Saint-Houardon, the legend by Yan' Dargent
Houardon and Landerneau
Saint Houardon was 8th bishop of Léon, in the 7th century. We can see a fresco here, with Houardon crossing the Irish sea in a stony trough, to evangelize Brittany! He became then bishop of Saint-Pol-de-Léon city.
And now we are in the church Saint-Houardon, in Landerneau, raised between 1524 and 1604.
From the primitive church, they kept the Renaissance bell-tower (1604) made of Kersanton stone, gargoyles and bells.
Yan' Dargent and saint Houardon
Inside, don’t miss frescos in the nave and the choir! Those 9 paintings represent apostles and scenes from the New and Old Testament, plus a scene where Houardon sits in his stony barque, pushed by angels in the Breton sea!
Breton painter Yan Dargent made them between 1891 and 1893.
Do you know who Dargent was? Oh, he’s not very famous, what a shame! He was born in Saint-Servais, Finistère, in 1824. His name was Jean-Edouard Dargent but nicknamed himself Yan.
In 1840, he became a civil engineer and built the railway Brest-Paris. Then he worked in Paris, came back in Brest... In 1850, he get an engineer job in Spain... But Yan wanted to be a painter, an artist! His true passion...
So he packed it all in and became a books illustrator. In1870, he created churches decoration: church of Saint-Servais, cathedral of Quimper, this church in Landerneau... He also made big paintings he displayed in Paris exhibitions. He died in Paris in 1889...