Self-Portrait with Cigarette, 1880
20 May 1856
|Died||16 May 1910 53) (aged|
Saint-Clair, Var, France
|Movement||Neo-Impressionism, Pointillism, Divisionism|
Henri-Edmond Cross, born Henri-Edmond-Joseph Delacroix, (20 May 1856 – 16 May 1910) was a French painter and printmaker. He is most acclaimed as a master of Neo-Impressionism and he played an important role in shaping the second phase of that movement. He was a significant influence on Henri Matisse and many other artists. His work was instrumental in the development of Fauvism.
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.
Fauvism is the style of les Fauves, a group of early twentieth-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.
Henri-Edmond-Joseph Delacroix was born in Douai, May 1856. He had no surviving siblings. His parents, with a family history of ironmongery, were Alcide Delacroix, a French adventurer, and British Fanny Woollett.a commune in the Nord départment in northern France, on 20
Douai is a commune in the Nord département in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department. Located on the river Scarpe some 40 kilometres from Lille and 25 km (16 mi) from Arras, Douai is home to one of the region's most impressive belfries. The population of the metropolitan area, including Lens, was 552,682 in 1999.
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain. The United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.
Nord is a department in the far north of France. It was created from the western halves of the historical counties of Flanders and Hainaut, and the Bishopric of Cambrai. The modern coat of arms was inherited from the County of Flanders.
In 1865 the family moved to a location near Lille, a northern French city close to the Belgian border. Alcide's cousin, Dr. Auguste Soins, recognized Henri's artistic talent and was very supportive of his artistic inclinations, even financing the boy's first drawing instructions under painter Carolus-Duran the following year. Henri was Duran's protégé for a year. His studies continued for a short time in Paris in 1875 with François Bonvin before returning to Lille. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, and in 1878 he enrolled at the Écoles Académiques de Dessin et d'Architecture, studying for three years in the studio of Alphonse Colas. His art education continued, under fellow Douai artist Émile Dupont-Zipcy, after moving to Paris in 1881.
Lille is a city at the northern tip of France, in French Flanders. On the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium, it is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region, the prefecture of the Nord department, and the main city of the European Metropolis of Lille.
Charles Auguste Émile Durand, known as Carolus-Duran, was a French painter and art instructor. He is noted for his stylish depictions of members of high society in Third Republic France.
François Bonvin was a French realist painter.
Cross's early works, portraits and still lifes, were in the dark colors of Realism. – the French word croix means cross. 1881 was also the year of his first exhibition at the Salon des Artistes Français. He painted many landscapes on an 1883 trip to the Alpes-Maritimes, accompanied by his family. Dr. Soins, who was also along on the trip, was the subject of a painting that Cross exhibited at Nice's Exposition Universelle later in the year. During the Mediterranean trip, Cross met Paul Signac, who became a close friend and artistic influence.In order to distinguish himself from the famous Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix, he changed his name in 1881, shortening and Anglicizing his birth name to "Henri Cross"
A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer.
A still life is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which are either natural or man-made.
Romanticism was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism, conservatism and nationalism.
In 1884 Cross co-founded the Société des Artistes Indépendants, – this time, Henri Cros – he again changed his name, finally adopting "Henri-Edmond Cross".which consisted of artists displeased with the practices of the official Salon, and presented unjuried exhibitions without prizes. There, he met and became friends with many artists involved in the Neo-Impressionist movement, including Georges Seurat, Albert Dubois-Pillet, and Charles Angrand. Despite his association with the Neo-Impressionists, Cross did not adopt their style for many years. His work continued to manifest influences such as Jules Bastien-Lepage and Édouard Manet, as well as the Impressionists. The change from his early, somber, Realist work was gradual. His color palette became lighter, working in the brighter colors of Impressionism. He also worked en plein air . In the latter part of the 1880s, he painted pure landscapes that showed the influence of Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro. In about 1886, again attempting to differentiate himself from another French artist
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.
The Salon, or rarely Paris Salon, beginning in 1667 was the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Between 1748 and 1890 it was arguably the greatest annual or biennial art event in the Western world. At the 1761 Salon, thirty-three painters, nine sculptors, and eleven engravers contributed. From 1881 onward, it has been managed by the Société des Artistes Français.
Georges-Pierre Seurat was a French post-Impressionist artist. He is best known for devising the painting techniques known as chromoluminarism and pointillism. While less famous than his paintings, his conté crayon drawings have also garnered a great deal of critical appreciation. Seurat's artistic personality was compounded of qualities which are usually supposed to be opposed and incompatible: on the one hand, his extreme and delicate sensibility; on the other, a passion for logical abstraction and an almost mathematical precision of mind. His large-scale work, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884–1886), altered the direction of modern art by initiating Neo-impressionism, and is one of the icons of late 19th-century painting.
