Jean-Jacques Scherrer: The Entrance of Joan of Arc into Orléans on 8th May 1429

The Entrance of Joan of Arc into Orléans on 8th May 1429 by Jean-Jacques Scherrer (1855-1916) depicts the historic moment when Joan of Arc led the French troops into Orléans in 1429.

This painting captures the moment of triumph for Joan of Arc and her troops in their successful siege against the English forces. The painting, an oil on canvas, was originally painted in 1887. It is currently housed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Orléans, France.

The painting has become an iconic representation of the courage and bravery of Joan of Arc and the French people.

The Entrance of Joan of Arc into Orléans on 8th May 1429 by Jean-Jacques Scherrer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Joan of Arc (1412-1431 CE) was a French peasant girl who rose to fame as a military leader during the Hundred Years’ War. She was born in Domrémy, France.  She led the French forces to victory at the Siege of Orléans in 1429 CE. She was later captured by the English and put on trial for heresy, culminating in her execution at the age of 19.  She believed she was guided by visions from the archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine to aid in saving France from English domination. She was later declared a saint by the Catholic Church in 1920 CE and is recognized as a heroine of France.

Jean-Jacques Scherrer (1855-1916) was a French academic painter, well-known and respected for his historical and religious paintings. He was born in Lutterbach in Alsace. When he moved to Paris, he studied under Pierre-Jules Cavelier in the studio of Félix-Joseph Barrias.  He continued his studies under the guidance of Alexandre Cabanel (Napoleon III’s preferred painter)

Jean-Jacques Scherrer received accolades for The Entrance of Joan of Arc into Orléans on 8th May 1429.

While Jean-Jacques Scherrer is relatively unknown in our time, he was well received in the early 20th century.  In 1900, he was made a knight of the Legion of Honour.  Established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, this title represents the highest French order of merit, both military and civil.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

31 thoughts on “Jean-Jacques Scherrer: The Entrance of Joan of Arc into Orléans on 8th May 1429

    1. Thank you for your support and encouragement, Robbie. I am fascinated by the stories behind paintings and artwork. I am reading a delightful book by Christine Coulson “Metropolitan Stories”. Christine worked at the Metropolitan Museum for more than 25 years. This novel shows readers the Met that the public doesn’t see. I am discovering the art pieces that she discusses on The Met’s website.

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  1. This is very interesting, historical podcase, I learned much from the painting (so much to find in between the many figures. even horses!) Joan of Arc was very young when she did all of her historical adventures and lived only a few years, really. But her fame endures, books and even movies have been made from the events in her really short life–even Mark Twain! I really enjoyed this podcast, thank you so much for sharing! !

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  2. I adore this painting.
    I know it from my youth & onwards. My Baba was an ardent catholic. She had few books in her home, all having to do with religious history, or the history of Poland. However, this is where I learned about Saint Joan of Arc.
    I was fascinated because here was a woman who led men. She is an early role model for me, in the sense that women could do anything men could do.

    Thank you for the history! The painter and art history is new info for me.
    It’s a fabulous painting.
    Interesting…I’ve mentioned before that artists were the photographers of their day, in a way. Partly they visually recorded history, as it was happening.
    Here we have past history, captured in a painting. The fact is that the camera had now been invented. Still, we can’t go back in time and take pics. So, the artist has gone back in time, through the purview of history, and once again captured a moment in art.

    Do I make any sense?

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    1. Absolutely, Resa!! You make perfect sense. Your words resonated: “the artist has gone back in time, through the purview of history, and once again captured a moment in art.” You have articulated the thoughts that have been in my mind for the past few months. How do we remember when we were not there. How do we understand when we did not experience the moment. We must rely on others who witnessed the events, who experienced the moments. I believe that it is the creatives that lead the way in this area: artists, writers, poets, philosophers, scientists, astronomers – basically everyone. I think we need to embrace our creative side, to find a way to honour our personal creativity. It is easy to say, I am not an artist, writer, poet etc. etc. etc. – to defer to others and take a less demanding road. I love Vincent Van Gogh’s thoughts: “Normality is a paved road: it’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”

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    1. I am delighted you asked that question, Liz! When I was researching this painting, I came across a short video and article on Britannica that I know you will enjoy!! Watch researchers attempt to reconstruct what Joan of Arc’s face looked like. I hope the link comes through because it will answer your question.,is%20situated%20in%20northeastern%20France.

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    1. Like you, I was immediately drawn to the way in which Jean-Jacques Scherrer positioned Joan of Arc. When I was looking at the back story for this painting, I realized how little I knew of the history of the Hundred Years War. I had forgotten that Joan of Arc was only 17 when she led this procession. So young, so determined.

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      1. Thank you for joining the conversation, Liz. What I found interesting about Jean-Jacques Scherrer, was that he was well known, liked, and respected during his time. Yet, change was in the air and he was soon to be, according to what I have read, eclipsed by his contemporary Impressionists. Change comes – we are in constant movement.

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  3. Fascinating information, Rebecca, about a great painting, its talented artist, and its iconic subject. I wonder if Mark Twain saw this painting before writing his excellent 1896 historical novel “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.”

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    1. I am delighted and excited that you introduced me to Mark Twain’s historical novel “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.” I did not know about this book. I continue to learn, Dave. As I was viewing this painting, I realize how much artistic endeavours add to our understanding of history. Jean-Jacques Scherrer gave us a view of how his time and society recognized the contribution of Joan of Arc. This adds to our understanding that heroes/heroines capture the imagination of many generations, breaking down the barriers of time and space. We tell and retell their stories and, in the process, we make them our own.

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