The Digital Viau project is online! It was realized by the students of the course "Du corpus en humanités au projet numérique", between September 2021 and June 2022.
Between the beginning of the 20th century and his death, the dental surgeon George Viau (1855-1939) built up an exceptional collection, both in terms of size - some 1,200 works of art - and quality, bringing together the greatest impressionist and post-impressionist names such as Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro, Degas, Morisot, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Denis, Vuillard and many others.
The Digital Viau project finely reconstructs the trajectory of this ensemble, from the acquisition of the paintings, sculptures, drawings and engravings, to their successive dispersals at public auctions in Paris.
The first step of the project was to gather the works collected by George Viau. For this purpose, the sales catalogs of the collection were collected at the BnF and the INHA Library.
All the information contained in the sales catalogs was then transcribed into a common database for the team.
The last step was to identify the works, by grouping together those that had been sold several times (those that had been bought by George Viau) and by finding their trace today. For this, the team relied on the catalog raisonné of the Viau collection, produced by Juliette Tacail, Christian Theuveny and Claude Petit-Castelli (independent researchers).
The corpus has been enhanced with Omeka S software, which allows the creation of digital libraries. Each work of the collection corresponds to an "item", inserted and signed by the member of the team who wrote the record.
The TGIR Huma-num has opened a domain name for the Digital Viau project and, with the precious help of Jérémy Pedrazzi, the Digital Viau website has been put online. It now hosts the digital library of works collected by the dental surgeon and continues to be maintained by the team members.