In 1891 Cross began painting in the Neo-Impressionist style, and exhibited his first large piece using this technique in an Indépendants show.That painting was a divisionist portrait of Madame Hector France, née Irma Clare, whom Cross had met in 1888 and would marry in 1893. Robert Rosenblum wrote that "the picture is softly charged with a granular, atmospheric glow".
Divisionism was the characteristic style in Neo-Impressionist painting defined by the separation of colors into individual dots or patches which interacted optically.
Robert Rosenblum (1927–2006) was an American art historian and curator known for his influential and often irreverent scholarship on European and American art of the mid-eighteenth to 20th century.
Cross had wintered in the south of France from 1883 onward,until, suffering from rheumatism, he finally moved there full-time in 1891. His works were still exhibited in Paris. His first residence in southern France was in Cabasson, near Le Lavandou, then he settled a short distance away, in the small hamlet of Saint-Clair, where he spent the remainder of his life, leaving only for trips to Italy in 1903 and 1908, and for his annual Indépendants exhibits in Paris. In 1892 Cross's friend Paul Signac moved to nearby Saint-Tropez, where they frequently hosted gatherings in Cross's garden, attended by such luminaries as Henri Matisse, André Derain, and Albert Marquet.
Cross's affinity with the Neo-Impressionist movement extended beyond the painting style to include their political philosophies. Like Signac, Pissarro, and other Neo-Impressionists, Cross believed in anarchist principles, with hope for a utopian society.In 1896 Cross created a lithograph, L'Errant (The Wanderer). This marked the first time he had worked with a publisher, and the piece was featured anonymously in Les Temps Nouveaux, Jean Grave's anarchist journal. Cross's anarchist sentiments influenced his choice of subjects: he painted scenes illustrating a utopian world that could exist through anarchism.
The process of creating Divisionist paintings with numerous small dots of color was tedious and time-consuming. When Cross wanted to depict quick impressions, he created watercolor or colored pencil images in his sketchbooks. He wrote of a rustic French outing:
"Oh! What I saw in a split second while riding my bike tonight! I just had to jot down these fleeting things ... a rapid notation in watercolor and pencil: an informal daubing of contrasting colors, tones, and hues, all packed with information to make a lovely watercolor the next day in the quiet leisure of the studio."
Cross's paintings of the early- to mid-1890s are characteristically Pointillist, with closely and regularly positioned tiny dots of color. Beginning around 1895, he gradually shifted his technique, instead using broad, blocky brushstrokes and leaving small areas of exposed bare canvas between the strokes.The resulting surfaces resembled mosaics, and the paintings may be seen as precursors to Fauvism and Cubism. In the Pointillist style, minute spots of paint were used to blend colors harmoniously; in contrast, the strategy in "second generation Neo-Impressionism" was to keep the colors separate, resulting in "vibrant shimmering visual effects through contrast". Cross stated that the Neo-Impressionists were "far more interested in creating harmonies of pure color, than in harmonizing the colors of a particular landscape or natural scene". Matisse and other artists were very influenced by the late-career Cross, and such works were instrumental in forming the principles of Fauvism. Among the other artists influenced by Cross were André Derain, Henri Manguin, Charles Camoin, Albert Marquet, Jean Puy, and Louis Valtat.
In 1905 Galerie Druet in Paris mounted Cross's first solo exhibition, which featured thirty paintings and thirty watercolors.The show was very successful, receiving critical acclaim, and most of the works were sold. Belgian Symbolist poet Emile Verhaeren, an avid supporter of Neo-Impressionism in his country, provided the preface for the exhibition catalog, writing:
"These landscapes ... are not merely pages of sheer beauty, but motifs embodying a lyrical sense of emotion. Their rich harmonies are satisfying to the painter’s eye, and their sumptuous, luxuriant vision is a poet's delight. Yet this abundance never tips into excess. Everything is light and charming ..."
In the early 1880s Cross began to experience trouble with his eyes, which grew more severe in the 1900s. He also increasingly suffered from arthritis. At least in part due to these health issues that plagued him for years, Cross's body of work is relatively small.However, in his last years he was productive and very creative, and his work was featured in significant solo exhibitions; he received great acclaim from critics and enjoyed commercial success.
In 1909 Cross was treated in a Paris hospital for cancer. In January 1910 he returned to Saint-Clair, where he died of the cancer just four days short of his 54th birthday, on 16 May 1910. His tomb, in the Le Lavandou cemetery, features a bronze medallion that his friend Théo van Rysselberghe had designed. In July 1911, the city of Cross's birth, Douai, mounted a retrospective exhibition of his work.
