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Philippe-Auguste Hennequin

1762 Lyon – 1833 Tournai

The painter and printmaker, Philippe-Auguste Hennequin, studied under Jacques-Louis David, which prompted Jules Renouvier to remark that he “avait embrassé les principes académiques de son maître avec la même rigueur que ses sen­timents révolutionnaires”. Having completed his training, the artist was a pensionnaire at the Académie de France in Rome, but was obliged to flee from Italy in 1789 in the face of revolutionary activities there and subsequently worked as a painter in Paris and Lyon. Hennequin was arrested in the repression which followed the 9th Thermidor (27 July 1794) and only escaped execution thanks to the good offices of the politician, François de Neufchãteau. From then on Hennequin kept well away from any form of political activity, working exclusively as a painter during the Empire period. Hennequin produced monumental battle scenes at Bonaparte’s behest and enjoyed the protection of Vivant-Denon. The artist remained true to his political beliefs, however, joining his teacher David in exile in Belgium after the return of the Bourbons in 1815. Hennequin’s etchings date to his early period and are extremely rare.