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Showing posts from January, 2020

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…