Toulon visit of President Loubet, Félix Ziem (1821-1911)

Toulon visit of President Loubet to the French and Italian fleets, April 10 1901
© National Maritime Museum / P. Dantec

Félix Ziem (1821-1911)
Oil on canvas
loaf pan of 11 x 26 cm (9x5inches)
Inventory number MnM 11 OA 139
Exhibition in Paris, Palais de Chaillot

When Felix Ziem received orders from this painting a few days before the festivals organized in Toulon for the official visit of the Duke of Genoa, admiral of the Italian fleet, the Minister of the Navy told him that he had complete freedom in the choice of the subject.
Ziem chose to represent the battleship Saint-Louis, aboard which was the president of the Republic Emile Loubet, in the harbor of Toulon. He was greeted by the French and Italian squadrons before greeting the Lepanto on which the Duke of Genoa was.
The painter situates the scene at the moment when President Loubet has just left the Saint Louis. The composition is centered on the traditional canoe, on board of which the authorities took place to cross the roadstead, which seems very fragile among the battleships of the two squadrons.
This work, the largest of Ziem's ​​paintings known to date, consecrates the appointment of the artist in the body of painters of the Navy.

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