Name That Painter!
With it being Valentines Day, I can't think of a better artist to feature on this day of Love (hint, that is clue #1).
La Rochelle, a city on the Atlantic coast of France, was the birthplace of our featured painter of the month. Now before you go and google that, keep reading, for there is much more information to ponder...
As a young boy, he exhibited a remarkable skill for drawing, which was specifically noticed by his uncle Eugene, a curate. To satisfy my own curiosity, I looked up "curate" which means: parish priest or person invested in the care of the souls of the parish. Eugene would later be a key figure in the serious studies of his nephew. In the meantime though, his uncle educated him as much as possible in the Old and New Testaments, Greek mythology, and Latin. Undoubtedly, he played an important role in the eventual success of our young painter.
_ Born to merchant parents who dealt in the business of wine and later olive oil, our painter was encouraged to enter the family business. He did for a time until his father's client through some mighty influence, convinced the parents to allow our painter to attend art school. The school, Ecole des Beaux Arts, was located in Bordeaux. Over the next few years, our painter worked hard earning money while attending school. Coloring labels for jams and preserves, and keeping books for a wine merchant kept his nose to the grindstone. His free time was spent fine tuning his artistic skill by creating drawings from memory. Practice, practice, practice... In the pursuit of higher learning, I imagine these words were and integral part of his being, for he truly knew how to engage himself fully in his artistic pursuits. Those early days of discipline proved to propel him well as he faced the rigors of art later in Paris.
_ After spending a few years in Bordeaux, it was time for our painter to continue his studies elsewhere. Paris was the target. However, his father didn't have the means to support his son in this pursuit, it just wasn't possible on their limited income. Remember his uncle Eugene? Yes, Eugene came to the rescue! He wisely arranged for our young painter to work by painting portraits of his parishioners. After painting thirty-three portrait paintings (phew! I'm sure that would take most of us a lifetime!) he was able to save up nine hundred francs. His aunt then stepped in to match the sum which paved the way for our painter to move to Paris in 1846. Why Paris? Well, that could be a looong drawn out story, but to sum it up.... Paris at that time, was the gathering place for artists, an art mecca you could say. Not only did Paris have a number of museums with art of the ages on display, there were many political reasons for this. Interestingly, the government was entangled in artistic training and had a finger on what type of art was acceptable and what was not. Art meant success politically, socially etc. to Paris. Do you see the correlation?? So , to be successful as an artist, Paris was where you went. If you were trained there and accepted, then financial success was probable. The government had strong threads tied to institutions that would hire you or buy your art. Of course, holding such high expectations and demands on artists does eventually backfire, but that is a whole different story.
Our artist at the fine age of 21 was accepted into the studio of Francois Edouard Picot. There is so much more I could ramble on about his training, but I will skip ahead at this point. Just know that our painter did eventually find acceptance in Paris, which brought him much acclaim.
_ Over his career he produced a prolific amount of art. He created over seven hundred finished works! Count that... s-e-v-e-n-h-u-n-d-r-e-d!!! He held himself to an industrious and serious standard when creating. This quote pretty much sums his thoughts...
"Each day I go to my studio full of joy; in the evening when obliged to stop because of darkness I can scarcely wait for the morning to come... My work is not only a pleasure, it has become a necessity. No matter how many other things I have in my life, if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable."
Our featured painter happens to be one on the top of my list of favorites. His paintings are marvelous! Words just can't describe the beauty he was able to create on canvas. He was a master and could exquisitely express tenderness and beauty.
_Can you Name that Painter?
Send your best guess by midnight March 11th, 2012 to:
All the correct answers will be placed in a hat for a chance to win a $10.00 gift certificate to use on our website!
We will announce the winner on March 12th, 2012