The BNP Paribas foundation has once again associated itself with the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon by supporting the restoration of the Baroque interior painted by Louis Cretey in the refectory of the abbey of Saint-Pierre.

Louis Cretey - La Multiplication des pains © Alain Basset Born into a family of painters in Lyon in the mid-17th century, the artist Louis Cretey was commissioned to decorate the interiors of the abbey of Saint-Pierre, which today is the musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon. For the refectory, he painted two large canvases – The Feeding of the Five Thousand and The Last Supper – and three oculi depicting the Assumption, the Ascension of Christ, and Elijah ascending in a chariot of fire. His deformed human shapes, use of chiaroscuro, and the luminous haloes in certain places are typical of his work. Louis Cretey stands out as a unique artist among 17th-century French painters.

Restored in situ, this collection of works – which is today one of the few remaining Baroque interiors in Lyon – is one of the flagship exhibits in the temporary exhibition devoted to Louis Cretey, which opened on 22 October and will run until 24 January 2011 at the Musée des beaux-arts, Lyon. The commission running this exhibition, which contains some 60 paintings and drawings by the artist, is headed by Pierre Rosenberg of the Académie française, honorary chairman of the Louvre, and Aude Henry-Gobet, who holds a doctorate in the history of art.

Launched in 1994, under the patronage of France's culture and communication ministry, and in close collaboration with the heritage directorate, the programme “BNP Paribas pour l'Art” has to date enabled more than 200 works or groups of works in museums in France and abroad to be restored.

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