Philippe Lejeune: The Imperceptible Magnitude

Cultural, Entertainment/recreation

From Friday 15 February to Sunday 14 April 2019

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

12:00 to 14:00

  • Présentation de la rétrospective


From February 15 to April 14, the city of Versailles pays an unprecedented tribute to the painter Philippe Lejeune (1924-2014) and invites Versailles residents to discover the original journey of this artist marked by sacred art.
An initiated and mysterious painter
This exhibition allows us to follow the main stages of this abundant work: six years of a formation marked by Maurice Denis, George Desvallières and Jean Souverbie initially trained a painter with ambitious works, then develops probabilistic painting and, after the stay in India in 1969, an inspiration close to Messiaen. In recent years, universal brotherhood has illuminated an art form in which the subject has been transformed into a motif. The portrait gallery in the exhibition is itself a retrospective in reduction, while a presentation of Lejeune's work as a church decorator completes the painter's understanding.

Route to Espace Richaud
1. A formation in the turmoil of 1941-1947
Encouraged by his father to read Le Journal de Delacroix, Philippe Lejeune met Maurice Denis in 1941 and joined the Ateliers d'art sacré at the age of seventeen. Two years later, the Nabi theorist died and the Cubist painter Jean Souverbie succeeded him.

2. The witness of his time 1950-1956
On his return from Oceania, he set up his studio in Paris and founded the journal Sujet. He frequented the protagonists of the Young Painting while keeping his independence. He married the writer Geneviève Dormann and settled in Étampes. He discovered Leonardo Cremonini's work in the magazine Abat-Nuit, in which he collaborated.

3. Probabilistic painting
1956-1970 The painting has its own creative power that the painter must organize, a conviction matured in contact with Cremonini, previously sown by Souverbie.

4. The Revealing Orient 1970-1990
In 1969, Lejeune left for India and returned upset by the slums of the City of Joy. The vivacity of the spirituality he discovered there deeply marked him, to the point of considering settling there. His painting, while deviating in a certain mannerism, becomes more mystical. Sharing the eschatology of composer Olivier Messiaen, he paints "La Fin du Temps";, a tribute to Messiaen.

5. Universal brotherhood 1990-2014
"Before you even know what the painting represents. . . you are caught up in this magical agreement; the lines alone sometimes have this power. . . "Eugene Delacroix"; Remember that a painting, before being a battle horse, a naked woman or any anecdote, is essentially a flat surface covered with colors in a certain order assembled. "Maurice Denis He pushes to its paroxysm the expression of Delacroix theorized by Denis. The influences are assimilated: it is approaching the end. It delays the subject's appearance to its maximum.

6. Portrait gallery
Concentrating all the difficulties of pictorial art, the portraits summarize the painter's journey.

7. Stained glass windows and church decorations
In the 1950s, with his friend and master glassmaker Raymond Legrand, he created the first modern post-war stained glass windows for some thirty churches and decorated them with frescoes, cross paths and altarpieces. . . .
General information
  • Cultural and artistic :
    • Exhibition
  • Art and culture :
    • Modern/contemporary art
Espace Richaud
Phone : +33(0)1 30 97 85 15
Fax : +33(0)1 30 97 85 15
Philippe Lejeune : Grandeur l'Imperceptible
78 Boulevard de la Reine
  • Spoken language(s) :
    • French