Georges Rouault

Last updated
Georges Rouault (c. 1920) Georges Rouault.png
Georges Rouault (c. 1920)
Georges Rouault, 1905, Jeu de massacre (Slaughter), (Forains, Cabotins, Pitres), (La noce a Nini patte en l'air), watercolor, gouache, India ink and pastel on paper, 53 x 67 cm, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris Georges Rouault, 1905, Jeu de massacre (Slaughter), (Forains, Cabotins, Pitres), (La noce a Nini patte en l'air), watercolor, gouache, India ink and pastel on paper, 53 x 67 cm, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris.jpg
Georges Rouault, 1905, Jeu de massacre (Slaughter), (Forains, Cabotins, Pitres), (La noce à Nini patte en l'air), watercolor, gouache, India ink and pastel on paper, 53 x 67 cm, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Georges Henri Rouault (French:  [ʒɔʁʒ ʁuo] ; 27 May 1871, Paris 13 February 1958) was a French painter, draughtsman and print artist, whose work is often associated with Fauvism and Expressionism.

Contents

Childhood and education

Rouault was born in Paris into a poor family. He was born in a Parisian cellar after his family's home was destroyed in the Paris insurrection of 1871. His mother encouraged his love for the arts, and in 1885 the fourteen-year-old Rouault embarked on an apprenticeship as a glass painter and restorer, which lasted until 1890. This early experience as a glass painter has been suggested as a likely source of the heavy black contouring and glowing colours, likened to leaded glass, which characterize Rouault's mature painting style. During his apprenticeship, he also attended evening classes at the School of Fine Arts, and in 1891, he entered the École des Beaux-Arts, the official art school of France. There he studied under Gustave Moreau and became his favorite student. Rouault's earliest works show a symbolism in the use of colour that probably reflects Moreau's influence, and when Moreau died in 1898, Rouault was nominated as the curator of the Moreau Museum in Paris.

Early works

In 1891 Rouault painted The Way to Calvary. From 1895 on, he took part in major public exhibitions, notably the Salon d'Automne (which he helped to found), where paintings with religious subjects, landscapes and still lifes were shown. Rouault met Henri Matisse, Albert Marquet, Henri Manguin, and Charles Camoin. These friendships brought him to the movement of Fauvism, the leader of which was considered to be Matisse. In 1905 he exhibited his paintings at the Salon d'Automne with the other Fauvists. While Matisse represented the reflective and rationalized aspects in the group, Rouault embodied a more spontaneous and instinctive style.

His use of stark contrasts and emotionality is credited to the influence of Vincent van Gogh. His characterizations of overemphasized grotesque personalities inspired the expressionist painters.

Expressionist works

In 1907, Rouault commenced a series of paintings dedicated to courts, clowns and prostitutes. These paintings are interpreted as moral and social criticism. He became attracted to Spiritualism and the dramatic existentialism of the philosopher Jacques Maritain, who remained a close friend for the rest of his life. After that, he dedicated himself to religious subjects. Human nature was always the focus of his interest. Rouault said: "A tree against the sky possesses the same interest, the same character, the same expression as the figure of a human."

In 1910, Rouault had his first works exhibited in the Druet Gallery. His works were studied by German artists from Dresden, who later formed the nucleus of expressionism.

From 1917, Rouault dedicated himself to painting. The Christian faith informed his work in his search for inspiration and marks him out as perhaps the most passionate Christian artist of the 20th century: first of all, in the theme of the passion of Christ. The face of Jesus and the cries of the women at the feet of the cross are symbols of the pain of the world, which for Rouault was relieved by belief in resurrection.

In 1929 Rouault created the designs for Sergei Diaghilev's ballet The Prodigal Son , with music by Sergei Prokofiev and choreography by George Balanchine.

In 1930 he also began to exhibit in foreign countries, mainly in London, New York and Chicago.

In 1937 Rouault painted The Old King , which is arguably his finest expressionist work.

He exhibited his cycle Miserere in 1948.

At the end of his life he burned 300 of his pictures (estimated to be worth today about more than half a billion francs). His reason for doing this was not profound, as he simply felt he would not live to finish them. [1]

Rouault died in Paris on February 13, 1958 at the age of 86.

Photograph of house in Beaumont sur Sarthe, Pays De La Loire, France, claiming Georges Rouault to have lived there Georges Rouault House Beaumont sur Sarthe France.jpg
Photograph of house in Beaumont sur Sarthe, Pays De La Loire, France, claiming Georges Rouault to have lived there

Notes

  1. Rouault, text and notes by Joshua Kind, Tudor Publishing, New York, 1969.

Related Research Articles

Henri Matisse 20th-century French artist

Henri Émile Benoît Matisse 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. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the artists who best helped to define the revolutionary developments in the visual arts throughout the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.

André Derain

André Derain was a French artist, painter, sculptor and co-founder of Fauvism with Henri Matisse.

