FESSARD, Etienne
(b. 1714, Paris, d. 1777, Paris)

View of the Foundlings' Chapel in Paris

1752-59
Engraving
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

Charles-Joseph Natoire decorated the Foundlings' Chapel opposite Notre-Dame as an immense piece of Italianate trompe-l'oeil: flanking both sides of the representational niche in the middle, the arcades showed processions of the Wise Men; peasant figures appeared above, while a false ceiling depicted a ruined roof in the manner of traditional Nativity scenes (the work of Paolo and Giovanni Brunetti, specialists in trompe-l'oeil effects). The subjects were painted in oils directly onto the walls, which probably explains the rapid deterioration. It was destroyed at the end of the century, but is known from engravings by Fessard.




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