Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay Paintings Reproduction and Biography
JEAN-BAPTISTE BELIN (BLIN) DE FONTENAY
Caen 1653 ? 1715 Paris
Jean-Baptiste Belin (Blin) de Fontenay was one of the leading French flower painters of the baroque period, enjoying the patronage of Louis XIV. Born at Caen in 1653, he was the son of Louis Blin, who may have specialised in flower painting. By 1672 he was training in the studio of Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699), whose daughter he later married. As a Protestant, he was affected by the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and made a judicious public recantation of his faith before being presented at the Academie Royale in that year.
Belin?s morceau de reception was a painted Bust of Louis XIV (Louvre, Paris), a huge (1.8m high) work which combines a bust of the king on a plinth with a theatrical, spatially assured arrangement of a vase of flowers on a table with armour and a cornucopia beneath. It suggested the abundance that flows from the power of the king. Louis XIV took the hint, for Belin was employed, often with his father-in-law, to paint floral decoration at several royal chateau, including Compiegne, Marly, Fontainebleau and Versailles, where he worked on the Escalier de la Reine.
When Monnoyer was enticed permanently to London in 1692, Belin became the leading decorative flower painter to Louis XIV. He also provided floral borders for portraits, such as Antoine Coypel?s Portrait of a woman surrounded by flowers (Musee des Beaux-Arts, Caen).
After Monnoyer?s death in London in 1699, Belin replaced him as Conseiller at the Academie. He had lodgings in the Louvre and a pension from Louis XIV. His son Jean-Baptiste Belin (1688-1730) collaborated with him on tapestry cartoons for the Gobelins. Belin also, in conjunction with G L de Vernansal, made a Chinoiserie cartoon for the Royal Beauvais factory.
The work of Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay is represented in the Louvre, Paris; the Musee Baron Gerard, Bayeux; the Musee Municipal des Ursulines, Macon; the Musee des Beaux-Arts, Marseille; the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and Anglesey Abbey, Anglesey.