Modern art Artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s

Modern art includes artistic work produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the styles and philosophies of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of experimentation. Modern artists experimented with new ways of seeing and with fresh ideas about the nature of materials and functions of art. A tendency away from the narrative, which was characteristic for the traditional arts, toward abstraction is characteristic of much modern art. More recent artistic production is often called contemporary art or postmodern art.

Gen Paul was a French painter and engraver.

Maurice de Vlaminck

Maurice de Vlaminck was a French painter. Along with André Derain and Henri Matisse he is considered one of the principal figures in the Fauve movement, a group of modern artists who from 1904 to 1908 were united in their use of intense colour. Vlaminck was one of the Fauves at the controversial Salon d'Automne exhibition of 1905.

Salon dAutomne annual French art show, begun in Paris, 1903

The Salon d'Automne, or Société du Salon d'automne, is an art exhibition held annually in Paris, France. Since 2011, it is held on the Champs-Élysées, between the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais, in mid-October. The first Salon d'Automne was created in 1903 by Frantz Jourdain, with Hector Guimard, George Desvallières, Eugène Carrière, Félix Vallotton, Édouard Vuillard, Eugène Chigot and Maison Jansen.

Société des Artistes Indépendants French artists salon and exhibiting space

The Société des Artistes Indépendants, Salon des Indépendants was formed in Paris on 29 July 1884. The association began with the organization of massive exhibitions in Paris, choosing the slogan "sans jury ni récompense". Albert Dubois-Pillet, Odilon Redon, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac were among its founders. For the following three decades their annual exhibitions set the trends in art of the early 20th century, along with the Salon d'Automne. This is where artworks were often first displayed and widely discussed. World War I brought a closure to the salon, though the Artistes Indépendants remained active. Since 1920, the headquarters is located in the vast basements of the Grand Palais.

Albert Marquet French painter, from the Fauvist movement

Albert Marquet was a French painter, associated with the Fauvist movement. He initially became one of the Fauve painters and a lifelong friend of Henri Matisse. Marquet subsequently painted in a more naturalistic style, primarily landscapes, but also several portraits and, between 1910 and 1914, several female nude paintings.

Henri Manguin

Henri Charles Manguin was a French painter, associated with the Fauves.

Charles Camoin

Charles Camoin was a French expressionist landscape painter associated with the Fauves.

Arthur Beecher Carles American painter

Arthur Beecher Carles was an American Modernist painter.

Western painting art produced in the Western world

The history of Western painting represents a continuous, though disrupted, tradition from antiquity until the present time. Until the mid-19th century it was primarily concerned with representational and Classical modes of production, after which time more modern, abstract and conceptual forms gained favor.

Charles-François-Prosper Guérin

Charles-François-Prosper Guérin was a French post-impressionist painter.

Henri Lebasque French painter

Henri Lebasque was a French post-impressionist painter. He was born at Champigné (Maine-et-Loire). His work is represented in French museums, notably Angers, Geneva, Lille, Nantes, and Paris.

Henri Evenepoel Belgian artist

Henri-Jacques-Edouard Evenepoel was a Belgian artist whose most important works are associated with Fauvism.

<i>Luxe, Calme et Volupté</i>

Luxe, Calme et Volupté is an oil painting by the French artist Henri Matisse. Both foundational in the oeuvre of Matisse and a pivotal work in the history of art, Luxe, Calme et Volupté is considered the starting point of Fauvism. This painting is a dynamic and vibrant work created early on in his career as a painter. It displays an evolution of the Neo-Impressionist style mixed with a new conceptual meaning based in fantasy and leisure that had not been seen in works before.

20th-century Western painting art in the Western world during the 20th century

20th-century Western painting begins with the heritage of late-19th-century painters Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and others who were essential for the development of modern art. At the beginning of the 20th century, Henri Matisse and several other young artists including the pre-cubist Georges Braque, André Derain, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck, revolutionized the Paris art world with "wild", multi-colored, expressive landscapes and figure paintings that the critics called Fauvism. Matisse's second version of The Dance signified a key point in his career and in the development of modern painting. It reflected Matisse's incipient fascination with primitive art: the intense warm color of the figures against the cool blue-green background and the rhythmical succession of the dancing nudes convey the feelings of emotional liberation and hedonism.

<i>The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope</i> Painting by Henri Rousseau

The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope is a large oil-on-canvas painting created by Henri Rousseau in 1905. Following Scouts Attacked by a Tiger the previous year, The Hungry Lion was the second jungle painting to mark Rousseau's return to this genre after a 10-year hiatus caused by the generally negative reception to his 1891 painting Tiger in a Tropical Storm.

Ödön Márffy

Ödön Márffy was a Hungarian painter, one of The Eight in Budapest, credited with bringing cubism, Fauvism and expressionism to the country.

Fauvism Artistic style

Fauvism /ˈfoʊvɪzm̩/ is the style of les Fauves, a group of early 20th-century modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong color over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism. While Fauvism as a style began around 1904 and continued beyond 1910, the movement as such lasted only a few years, 1905–1908, and had three exhibitions. The leaders of the movement were André Derain and Henri Matisse.

References