The Musée d'Orsay owns the majority of the painter Charles Lameire's studio collection. The majority of this collection was donated by the artist's grandson Gilles Lameire in 1987 through the Société des Amis du Musée d’Orsay. This exceptional set was completed by a donation by the universal legatees of Gilles Lameire in 2005 and by the purchase of 75 drawings in 2009. Today almost entirely forgotten, this artist enjoyed a career marked with honour. While the question of grand decoration obsessed his contemporaries, Lameire revived the centuries-old tradition of mural painting by choosing to focus almost exclusively on monumental decoration.
A prolific artist, he worked in the capital's most emblematic sites, from the Pantheon to the Sorbonne. His work was protean. A painter-decorator, Lameire designed both huge wall paintings that rivalled the religious painting and history painting of his day and simple decorative elements which he carefully integrated into the buildings.
At a time when the concept of industrial arts called into question the boundaries between the arts, he composed stained glass windows, mosaics, tapestries and illustrations, designed objets d’art, sculpted compositions and architectures.
This display presents some of the hundreds of preparatory drawings for his work: sketches, models, and pounce patterns (full-sized) embody the professional reality of his work.