JEAN-AUGUST BARRE (Paris 1811 – 1896 Paris)
Léonor Chabot, comte de Charny, gouverneur de Bourgogne, sauve du massacre de Saint Bartélemy, les Hugenots de cette province, en refusant d’exécuter les ordres de Charles IX
Cast and reworked patinated plaster relief
27 5/8 x 42 1/2 inches (63 x 108 cm)
Signed A. Barre F.it and dated 1841
Inscribed with title lower edge
Barre began his career as a student of his father, the ciseleur and medallist Jean-Jacques, and then entered the atelier of Cortot at the École des Beaux Arts in 1826. He made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1831, and continued to exhibit regularly throughout his long and productive career. Léonor Chabot, Barre’s entry in the Salon of 1842 (Bas relief en bronze, no 1887), is an important sculptural example of the highly refined and historically detailed Troubadour style. The subject is drawn from the religious conflict between Catholic and Protestant in sixteenth-century France. On Saint Bartholomew’s Day in 1572, Charles IX ordered the massacre of the Huguenot community at the instigation of his mother, Catherine de Medici. In fear of growing Protestant influence on the affairs of state, Catherine falsely accused the Huguenots of conspiring to kill the King and the entire Royal family. This relief commemorates the heroic actions of Léonor Chabot, governor of Burgundy, who defied both Royal and religious authority and refused to allow the massacre to proceed in his province. Stanislas Lami records one other example of this relief in plaster, which was given in 1870 to the Musée des Beaux Arts in Dijon by descendants of Chabot.