Wall mural, preparatory work © Musée national de la Marine / A. Fux
Ice wall panel with metallic decorations (gold and silver) and reverse painting
Dating Champigneulle, 1988
Exhibition Paris, palace of Chaillot
According to this glass decor technique, the master glassmaker Jacques Charles Champigneulle created for the liner Normandy, on drawings by Jean Dupas, a sumptuous ensemble made up of 400 panels. The four compositions thus formed - from 6,50 m high on 15 m long each - represented themes of ancient mythology: "The Abduction of Europe", "The Birth of Aphrodite", "The Thetis Tank" and "The chariot of Poseidon."
The subject depicted on this small glass slab is very close to a detail on "The Thetis Tank". This piece was probably presented to the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique in 1934 for approval of the order and never took place on board.
Normandy is put on hold in January 1931, at the yards of Penhoët in Saint-Nazaire. With its 313,75 m long for 35,90 m wide, it is so big that we have to build a new dock in New York to welcome it. On board everything is nothing but pomp and excitement: the dining room is longer than the Galerie des Glaces in Versailles and cinemas, concert halls, lounges and smoking rooms follow one another or are superimposed. On his maiden voyage, he wins the blue ribbon. During his four years of service, Normandy is the showcase of art and the art of living French.
But its end is tragic. In 1941, due to the entry of the United States, the giant of the seas is occupied and seized by the Coast Guards. The 9 February 1942, a fire bursts on board and spreads very fast. It flows into the waters of the Hudson the next day.
Jacques Charles CHAMPIGNEULLE (Paris, 1907 - Paris 1955)
The master glassman Jacques Charles Champigneulle is the son of the glass painter Louis Charles Marie Champigneulle (Metz, 1853 - Paris, 1908). This latter, in 1881, had created the Charles Champigneulle House in Paris, whose main workshop was located 96 rue Notre Dame des Champs in the 6th arrondissement. He was himself the son of Charles Champigneulle, a master glass-maker at Bar-le-Duc, where the principal workshop of the family was located.
Jacques Charles Champigneulle took over the management of the Parisian house at his majority, until the company closed down in 1938.
Jean DUPAS (Bordeaux, 1882 - Paris 1964)
While asserting himself as a decorator, Jean Dupas intervenes in the most varied fields. He draws in major fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. He remains very attached to his hometown, Bordeaux, for which he makes a great composition "The Vine and Wine" for the exhibition of Decorative Arts 1925.
He collaborated in the decoration of the liners Ile de France and Liberté. In 1934-1935 he made the preparatory drawings for the decoration of the great Salon of Normandy, in collaboration with the master glassman Jacques Charles Champigneulle.
Dupas finished his career as curator of the Marmottan Museum.