The François-Honoré Jourdain fine arts collection
In 1877, François-Honoré Jourdain, a rich landowner in Lyon and little-known figure today, donated a collection of 85 paintings and various objets d'art to Morez, his native town. Today, this collection is conserved in the Eyewear Museum.
Landscape paintings make up a significant proportion of the Jourdain collection: there are 27 of them dating from the 17th to 19th centuries, including Paysage au grand chêne (Landscape with Large Oak) by Lapito [1803 - 1874] and Paysage à l'abreuvoir (Landscape with a Watering Place) by Rémond [1795 - 1875].
But it is in the area of so-called history painting where the collector made the wisest choices, with paintings by Lagrenée, Brenet and Fragonard.
There are also some modest genre paintings, including Jeunes filles à la fontaine (Young Girls at the Fountain)  by Lyon painter Pierre Bonirote.
Although not an overtly prestigious collection, the donation of these paintings, which no doubt belonged to a larger cabinet of curiosities, says a lot about the donor's generosity. This philanthropic act, clearly connected with a desire for social recognition, also expresses a wish to share his love of art with as many people as possible.Back