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Jean Georges Hirn (1777–1839)

Bouquet of Flowers with Grapes and a Bird Cage, 1829

Established in Alsace in the late 18th century, the textile industry continued to flourish in the region during the 19th century. Although Mulhouse was the leading centre for fabric printing, factories set up in Colmar also were involved in this type of production. Notable among these was the Haussmann factory at Logelbach, linked by family ties to the well-known prefect of the Seine. As was the case for silks printed in the region of Lyon, the designs used were the work of talented painters employed by the factories. Jean Georges Hirn was one such artist. In 1802, having completed an apprenticeship in fabric printing design in Mulhouse, he was hired by the Haussmann factory. Quickly, his affinity for the painting of flowers, as evidenced by the works on canvas or copper held in the museum’s collections, earned him some recognition as an easel painter. Like the Dutch masters of the 17th century, he favoured meticulous naturalism in the representation of flowers, although sometimes including a symbolic undercurrent.

Jean Georges Hirn (1777–1839)

Jean Georges Hirn, Bouquet of Flowers with Grapes and a Bird Cage, 1829. Oil on canvas, Musée Unterlinden, Colmar.

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