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date: 13 December 2019

Steinheil, Louis-Charles-Augustelocked

(b Strasbourg, July 26, 1814; d Paris, March 16, 1885).
  • Catherine Brisac


(b Strasbourg, July 26, 1814; d Paris, March 16, 1885).

French painter, designer, illustrator and glazier. A pupil of the history painter Henri Decaisne (1759–1852) and of the sculptor David d’Angers, and brother-in-law of the painter Ernest Meissonier, he made his début at the Salon of 1836 in Paris with a genre painting, Consolation (untraced); he exhibited there annually until 1855. During the same period he illustrated a number of novels, including Bernardin de Saint Pierre’s Paul et Virginie (Paris, 1838) and Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris (Paris, 1844), and religious books.

In 1839 Steinheil provided the architect Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus with a cartoon, depicting the Passion, for one of the first antiquarian stained-glass windows in France, installed in the Chapelle de la Vierge in St Germain-l’Auxerrois, Paris. It established his reputation among architects and scholars who were eager to rediscover and reintroduce the religious art and artistic techniques of the Middle Ages. Steinheil devoted most of his energies to producing drawings and cartoons, based on original medieval and Renaissance examples but modernized to make them more accessible to contemporary taste. As a result he became one of the most sought after painters of cartoons on all subjects, and he was appointed a member of the Commission des Monuments Historiques. He used his skills to restore the stained-glass windows in Sainte-Chapelle, Paris (...

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U. Thieme and F. Becker, eds: Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, 37 vols (Leipzig, 1907–50) [see also Meissner above]
E. Bénézit, ed.: Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs, 10 vols (Paris, 1913–22, rev. 3/1976)