Exhibitions

(Jean-Christophe Ballot) is one of the best architectural and museum photographers In France today.
www.jcballot.com

Among his numerous photographic campaigns, the best known are undoubtedly that at the musée du Louvre during the great renovations of the 1990’s, the musée Rodin, the Renault factory at Boulogne-Billancourt before its demolition, the renovations of the musée de l’Orangerie, the Bibliothèque nationale de France at the historical Richelieu building or the celebrated Susse foundry.

His latest series of photographs, Les Dormeurs de Saint Denis, of the celebrated French royal tombs in the basilica of the abbey of Saint Denis, north of Paris, will be exhibited in an exceptional setting, the 17th century church of the Billettes in the heart to the Marais in Paris.

The series was commissioned by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and photographed in the spring of 2014.

One of the finest Baroque churches in Paris to survive the French Revolution the church of the convent of the Billettes on rue des Archives was designed in the mid- 18th century by the last of the celebrated Mansart family of architects, Jacques Hardouin-Mansart de Sagonne (1711-1778).

Today the church it is the principal Lutheran temple of city of Paris.

The black and white photographs of the gisants (recumbent effigies) and orants (praying figures) of the Kings and Queens of France will be presented in two triptych compositions in the choir of the church, as single large prints on the pilasters of the nave and in smaller formats in the south gallery of the church.

The statues were photographed so as to look like live figures, contemplative when kneeling or asleep when recumbent. In the twilight of the beautiful Gothic architecture of the basilica of Saint Denis they take on an otherworldly, dreamy dimension, delicately balanced between the inanimate quality of stone and bronze and the animating quality conferred on them by the shadowy light. The classical architectural setting of the church of the Bilettes and the filtered daylight and shadows of the church provide the perfect background for the contemplation of Jean-Christophe Ballot’s photographs emphasizing their mysterious and spiritual quality.

Organization and visits

The exhibition, sponsored by the Lutheran Temple of the Billettes and Chris Boïcos Fine Arts, will be open to the public Tuesday though Saturday from Wednesday 11 to Saturday 28 March from 2 to 7 pm at 24 rue des Archives, 75004 Paris (Métro Hôtel- de-Ville). It is presented by
Protestantisme et Images as part of the cultural events of the Christian Marais.

Guided visits
Jean-Christophe Ballot and Chris Boïcos will be on site to welcome you and comment on the exhibition on Saturday 14, 21 and 28 March and Thursday 26 March between 3 and 5 pm.

Sale of the Works
All photographs are on sale by Chris Boïcos Fine Arts. Price lists will be available at the exhibition and can obtained by contacting Chris Boïcos (+33 (0) 686 58 98 09 - christophe@boicosfinearts.com).

Practical Information
Dates : Wednesday 11 March to Saturday 28 March.
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 2 to 7 pm.
Free entrance.

Place: Eglise des Billettes,
24 rue des Archives,
75 004 Paris.
Métro : Hôtel de Ville

Contacts :
Christophe Boïcos : + 33 (0) 686 58 98 09 - christophe@boicosfinearts.com
Twitter : @BoicosGallery - http://boicosfinearts.com/
Presse : Agence Charles & Compagnie - 15, rue Ambroise Thomas 75009 Paris - 06 07 59 17 55 – charles@charlesetcompagnie.fr

Artist’s Statement:

Avec Les dormeurs St Denis je développe une réflexion photographique sur l’idée du passage. Passage à travers le réel et le rêve (le sommeil), la vie et le trépas (la mort). Pour le croyant, la mort ne sera qu’un passage.

Cette nouvelle série de photos explore la représentation de la mort dans le statuaire funéraire historique. La question de l’existence de la vie éternelle n’est pas posée, mais est au contraire affirmée par les commanditaires et les artistes des tombeaux royaux et la société de leur époque.
Cette affirmation sereine de l’existence d’une vie éternelle questionne forcément le doute qui habite l’homme contemporain.

Dans mes photos j’ai voulu entretenir le doute entre le vivant et l’inanimé. Je ne photographie pas des statues, mais des personnes. J’aborde ce travail comme du portrait. François 1er ou Catherine de Médicis sont là, ils posent devant mon objectif. Ils sont vivants.

La dimension spirituelle habite toujours mon regard sur le monde : la grâce est juste là, à fleur de pierre, à fleur de peau…

Jean-Christophe Ballot
février 2014

Saint Denis funerary monuments photographed by Jean-Christophe Ballot:

Charles Martel (688-741)

Carloman 1er, King of the Francs (751 – 771) and Ermentrude first wife of Charles the Bald (830 - 869)

Robert II le Pieux (972 - 1031)

Henri Ier (c .1008 -1060)

Berthe de Hollande (1055 - 1093)

Constance de Castille (c. 1136 - 1160)

Blanche de France (1328 -1393)
Execution: 1390. By Jean de Liège and Robert Loisiel

Philippe IV le Bel (1268 -1314)
Execution: c. 1392.

Jacques Longuejoé , Grand prieur of Saint-Denis
Execution: Early 15th century

Louis d’Orléans : (1392 - 1407)
Execution: 1502 - 1516. Monument by Michele Aria, Donnato Di Battista Benzi, Benedetto Di Rovezzano, Girolamo Di Viscardo

Louis XII (1462 – 1515) and Anne de Bretagne (1477-1514)
Execution: 1515-1531. Attributed to Jean Juste and family, gisants and priants possibly by Guillaume Regnault.

François Ier (1494 - 1547) and Claude de France (1499-1524)
Execution: 1548 - 1559. By Philibert de l’Orme.

Louis XVI (1754 - 1793) Marie Antoinette (1755 - 1793)
Execution: 1830. By Edme Gaulle and Pierre Petitot.

All photographs (numbered and signed editions of 9) are on sale, price is by format:
40 x 60 cm : 1300€
60 x 90 cm : 2300 €
80 x 120 cm : 3400 €
100 x 150 cm : 4500 €

A special porfolio of 27 of the photographs (edition of 9, format: 31 x 46 cm) is also available:
1 portfolio photograph: 750 €
10 portfolio photographs: 6750 € ( 10% discount)
20 portfolio photographs: 12 000 € (20% discount)
27 portfolio photographs: 14 850 € (27% discount)

Tomb of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne

Tomb of François 1er and Claude de France

Tomb of Henri II and Catherine de Medici

Tomb of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette

Other tombs

Sculpted Drapery

Triptychs

Issenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald

The Saint Denis funeral monuments are also visible on the French National Monument website:

www.regards.monuments-nationaux.fr/...

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