AXA Group

Acquisition of a new painting by the French State for the Musée du Louvre thanks to AXA's patronage

The French Minister of Culture and Communication, Fleur Pellerin, announces the acquisition by the French State for the Musée du Louvre of the Vue d’Avignon, depuis la rive droite du Rhône près de Villeneuve by Claude-Joseph Vernet , thanks to AXA

The Vue d’Avignon, depuis la rive droite du Rhône près de Villeneuve is a masterpiece of the 18th century and represents a critical milestone in the landscape history in France. Painted while the artist was travelling across the country to complete the series of Ports de France for King Louis XV, the painting had remained in England for more than 200 years. It combines the topographic accuracy and the precision in the description of human activities with an extraordinary poetic sense and a quite modern virtuosity in the depiction of the atmospheric and bright effects. In a panoramic way, the composition displays the horizon line of Avignon and its main monuments: the Popes’ Palace, the Petit Palais, the Cathedral of the Doms, the Church Saint-Pierre, the ramparts, the medieval door, the famous bridge and its broken arches, etc. Above all, the subject is the alliance between the sky and the water, in the play of light and shadow on the gilded stone of the Popes’ Palace, in the contrast between the picturesque and the sublime, between the quiet eternity of secular monuments and the activities of the men of the Enlightenment (Les Lumières). Fleur Pellerin was keen to emphasize that it was a remarkable acquisition. "I am delighted that this work of a great French master enriches the national collections", she added. "This acquisition provides the opportunity to finally present to the public a masterpiece of the 18th century French painting which had not been shown in France for 200 years" is delighted to declare Jean-Luc Martinez, president-director of the Musée du Louvre. "We are very proud to contribute once again to the preservation and transmission of our cultural heritage with the acquisition of this masterpiece, which the visitors of the Louvre will be able to appreciate. AXA’s commitment to cultural philanthropy is deeply bound to our corporate responsibility initiatives and consistent with the activities of AXA Art, which brings its expertise to museums, private and institutional collectors to protect and value their works of art ", declared Henri de Castries, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AXA. This acquisition was made possible thanks to the tax framework provided by the article 238 bis 0 A of the French General Tax Code. These measures create favorable conditions to the entry in public collections of works considered as of “major heritage interest”, thanks to an exceptional tax benefit granted to philanthropic companies. The Claude-Joseph Vernet painting has been classified of “major heritage interest” by the Advisory Committee of the national treasures. Minister of Culture and Communication is anxious to thank the AXA Group for its exemplary action of sponsorship in favor of the Musée du Louvre, and more widely to the preservation and transmission of our cultural heritage.

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