Nicolas Louis François GOSSE
(Paris, 1787 – Soncourt, 1878)
Louis XI knelling before Saint Francis of Paola
Oil on canvas
68 x 90 cm
GOSSE was a pupil of François VINCENT. He appeared at the Paris Salon from 1808 to 1870, obtaining a third-class medal in 1819 and a second class medal in 1824. He was made knight of the Legion of Honor in 1828, promoted to officer in 1870.
He was responsible for murals of many theatres and buildings such as the Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet church in Paris, the Palais de Justice of Rennes.
The autograph copy of the painting exhibited at the Salon of 1844, and mentioned in the collection of Napoleon III in 1858, recounts a historical episode that occurred April 24, 1482 when Louis XI, dangerously ill, thought St. Francis of Paola could cure him. The highly theatrical staging convenes key members of the king of France’s entourage including his beloved daughter, Anne de Beaujeu, Duchess of Bourbon.
The Exhibition catalogue resumes a written by Philippe de COMMINES:
“Towards the end of his career, Louis XI dangerously ill thought that Saint Francis of Paola could cure him; at his instance and those of the pope, the holy decides to leave his retirement and went to Plessis-les-Tours Castle, with his disciples, where the king, supported by his daughter, Anne de Beaujeu, he called his angel and Jacques Coictier, his doctor, fell at his feet and said to him, raising the pleading eyes, “father, have mercy on the state I am, and give me health.
– I would, said the holy man, but I’m nothing on earth that a poor sinner like you, only God can do anything! “
Behind the king’s chair are Olivier le Daim and Tristan the Hermit, grand-provost; Galleoti forward, astrologer and famous warrior, and with him the old Lord Crafford, chief of the archers of the Scottish Guard.
During her illness, our king wore only satin dresses and crimson velvet, lined good martens “