Cerise Thelwall Doussot
After obtaining a BA (hons) degree in the history of art at the Courtauld Institute of Art (University of London), Cerise Thelwall Doussot enrolled in an MA/MPhil programme in the history of art and museum studies at the École du Louvre. There, under the supervision of Cecilia Hurley-Griener (University of Neuchâtel), she studied the reception of J.-H. Fragonard during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and the impact of these texts on the interpretation of the artist’s work leading up to the present day (‘Jean-Honoré Fragonard : nouveaux regards sur un peintre parisien du temps des Lumières’, MPhil dissertation: École du Louvre, 2010).
She began her doctoral dissertation in 2020, once again under the direction of Cecilia Hurley-Griener (teacher at the École du Louvre) and Cécile Debray (Director of the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris). Her thesis, entitled ‘Francis Bacon et les collections parisiennes’, explores the question of the impact of works seen by Bacon in Parisian art collections, and mainly museums, on his own paintings. She has been awarded the second scholarship for research in art history by the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation, in the framework of the partnership established by the foundation with the École du Louvre.
Starting with a comprehensive exploration of the ties between the artist and the city of Paris, this research aims to bring together the traces, testimonies and correspondence concerning not only Bacon’s Parisian sojourns, but also his museum visits and the way in which he was confronted with and absorbed the art of the past in this context. Bacon is an artist known for his use of pre-existing images, from a range of categories, in the conception of his paintings. Moreover, his affection for the city of Paris is well documented. Through an identification and analysis of Bacon’s Parisian visual sources, this project aims to explore the way in which the artist appropriated certain works from the Parisian collections, and his occupation of the city’s artistic spaces (museums, commercial galleries, etc.), whilst taking into consideration the Parisian artistic circles he frequented. The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the impact of this ‘appropriation’ on his work, and to further elucidate the role of the French capital in his career as an artist.
In parallel with her academic activities, Cerise has worked since 2010 as an independent guide-lecturer at the museums and monuments of Paris, creating a number of thematic itineraries at the Musée du Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie, amongst many others.