The Duke of Orleans in Lapland

The Duke of Orleans in Lapland

  • The Duke of Orleans descends the great Eijampaïka rapid on the Mionio river in Lapland, August 1795

    BIARD François (1798 - 1882)

  • The Duke of Orleans received in a Lapp camp, August 1795

    BIARD François (1798 - 1882)

To close

Title: The Duke of Orleans descends the great Eijampaïka rapid on the Mionio river in Lapland, August 1795

Author : BIARD François (1798 - 1882)

Creation date : 1840

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 131 - Width 163

Technique and other indications: Oil on canvas Commissioned by Louis-Philippe in 1840; Salon of 1841, n ° 141; Louis-Philippe collection, exhibited at the Grand Trianon; mentioned in the Musée du Luxembourg; entered Versailles in 1874

Storage location: National Museum of the Palace of Versailles (Versailles) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot website

The Duke of Orleans descends the great Eijampaïka rapid on the Mionio river in Lapland, August 1795

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

To close

Title: The Duke of Orleans received in a Lapp camp, August 1795

Author : BIARD François (1798 - 1882)

Creation date : 1840

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 132 - Width 163

Technique and other indications: Oil on canvas Commissioned by Louis-Philippe in 1840; Salon of 1841, n ° 140; Louis-Philippe collection; mentioned in the Musée du Luxembourg; entered Versailles in 1874

Storage location: National Museum of the Palace of Versailles (Versailles) website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot website

The Duke of Orleans received in a Lapp camp, August 1795

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

Publication date: October 2003

Historical context

The Duke of Orléans, the future Louis-Philippe, had participated in the beginnings of the Revolution alongside his father, Philippe-Egalité. He fought in Jemmapes and followed Dumouriez when he passed to the Austrians in April 1793. From then on, proscribed by the Republicans and object of hatred for the emigrated royalists, while in Paris the Terror experienced its last upheavals (between April and December 1795), he decided on an incognito trip to Scandinavia. At the end of July, he made a trip to Lapland, beyond the Arctic Circle.

Image Analysis

The Eyanpaikka
“During his exile, from April to October 1795, the Duke of Orleans traveled through Sweden and Norway. He advanced to the North Cape. On his return, by crossing the rapids of the Eyanpaïkka on the Muonio river in a boat, he ran into the most serious dangers ”, such is the subject of this painting described in the booklet for the Salon of 1841. The Duke of Orleans, future king of the French, is at the center of the boat, living this "perilous" situation in an almost indolent attitude. His companions seem more preoccupied with danger than the young prince. The entire composition is based on the atmosphere created by the landscape, the violence of the rapids whose swirling waters oppose the verticality of the pines, an extreme wild mass. We will notice how the composition and the attitudes of the characters in this painting are similar to Delacroix's painting, La Barque de Don Juan (Louvre museum). It is still the romantic spirit that presides over this work by Biard, a painter renowned for his paintings of the Far North, who traveled to Lapland and Spitsbergen aboard the corvette La Recherche. This trip, which lasted from 1835 to 1839, inspired him several paintings including Magdalena Bay, view where he represented an extraordinary effect of aurora borealis (1841, Louvre), and of which he took up the subject for a large decoration in the Jardin des Plantes. in Paris. It was undoubtedly the example of the German Caspar David Friedrich (The Ice Sea, 1823-1824, Hamburg, Kunsthalle) who prompted Biard to paint these polar views.

The Lapps camp
It was in the company of the Marquis de Montjoie and his servant Baudoin that the Duke of Orleans traveled to Lapland. Leaving Hammerfest by boat, they headed to Maasoe Island, where a pastor accompanied them to the North Cape. It was on their way back that they stopped for a while with a Lapp family in the Qualoe Islands. Here we are in a summer camp set up for hunting and reindeer herding, very different from the winter underground dwellings. Biard enjoyed showing off the costumes and utensils of rustic Lapp life, while he placed the heroes of the painting to the right, in the shadows, like intruders observing this savage existence. Sparing an enclosed space underlined by the wooden poles which form a square in the rectangle of the painted surface, Biard opens on the left an entrance which reveals the aridity of the surrounding landscape and the virgin nature in which the Lapps live.

Interpretation

At the end of the 18th century, the taste for discovering the world was in tune with the times and reached all men with some education. Since the work of Mallet, who published in 1755 a work entitled "Introduction to the history of Dannemarc", Scandinavia and Lapland, more broadly the Far North, have begun to interest the public. Originally, one did not distinguish the Germano-Scandinavians from the Celts, the latter brought back into fashion by the works of Macpherson dealing with the myth of Ossian. This work was certainly part of the context of awareness of nationalities in the manner of Herder, but, more generally, in the emerging curiosity for the natural sciences. If the trip of the Duke of Orleans participated in research on physics, electricity and air, following the famous experiments of the Montgolfier brothers, it was also for him to study the peoples living in nature, including the Lapps, according to the model provided by Rousseau. In this sense, the taste for extreme nature had been revealed by the ascent of Mont Blanc carried out by Ferdinand de Saussure in 1786. At that time, following the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment, all the sciences were linked, and ethnology was hardly different from physics.

Politically, these two tables are also important. Louis-Philippe seems to have wanted to show by this that he was closely interested in the discoveries of his century and was not a sovereign cut off from the world by a sacredness that was now from another age. Wearing trousers and a leather hat takes the breeches and the tricorn back into the past. In addition, he portrays the image of a courageous prince, who has faced the challenges of the outside world in person.

  • Orleans (of)
  • Louis Philippe
  • romanticism
  • Trip
  • Lapland
  • North Pole
  • propaganda

Bibliography

Danielle TARTAKOWSKYLe Front populaireParis, Gallimard, collection “Découvertes”, 1996.Michel DREYFUSHistory of the CGTComplex, 1995. Posters and union struggles of the CGTChêne, 1985.

To cite this article

Jérémie BENOÎT, "The Duke of Orleans in Lapland"


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