as a teacher and later (1874) as the director of the School of the Fine Arts.
He left us many important sculptures: Virgin of the grotto of Lourdes, the most famous of his statues, Virgin of the steeple of Notre-Dame de Fourvière (1851), various statues and altars for several churches in Lyon, in Saint-Etienne and neighbouring communities, medallions (those of Louis XIII, Henri IV, Louis XIV and Anne of Austria for the facade of the Lyon City Hall) and various civil portraits.

Cardinal Joseph Fesch (Ajaccio 1763 - Rome 1839)
Maternal uncle of Napoleon 1st, archdeacon in Ajaccio in 1793, Joseph Fesch renounced to priesthood and was named by his nephew commissioner of wars in the army of Italy(1795-1796)
Becoming priest again in 1800, he participated in the negotiation of the Concordat, became archbishop of Lyon in 1802 and cardinal in 1803.
Sent as ambassador in Rome, he obtained that the pope came to crown his nephew. In disharmony with the attitude of Napoleon 1st toward the pope Pie VII, he was disgraced. He retired in his diocese till 1814 and then in Rome, refusing to give up his functions of archbishop of Lyon.

Rodolphe Galli (Viggia -Italie 1840, Lyon1863)
Sculptor of "Christ lying in a shroud" in the chapel of the Sacred Heart
Little known, this artist also gave to Lyon the sculptures of the Argue passageway (in the Presqu'île).

Noêl Hallé (Paris 1711 -1781)
Author of the painting "The Baptism of Christ" in the chapel of the Font
Son and grandson of famous painters, recipient of the "Grand Prix de Rome" in 1736, Halle stayed in Italy from 1737 to 1744. His career at the Academy and the Gobelins made him into a major artist of the 18th century, one of those who combined with harmony and elegance the "great genre" of historical painting and the emotion of the Rococo.

Jean Magnan (Lyon-1569...)
Architect of the Charterhouse of Lyon and of the first church, today known as the choir of the monks
We know very little of the life of this painter and architect. Decorator of royal entrances in Lyon, in particular those of Catherine of Medecis in 1579, of Henry III in 1562, of Marie de Medecis in 1600.
He drew the plans of the Charterhouse of Lyon in 1590 and executed the construction of the church from 1590 to 1603. From 1603, we lose his trace.

Melchior Munet lived in Lyon from 173O to 1772)
He gave his name to the arch which operate as a bridge between the choir of the 17th century and the transept of the 18th century
Lyon-born architect, assistant of Delamonce, he has worked at the church of the Carthusians from 1734 to 1753. He also participated in Lyon with Soufflot in the construction of the Hotel-Dieu and the building of the Saint-Clair district.

Sainte-Marie Perrin (Lyon 1835-1917 )
Architect of the facade of the Saint-Bruno's Church (1870)
Perrin studied architecture in Paris. He worked in Lyon beginning in1869. He was awarded several architectural prizes in Paris. In the regions of Lyon and Saint-Etienne he built several churches, among which those of Saint-Germain aux Monts d'Or, of Thizy, of Saint-Heand, of Chaponost, of Sain-Bel and the Great Seminary of Francheville, in addition to chapels, steeples and tombstones.
Appointed deputy architect and, from 1888 on, manager in charge of building the Basilica of Fourvière, he drew, inter alia, the entire interior decoration.

François Perrier (Saint-Jean-de-Losne, around 1600, Paris 1650)
Author of the painting "Saint Anthelme resurrecting the dead", handing in the Choir
His career was spent between Paris and Lyon where he trained and stayed at different times, and Rome, where he was exposed to the Baroque painting of Lanfranco who employed him a lot. He combined large works of classical compositions using deliberately lead-coloured paints, with rhythmical ruptures. A great French painter of the 17th century equally at ease with a mythological or religious painting as with the decoration of a ceiling.

Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (Paris 1714-1785)
Sculptor of the "évangélistes"of pendentives of the dome
Having met during his stay in Rome Guillaume Coustou, a famous sculptor of Lyon, he stopped over in Lyon returning from Rome in 1739. He worked on many different paintings, which have all disappeared today except for the "four Evangelists" of the Dome of the Charterhouse. He is one of the most famous French sculptors in the 18th century: he left well-known works such as: the tomb of the Marshal of Saxe in Saint-Thomas' Church in Strasbourg and Diderot's portrait.

