Bulletin Magazine

Bulletin 21

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May/June 1982

Contents include:

Jubilee celebrations
Theft of Solomon J Solomon's Psyche
Philip Trusttum exhibition Supplement
Henriette Browne and La Lecture de la Bible - Essay by Julie King

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La Lecture de la Bible
Henriette Browne La Lecture de la Bible

The French artist Henriette Browne excelled at painting highly realist, representational narrative paintings and La Lecture de la Bible is one of her finest. Browne produced several portraits of religious devotees and the two young women in this painting are thought to be novices studying to enter a religious order. They are clearly virtuous – their austere black garments suggest a puritan character and the painting is also known as The Puritans. The withered flowers on the table are the most obvious narrative element in the painting, these are a vanitas symbol for the passing of time and the loss of youth. La Lecture de la Bible was first owned by Empress Eugénie, the wife of Napoléon III, and was presented to the Gallery by its major benefactor, Robert McDougall.

(New Dawn Fades, November 2018)

First exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1857 with the title 'Les Puritaines', this painting has for many years also been known as 'La Lecture de la Bible'.


Robert McDougall Art Gallery Jubilee Exhibtion

During 1982 the Robert McDougall Art Gallery will have been established fifty years. An exhibition of important works from the public collection will be held in recognition of this event.