French Post-Impressionist Painter, 1839-1906
During the second half of the 19th century French impressionism created a dramatic break with the art of the past. In conception and appearance the style was radically new and, although it initially inspired public ridicule, it soon affected nearly every ambitious artist in western Europe. The new vision emerged during the 1870s, chiefly in the art of Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, and Camille Pissarro. For each of these artists impressionism was an illusionistic style which differed from the tradition of Renaissance illusionism in its greater emphasis upon vibrant, natural color and on an immediate confrontation with the phenomena of the visible world.
As the style developed during the 1880s, however, it increasingly became characterized by paintings which were flat rather than illusionistic. In other words, the impressionists insistence upon a direct application of pigment to canvas resulted in surfaces which declared themselves first of all as surfaces - and, consequently, in paintings which declared themselves first of all as paintings rather than as windows which looked out upon the natural world.
The tendency toward flatness persisted into the last years of the 19th century, its pervasiveness giving the impression that illusionistic space - fought for, won, and defended since the very beginning of the Renaissance - had finally been sacrificed by the medium of painting. Paul C??zanne worked within and finally emerged from this trend. As a painter, he matured slowly, his greatest works coming during the last 25 years of his life. During this period he scored a remarkable and heroic achievement: he restored to painting the space and volume that had seemingly been lost to it. But he did it in a totally unprecedented way: not by return to the illusionism of the past but by the creation of a spatial illusionism that did not violate flatness.
C??zanne was born on Jan. 19, 1839, in Aix-en-Provence. His father, Philippe Auguste, was the cofounder of a banking firm which prospered throughout the artist life, affording him financial security that was unavailable to most of his contemporaries and eventually resulting in a large inheritance. In 1852 C??zanne entered the Coll??ge Bourbon, where he met and became friends with Émile Zola. This friendship was decisive for both men: with youthful romanticism they envisioned successful careers in the Paris art world, C??zanne as a painter and Zola as a writer. Consequently, C??zanne began to study painting and drawing at the École des Beaux-Arts in Aix in 1856. His father opposed the pursuit of an artistic career, and in 1858 he persuaded C??zanne to enter law school at the University of Aix. Although C??zanne continued his law studies for several years, he was simultaneously enrolled in the School of Design in Aix, where he remained until 1861.
In 1861 C??zanne finally convinced his father to allow him to go to Paris. He planned to join Zola there and to enroll in the École des Beaux-Arts. But his application was rejected and, although he had gained inspiration from visits to the Louvre, particularly from the study of Diego Vel??zquez and Caravaggio, C??zanne experienced self-doubt and returned to Aix within the year. He entered his father banking house but continued to study at the School of Design.
The remainder of the decade was a period of flux and uncertainty for C??zanne. His attempt to work in his father business was abortive, and he returned to Paris in 1862 and stayed for a year and a half. During this period he met Monet and Pissarro and became acquainted with the revolutionary work of Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet. C??zanne also admired the fiery romanticism of Eug??ne Delacroix paintings. But he was never entirely comfortable with Parisian life and periodically returned to Aix, where he could work in relative isolation. He retreated there, for instance, during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). Related Paintings of Paul Cezanne :. | Still Life with Plaster Cupid (mk35) | The Hanged Man's House | Still Life with Apples and Oranges | to prepare the banquet | Stilleben, Ingwertopf |
Related Artists:James Gunn
1753 - 1801Jean-Honore Fragonard
French Rococo Era Painter, 1732-1806
was a French painter and printmaker whose late Rococo manner was distinguished by remarkable facility, exuberance, and hedonism. One of the most prolific artists active in the last decades of the Ancien Regime, Fragonard produced more than 550 paintings , of which only five are dated. Among his most popular works are genre paintings conveying an atmosphere of intimacy and veiled eroticism. He was born at Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes, the son of François Fragonard, a glover, and Françoise Petit. He was articled to a Paris notary when his father's circumstances became strained through unsuccessful speculations, but showed such talent and inclination for art that he was taken at the age of eighteen to François Boucher, who, recognizing the youth's rare gifts but disinclined to waste his time with one so inexperienced, sent him to Chardin's atelier. Fragonard studied for six months under the great luminist, then returned more fully equipped to Boucher, whose style he soon acquired so completely that the master entrusted him with the execution of replicas of his paintings. Though not yet a pupil of the Academy, Fragonard gained the Prix de Rome in 1752 with a painting of "Jeroboam Sacrificing to the Golden Calf", but before proceeding to Rome he continued to study for three years under Charles-Andre van Loo. In the year preceding his departure he painted the "Christ washing the Feet of the Apostles" now at Grasse cathedral. On September 17, 1756, he took up his abode at the French Academy in Rome, then presided over by Charles-Joseph Natoire. While at Rome, Fragonard contracted a friendship with a fellow painter, Hubert Robert. In 1760, they toured Italy together, executing numerous sketches of local scenery. It was in these romantic gardens, with their fountains, grottos, temples and terraces, that Fragonard conceived the dreams which he was subsequently to render in his art. He also learned to admire the masters of the Dutch and Flemish schools (Rubens, Hals, Rembrandt, Ruisdael), imitating their loose and vigorous brushstrokes. Added to this influence was the deep impression made upon his mind by the florid sumptuousness of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, whose works he had an opportunity to study in Venice before he returned to Paris in 1761. In 1765 his "Coresus et Callirhoe" secured his admission to the Academy. It was made the subject of a pompous (though not wholly serious) eulogy by Diderot, and was bought by the king, who had it reproduced at the Gobelins factory. Hitherto Fragonard had hesitated between religious, classic and other subjects; but now the demand of the wealthy art patrons of Louis XV's pleasure-loving and licentious court turned him definitely towards those scenes of love and voluptuousness with which his name will ever be associated, and which are only made acceptable by the tender beauty of his color and the virtuosity of his facile brushwork; Felix Auvray
a French historical painter, was born at Cambrai in 1800. He was a pupil of Momal in Valenciennes, and afterwards of Gros in Paris. He exhibited in 1824, 'St. Louis a Prisoner,' and in 1827, 'Gautier de Châtillon defending St. Louis against the Saracens,' now in the Museum of Cambrai; 'St. Paul at Athens,' &c. He died in 1833, in his native city.