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Luc-Olivier Merson

Franse academische schilder, illustrator en grafisch ontwerper, geboren 21 mei 1846 - overleden 13 november 1920.

In het gewelf boven het koor van Basilique du sacre-coeur heeft Luc-Olivier Merson in het grootste mozaïek ter wereld de Franse devotie voor het Heilig Hart (Jezus die geëerd wordt door Frankrijk en de Kerk) uitgebeeld. Het plafond van de apsis bedekt een oppervlakte van 475 m2.

Leraar van o.a. Henri Delavallée (1862-1943), René Auberjonois (1872-1952) en Jean Marchand (1883-1941).

Born Nicolas Luc-Olivier Merson in Paris, France, he grew up in an artistic household, the son of Charles-Olivier Merson, a painter and art critic. He studied under Gustave Chassevent at the École de Dessin and then Isidore Pils at the École des Beaux-Arts. Merson had his first work exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1866 and three years later was awarded the Prix de Rome. During the five years spent working in Italy, he concentrated on religious and historical subjects for his art.

Back in France, in 1875 he won the first-prize medal at the exhibition by the Société des artistes français. Seen here is "Nôtre-Dame de Paris," one of Merson's best known paintings that was created as a result of the huge popularity of the Victor Hugo novel of the same name. An 1881 work, with its mystical Gothic images, its style reflects the influence of the then evolving Symbolist movement.

Merson's art became a vehicle for decorative commissions, doing major works for such institutions as the famous Palais de Justice (Courthouse), the Louis Pasteur Museum, and the mosaic in the chancel vault in the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur. He also did the artwork for stained glass windows, an example of which can be found in the Church of the Holy Trinity Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His profile was raised considerably after being awarded a gold medal for his painting at the 1889 Exposition Universelle, and in 1892 he was elected to the Académie des beaux-arts.
- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luc-Olivier_Merson

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