Protection also Means Preserving and Passing On Our Cultural Heritage

Thanks to AXA's patronage, the French State acquires Vue d'Avignon, depuis la rive droite du Rhône près de Villeneuve by Claude-Joseph Vernet for the Musée du Louvre. A masterpiece of the 18th Century French painting which had not been shown in France for 200 years. ALL NEWS  |  Commitment
Nov 13, 2015

AXA, philanthropy in action

Henri de Castries
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of AXA

We are very proud to contribute once again to the preservation and transmission of our cultural heritage with the acquisition of this masterpiece, which the visitors of the Louvre will be able to appreciate. AXA's commitment to cultural philanthropy is deeply bound to our corporate responsibility initiatives and consistent with the activities of AXA Art, which brings its expertise to museums, private and institutional collectors to protect and value their works of art.

This brings to over €56 million the contribution of the AXA Group and its subsidiaries to preserve the French cultural heritage over the past eleven years.

Find out more about national treasures and works of major cultural interest acquired thanks to AXA's patronage.

A moving landscape painting of the city of Avignon

Vue d'Avignon, depuis la rive droite du Rhône près de Villeneuve is a masterpiece of the 18th century and represents a critical milestone in the landscape history in France. Painted while the artist was travelling across the country to complete the series called "Ports de France" (Harbours of France) for King Louis XV, the painting had remained in England for more than 200 years. It combines the topographic accuracy and the precision in the description of human activities with an extraordinary poetic sense and a quite modern virtuosity in the depiction of the atmospheric and bright effects.

In a panoramic way, the composition displays the horizon line of Avignon and its main monuments: the Popes' Palace, the Petit Palais, the Cathedral of the Doms, the Church Saint-Pierre, the ramparts, the medieval door, the famous bridge and its broken arches, etc. Above all, the subject is the alliance between the sky and the water, in the play of light and shadow on the gilded stone of the Popes' Palace, in the contrast between the picturesque and the sublime, between the quiet eternity of secular monuments and the activities of the men of the Enlightenment (Les Lumières).