for the saints of the Visitation
It is difficult to imagine that in XVIIe century the principal cities of France, Savoy and Italy could celebrate the same event: the beatification and the canonization of François saint the Dirty ones, bishop of Geneva. And yet, the extent of the demonstrations and deployed ostentation exceed imagination. This fact was not single since it was renewed during following centuries for holy Jeanne de Chantal and holy Marguerite-Marie Alacoque.
At the time of these ceremonies, popular enthusiasm and the passion of the whole of the civil company surprise by their intensity and their ingeniousness.
For fifteen years, we have studied the files, consult Annals of the monasteries of the order and traverse the thousands of pages of the ” Relations of the festivals ” of beatification and canonization. These circular Letters written with precision by each community make it possible to locate these events in their context political, economic, spiritual and artistic. This enthralling research enabled us to discover an ignored side of a history largely exceeding that of the Sainte-Marie Visitation and joining closely that of the towns of France and Europe.
We have preserved in the collections of the museum of many objects carried out at the time of these festivals, the Visitandines for more than three centuries having protected these invaluable testimonys, memories of these sumptuous episodes. They are the proof of the artistic genius their old sisters, but also of the gifts carried out thanks to the radiation of the Visitation. These objects crossed without damage the many risks of the History that each community faced: wars, Revolution, expulsions, closings… Carefully preserved, sometimes restored, they enable us today to illustrate the splendour of these ceremonies and thus to make you foresee it. Some are not there any more, in particular the loans, for the imposing settings in scene, of furniture of money, consoles, muds, mirrors…, but the preserved Relations attest of an atmosphere which precedes almost Versailles when it was furnished with money…
The chance of the History wanted that these festivals proceed every hundred years: 1665, 1767, 1864 then 1920. The decoration and the artistic creation which accompany these solemnities testify to their time. We invite you to stop you with each one of these circumstances to discover the atmosphere and the decorative art of the moment. The majority of these works not having never been presented nor published, it will act, for much of them, of a true discovery, supported by an abundant and precise documentation.
We are happy to offer to impassioned art a dating for better encircling similar works and to in love with the History some anecdotes which, put end to end, illustrate these periods. Each one among you will be able to discover there the talents and the skill of those which used art to honour three large characters, with fastes and exubérance!
This book receive in October 2008, the price du chanoine Delpeuch , from the Institut de France. Canal Académie, interview .
You can also Read the notes from Histaria Sorbonne