Birth : 1720 in Paris (Ile-de-France) ? Death : 1785 in Paris (Ile-de-France)

Summary

François LEJEUNE is certainly one of the last great masters of the French violin school of the 18th century who can be firmly linked to the Vieux Paris school.
While some have pointed out a lack of personality and little interest for innovation in François LEJEUNE's work, we prefer to think that his work honored the legacy of his master and teacher, Louis GUERSAN, to whom LEJEUNE was a most faithful disciple.


Biography

Career
François LEJEUNE is linked to Louis GUERSAN through both professional and family ties.
Having grown up in Paris in the district where GUERSAN lived and worked, François LEJEUNE was certainly familiar with GUERSAN's workshop as a young boy. He began serving his apprenticeship under Louis GUERSAN quite early, finishing in 1744. In that same year, LEJEUNE married GUERSAN's niece, Anne-Marguerite LECUYER. Eight children were born from this marraige, five boys and three girls. Of the five boys, four became violin makers.
In 1749 François LEJEUNE established his own workshop on Rue de la Juiverie in Paris.


Works

François LEJEUNE can be considered as one of the main disciples of Louis GUERSAN.
His models are close to GUERSAN's and his varnish is especially close to his revered master. Aside from violins, violas, and cellos, François LEJEUNE's production included viols, guitars, pochettes (dancing masters' kits), hurdy-gurdies, and harps.

Workshop
LEJEUNE's workshop was located on Rue de la Juiverie, in Paris, initially on the South end of the street in the Saint-Germain-le-Vieux district before he eventually moved to another part of the street in the Saint-Pierre des Arcis district. LEJEUNE's shop had "the Royal Harp" as a signboard, an instrument that can sometimes be found printed on his labels.

Honors & awards
1764 Juror of the violin makers' guild.

Collaborators & successors
François LEJEUNE  trained four of his sons as violin makers. Strangely enough, none of them took over their father's workshop. Nevertheless, by a real twist of fate, the owner of the house sold it a few years before LEJEUNE's death to a violin maker Antoine FOUQUET, also known as "LECOMTE". Upon François LEJEUNE's death, FOUQUET began renting the house to Jacques LAFLEUR who became the famous bow maker that with whom we are familiar today. Thus the building remained an active center of the violin industry.

Sources
- Documents Inédits sur les Luthiers Parisiens du XVIII° siècle. Sylvette MILLIOT
- Dictionnaire Universel des Luthiers. René VANNES.
- La Lutherie Parisienne. Tome II. Sylvette MILLIOT
- Instrumentistes et Luthiers Parisiens XVII° - XIX° siècle Ouvrage dirigé par Florence GÉTREAU
(More specfic publication references are available in our Bibliography section.)

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