Louvre Museum
Simon Vouet : Vierge au Rameau de Chêne

Musée du Louvre. Painting of the month until 5 september 2005.

simon vouet madone hesselin

Simon Vouet (1590-1649) is a prodigy painter, so famous at fifteen years old that Richelieu appoints it first painter of the king Louis XIII.  One of its major works has just entered to the Louvre with the prestigious title of National Treasure :  The Virgin with the Branch of Oak also known under the title of Hesselin Madonna. It was ordered in 1640 in Vouet by his friend Louis Hesselin, famous Parisian collector of the Room to the Sums of money of the House of the King, living a private mansion quai de Béthune, on the Island Saint-Louis. This Virgin with the child is indexed there in her cabinet of curiosity in 1662.  She disappears then until 1904. Like its contemporaries, Poussin or Mignard, Vouet declined several times the topic of the Virgin with the child, extremely delighted at the XVIIIème century. But this table is the only one who represents the two faces of the characters looking at the witness.  Henceforth, this National Treasure bought 800.000 Euros by the French state is forbidden of export and its exit of territory is strictly regulated.  Thanks to public funds and private funds six national treasures of a value of approximately 9 million euros were thus found in the Louvre since 2002.

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