Jacques Sarrazin (Noyon 1588, Paris 1660)
Sculptor of Saint Bruno and Saint John the Baptist statues moved in the 17th century to the transept
He stayed in Rome from 1610 to 1627. He stopped in Lyon on his way back, from 1627 to 1629 and he worked here for the Charterhouse. Subsequently, he settled in Paris region. He was a friend of Simon Vouet and Le Notre.
Sculptor of the King, one of the twelve founders of the Royal Academy of painting and sculpture in 1648.
He participated in the decoration of the Pavilion of the Clock in Paris, of the castle of Maisons. He completed several funeral monuments. Many of his works are exposed today in the Museum of the Louvre.

Jean-Nicolas Servandoni (Florence 1695, Paris 1766)
Servandoni designed the baldachin and the altar of Saint Bruno's Church.
A pupil of the Italian painter Panini, he travelled a lot in Europe.
He settled in Paris from 1724 to 1745, where he renovated the decoration of the theatre and the opera, by creating machines and revolving screens and he became famous for his lavish mise en scène and the organisation of spectacular festivities. We owe him the main portal of the Saint-Sulpice Church in Paris.
First decorator-painter of the Royal Academy of Music from 1728 to 1744, he became a knight of the Order of Saint-John of Latran in 1733.
Pursued by his creditors, he left France in 1745 to exercise his talents in several European Courts and participated in Lisbon's reconstruction. He can be considered as a master of the art of illusion so dear to baroque art.

Jacques-Germain Soufflot (Irancy 1713, Paris 1780

1731-1738 : stay in Rome
1739 : member of the Academy of Lyon
1739-1749 : works in Lyon
1749 : member of the Royal Academy of Paris
1750 : second stay in Rome, where he accompanies the brother Marquise of Pompadour
1751-1756 : works again in Lyon
1756-1780 : called by the King, he settles in Paris and works both in Paris and Lyon
He worked at the Charterhouse of Lyon from 1738 or 1742 until 1750. He directed the entire construction and reshaped the design of the baldachin of Servandoni. He drew the frames for the paintings of Trémolières, the leaden glories of the tabernacle, the rocaille designs of the choir.
Known as the architect of the Pantheon in Paris, he also completed :
- in Lyon, the hotel of Lacroix-Laval, the houses of Rivette and Chateau Bourbon, the facade and the dome of the Hotel-Dieu, houses in the Saint-Clair district, the Loge du Change (currency exchange) in the Vieux Lyon, the monastery of the Genovefains, the theatre which continuated to operate until 1827 on the location of the present Opera,
- in Macon, the Charité.

Benoît-Antoine Sublet (Lyon 1821, Paris 1897)
Author of the painting "The Apparition of the Sacred Heart to Marguerite-marie Alacoque"
A catholic priest, he is above all a fresco painter (cathedral of Belley), chapel of the Hotel-Dieu of Lyon) and author of religious paintings.
Particularly attached to the Cartusian Order, as testifying his works at the Institution "Les Chartreux" (frescoes of the choir, Way of the Cross), his "Ecstasy of Saint Bruno" at the Great Charterhouse and even his " Martyrdom of the religious under Henry VIII" in the cloister of a Charterhouse in England.
His is one of these painters of 19th century who try to incarnate their faith on the wall, just like the Italian artists of the Renaissance.

Pierre-Charles Trémolières (Cholet 1703, Paris 1739)
Author of the big paintings in the Transept: "The Ascension of Christ" and " The Assumption of the Virgin"
Tremolières lived in Rome from 1728 to 1734 where he became Soufflot's friend, then in Lyon where he was married. He painted portraits and religious paintings for the White Penitents and the barefoot Carmelites (paintings at Saint Blandine's Church...)
Back in Paris, he executed the two main paintings for the Carthusian monks, magnificently framed. He decorated several hotels before dying prematurely.
His art is characteristic of the best French painters born around 1700:clarty of the colour, subtle simplicity of composition and tender, expressive feeling.

François Vanderheyde (XVIIIe siècle)
Sculptor with Marc II Chabry of the stalls and wainscotings of the choir of the monks
Sculptor belonging to a true dynasty of Flemish wood-cutting artists, the Van der Heyden. He lived in Lyon where he was still residing in 1788 and he gallicized his name.

Claude Vignon (Tours 1593, Paris 1670)
Claude Vignon is one of the great painters of the 17th century and one of the most prolific. Very much influenced during his stay in Italy by Caravaggio, during his entire life he was considered an important decorator, painter of portraits and church paintings. Also known for his drawing and engravings..
The painting of Saint Antony in the chapel of the same name is an excellent example of his full-flavoured art, with thick impastos and twinkling colours.
The cathedral Saint-John of Lyon contains one of his masterpieces "The Circumcision". Ancient records mention the presence before 1793 in the refectory of the Charterhouse of a series of paintings by Vignon. We ignore the subjects as since they disappeared.