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Showing posts from 2020

Gustave Léonard de Jonghe, Belgian Prince

The Afternoon Visit, ca. late 1800's

Gustave Léonard de Jonghe was born on February 4, 1829, in western Belgium. After training in Brussels he moved to Paris to further his career, where he would spend time back and forth between the two cities. De Jonghe's style evolved from a more academic Realism to Orientalism and into genre paintings of women, especially with children. Although often criticized for his sentimentality, de Jonghe still had a firm grasp of his subjects with a strong naturalism, an eye for texture and pattern, and a vibrant palette. Often compared to Alfred Stevens, another brilliant and respected genre painter from Belgium, De Jonghe continued the tradition using his own palette and eye for body language.

In The Afternoon Visit above he seems to channel Sargent. The opulence and grandeur of the 19th century is depicted in a relaxed, airy naturalism. De Jonghe also captures the frilly dresses and all of its intricacies with ease. This young child fondly kisses…

Federico Andreotti, the Fun Painter

The Wedding Dance, ca.1890's

Born March 6, 1847 in Florence, Federico Andreotti was a genre and aristocratic painter. Andreotti's work is characterized by a vivid palette with elegantly dressed Rococo figures, revolving around the themes of flirtation and music. There is a spontaneity and naturalism in his figures that is contagious, even with the incredible detail and well-conceived compositions. Andreotti was astute enough to realize his era had already let go of the noble themes of his predecessors and he gleefully accepted. His style is very reminiscent of Eugene de Blaas, a contemporary from Rome and Vittorio Reggianini from Modena. Up close, however, Andreotti had a fairly loose brush and that sense of fun is evident in his modelling and blending.

In The Wedding Dance above, Andreotti depicts a country wedding in the lush outdoors. Look at the young couple kicking up their heels. Andreotti creates movement and alacrity while taking us back in time. I love how the bride s…

Henry Lerolle, Forgotten Impressionist

The Organ Rehearsal, 1885

Henry Lerolle was born on October 3, 1848 in Paris. He studied at the popular 19th century Académie Suisse, whose alumni include Monet, Cézanne, Pissaro, and Manet amoung others, and under the private instruction of Louis Lamothe, who taught Degas and Tissot. Despite his incredible eye there seems to be a lack of productivity compared to his contemporaries yet what makes Lerolle unique is his dramatic use of light and bold colors.

In The Organ Rehearsal above, we see one of the most breathtaking and underrated paintings of the 19th century. A singer rehearses a hymn at the Saint-François-Xavier in Paris to an open space of light— a brilliant composition that eschews any audience below completely and focuses on the main figures of the choir loft. This remarkable earth toned palette of browns, yellows and blacks, with a few accent colors, is superb. A couple of the standing figures off to the left have been painted in burnt sienna and yellows that make their fa…