Tag Archives: French Artists

Art History: ‘Fragonard’s Painted Portraits’ (Video)

Jean-Honoré Fragonard delighted in painting fascinating portraits. In this episode of Sotheby’s Stories, learn how he captured the true essence of character, through his mastery of observation and light.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard 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 Régime, Fragonard produced more than 550 paintings, of which only five are dated.

Artwork Tours: “Bathers By A River” – Henri Matisse (Art Institute Chicago)

On this episode of Art Institute Essentials Tour, take a closer look at Bathers by a River, started by Henri Matisse in 1909 and completed in 1917. Henri Matisse originally painted this work as a pastoral scene, but over the next decade he transformed it into the cubist-inflected composition seen today. When the painting was acquired by the Art Institute in 1953, Matisse told the museum’s director that he viewed the painting as one of his five most pivotal works.

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Henri Émile Benoît Matisse (1869 -1954) was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter.

Art: Russian-French Painter Marc Chagall’s “Circus Of Color” (Video)

Sothebys LogoAs a child, Marc Chagall would marvel at the traveling acrobatic troupes that passed through his Village. The animals, dancers and musicians of the circus seemed to conjure a distinct joy that would consistently manifest itself throughout the artist’s career. In this episode of Expert Voices, discover how Chagall was able to uniquely translate this fascination to canvas as Edith Eustis delves into the deep greens and brilliant reds of Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque Vert. Painted in 1973, this work captures the magical allure of the spectacle and incorporates many of the artist’s most iconic motifs. Le Cirque Vert will be offered as a highlight of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York.

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Marc Chagall (1887 – 1985) was a Russian-French artist of Belarusian Jewish origin. An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in a wide range of artistic formats, including painting, drawings, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic tapestries and fine art prints.

Cocktails With A Curator: Boucher’s ‘A Lady On Her Daybed’ (Frick Collection)

In this episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” Xavier F. Salomon, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, examines the life and work of French painter François Boucher, with a focus on “A Lady on Her Daybed.” Discover why Boucher was said to epitomize the taste of the eighteenth century.

This week’s complementary cocktail has a kick: the potent French 75, named after the powerful French 75mm field gun.

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Art History: “Auguste Rodin – The Father Of Modern Sculpture”

From Christie’s online magazine (May 2020):

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) Meditation, small model, type I version
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) Meditation, small model, type I version

Rodin travelled to Italy in 1875, a trip described by the late art historian Kirk Varnedoe as, ‘one of the seminal events in modern art’.

Here, in his mid-thirties, he fell under the spell of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo. His monumental, exaggerated nude figures would have a deep and lasting influence on the artist. ‘My liberation from academicism was via Michelangelo,’ Rodin later recalled. ‘He is the bridge by which I passed from one circle to another.’

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is renowned for breathing life into clay, creating naturalistic, often vigorously modelled sculptures which convey intense human emotions: love, ecstasy, agony or grief. Breaking the rules of academic convention and classical idealism, Rodin ushered in a new form of highly expressive sculpture that went on to influence generations of artists that followed.

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Art History: “Toulouse-Lautrec And The Stars Of Paris” (MFA, Boston Video)

Curator Helen Burnham, Pamela and Peter Voss Curator of Prints and Drawings, introduces us to the celebrities of 19th-century Paris made famous by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his contemporaries. The exhibition features the rich holdings of the MFA and its organizing partner, the Boston Public Library.

Art Review: “The Floor Planers” By Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte (1875) (Musée d’Orsay Video)

For her performances in over sixty films and forty theatrical productions, Ariane Ascaride has notably been awarded the César for best actress in Marius and Jeannette (1998) and the Coppa Volpi for lead actress at the Venice mostra for Gloria Mundi (2019), two films directed by Robert Guédiguian. She is also a director and a screenwriter.

The Floor Planers by Gustave Caillebotte 1875 video by Musée d'Orsay Januaary 2020

Les raboteurs de parquet (English title: The Floor Scrapers) is an oil painting by French Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte. The canvas measures 102 by 146.5 centimetres (40.2 in × 57.7 in). It was originally given by Caillebotte’s family in 1894 to the Musée du Luxembourg, then transferred to the Musée du Louvre in 1929. In 1947, it was moved to the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, and in 1986, it was transferred again to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, where it is currently displayed.

Musée d’Orsay website

Pop Art Books: “Mirages – The Art Of Laurent Durieux” (March 2020)

Mirages The Art of Laurent DurieuxLaurent Durieux is a famous Belgian illustrator well known to lovers of pop culture and collectors for his reinterpretations of posters of cult films. Each of his American exhibitions was sold out during the opening night and in the presence of thousands of enthusiastic fans.

This book will be his first monograph and will cover his entire career, with a particular focus on his posters of the most emblematic alternative films (notably Jaws, The Birds, Vertigo and The Master). The book includes a 6-page section of art on rejected and unpublished posters and a preface by filmmaker and collector Durieux Francis Ford Coppola.

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New Literary Books: “Parisian Lives – Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir And Me” (Bair)

Deirdre Bair Parisian Lives Samuel Beckett Simone de Beauvoir and Me A Memoir BookDe Beauvoir and Beckett despised each other – and lived essentially on the same street. While quite literally dodging one subject or the other, and sometimes hiding out in the backrooms of the great cafés of Paris, Bair learned that what works in terms of process for one biography rarely applies to the next. Her seven-year relationship with the domineering and difficult de Beauvoir required a radical change in approach, yielding another groundbreaking literary profile.

Drawing on Bair’s extensive notes from the period, including never-before-told anecdotes and details that were considered impossible to publish at the time, Parisian Lives is full of personality and warmth and gives us an entirely new window on the all-too-human side of these legendary thinkers.

In 1971 Deirdre Bair was a journalist and recently minted PhD who managed to secure access to Nobel Prize-winning author Samuel Beckett. He agreed that she could write his biography despite never having written – or even read – a biography herself. The next seven years of intimate conversations, intercontinental research, and peculiar cat-and-mouse games resulted in Samuel Beckett: A Biography, which went on to win the National Book Award and propel Deirdre to her next subject: Simone de Beauvoir. The catch?

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Fine Art: Paris Musées Makes Public Over 100,000 Images Including Monet, Cézanne And Courbet

Paris Musées Releases over 100,000 Images of Artworks for Unrestricted Public Use

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Setting Sun on the Seine at Lavacourt” by Claude Monet (1880)
Setting Sun on the Seine at Lavacourt” by Claude Monet (1880)

Portrait of Ambroise Vollard by Paul Cézanne (1899)
Portrait of Ambroise Vollard by Paul Cézanne (1899)

Portrait of Juliette Courbet by Gustave Courbet (1844)
“Portrait of Juliette Courbet” by Gustave Courbet (1844)