Antoine Bernard (XIX-XX)
« In Alpinis Montibus Musarum Amica »
Stained Glass before complete restoration by Monsieur Berthier à Grenoble
Signed, around 1900
Height: 48,5 cm. (19,09in.)
Length : 103,50 cm. (40,75in.)
Inventory Number : 002-0816
Photographs of the Work :
Stained Glass Art Nouveau Woman with Lyre, Antoine Bernard, Grenoble, 1900
This rare stained glass is a hymn to beauty, pure love and the Alps. A beautiful young woman is playing the lyre on the shore of a quiet lake at the foot of the Alps. She wears a laurel wreath decorated with Edelweiss and a red bow. Her long blond hairs are floating in the wind. Her angelic face is wreathed in light, the sky is blue. It could be a representation, in the manner of a saint, of a missing loved one who loved the art of music and the fullness of the Alps. This landscape is framed by a tangle of leaves and plants: Edelweiss, rhododendrons, thistles. The unit is handled just like the English Pre-Raphaelites as John William Waterhouse or Edgar Maxence.
Antoine Bernard (XIX-XX), master glassmaker Grenoble
Antoine Bernard is known for its stained glass windows depicting religious scenes adorning many churches. We may mention for example the Church of Chirens Isere. Many of his works are now classified historic monument. The window that we offer surely comes from a special order made for a particular hotel. This work of Art is at a crossroads, one can recognize different influences: Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau, Symbolism or Pre-Raphaelite. One of the original is to have as part of the Alps. This is extremely rare. It contains all the symbolism of these mountains: the eternal snow, the mountains, the lake, the pine forests, thistle, rhododendron, laurel or edelweiss.
Note that it could also be a representation of St. Cecilia (Cecilia in Rome). We thought it's more of a secular work for the following reasons:
- We did not find any particular link between St. Cecilia, "patron saint" of musicians and luthiers, with the Alps
- The title of the cartridge "In Alpinis Montibus Musarum Amica" seems inappropriate to talk of a holy
The legend of the Edelweiss
Above the eternal snow is a White Lady of great beauty. The Snow Queen is the prisoner of a horde of armed goblins with crystal spears. It says a hunter or a mountaineer who runs into the White Lady falls under its spell. Fascinated and unaware of the danger he then rises higher and higher trying to follow her. When it runs into difficulty, goblins attack him and precipitate him in the ravine. The Snow Queen starts crying. These tears hitting the ground become edelweiss flowers.