In addition to the exhibitions mentioned above, Cross participated in many others. Octave Maus invited him to exhibit his work in several of the Annual Exhibitions of Les XX. Cross participated in the Libre Esthétique show of 1895 at Maus's invitation, and also in those of 1897, 1901, 1904, 1908, and 1909. In 1898 he participated with Paul Signac, Maximilien Luce, and Théo van Rysselberghe in the first Neo-Impressionist exhibition in Germany, organized by Harry Kessler at Keller und Reiner Gallery (Berlin). In 1907 Félix Fénéon assembled a Cross retrospective in Paris at Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, with Maurice Denis contributing the catalogue preface. Other venues with Cross exhibitions included Samuel Bing's L'Art Nouveau à Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel (Paris), Cassirer Gallery (Hamburg, Berlin), Toison d'or exhibition (Moscow), Bernheim-Jeune's Aquarelle et pastel, and various others, including galleries in Paris, Dresden, Weimar, and Munich.
Cross works in museums and public art galleries
Camille Pissarro was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas. His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.
Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities, ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s.
The Musée d'Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, on the Left Bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum's opening in 1986. It is one of the largest art museums in Europe. Musée d'Orsay had 3.177 million visitors in 2017.
Post-Impressionism is a predominantly French art movement that developed roughly between 1886 and 1905, from the last Impressionist exhibition to the birth of Fauvism. Post-Impressionism emerged as a reaction against Impressionists' concern for the naturalistic depiction of light and colour. Due to its broad emphasis on abstract qualities or symbolic content, Post-Impressionism encompasses Les Nabis Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Cloisonnism, Pont-Aven School, and Synthetism, along with some later Impressionists' work. The movement was led by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Georges Seurat.
Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.
Paul Victor Jules Signac was a French Neo-Impressionist painter who, working with Georges Seurat, helped develop the Pointillist style.
Maximilien Luce was a prolific French Neo-impressionist artist, known for his paintings, illustrations, engravings, and graphic art, and also for his anarchist activism. Starting as an engraver, he then concentrated on painting, first as an Impressionist, then as a Pointillist, and finally returning to Impressionism.
Neo-Impressionism is a term coined by French art critic Félix Fénéon in 1886 to describe an art movement founded by Georges Seurat. Seurat's greatest masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, marked the beginning of this movement when it first made its appearance at an exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants in Paris. Around this time, the peak of France's modern era emerged and many painters were in search of new methods. Followers of Neo-Impressionism, in particular, were drawn to modern urban scenes as well as landscapes and seashores. Science-based interpretation of lines and colors influenced Neo-Impressionists' characterization of their own contemporary art. The Pointillist and Divisionist techniques are often mentioned in this context, because it was the dominant technique in the beginning of the Neo-impressionist movement.
Albert Dubois-Pillet was a French Neo-impressionist painter and a career army officer. He was instrumental in the founding of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, and was one of the first artists to embrace Pointillism.
Théophile "Théo" van Rysselberghe was a Belgian neo-impressionist painter, who played a pivotal role in the European art scene at the turn of the twentieth century.
Charles Angrand was a French artist who gained renown for his Neo-Impressionist paintings and drawings. He was an important member of the Parisian avant-garde art scene in the late 1880s and early 1890s.
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.
The Lagoon of Saint Mark, Venice is an oil on canvas painting by Paul Signac. This painting focuses on a seascape image which became a common theme late in Signac's life.
Baigneuses: Deux nus dans un paysage exotique is an oil painting created circa 1905 by the French artist and theorist Jean Metzinger (1883–1956). Two Nudes in an Exotic Landscape is a Proto-Cubist work executed in a highly personal Divisionist style during the height of the Fauve period. The painting is now in the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Spain.
Albert Lebourg, birth name Albert-Marie Lebourg, also called Albert-Charles Lebourg and Charles Albert Lebourg, was a French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist landscape painter of the Rouen School. Member of the Société des Artistes Français, he actively worked in a luminous Impressionist style, creating more than 2,000 landscapes during his lifetime. The artist was represented by Galerie Mancini in Paris in 1896, in 1899 and 1910 by : Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, 1903 and 1906 at the Galerie Paul Rosenberg, and 1918 and 1923 at Galerie Georges Petit.
Parade de cirque is an 1887-88 Neo-Impressionist painting by Georges Seurat. It was first exhibited at the 1888 Salon de la Société des Artistes Indépendants in Paris, where it became one of Seurat's least admired works. Parade de cirque represents the sideshow of the Circus Corvi at place de la Nation, and was his first depiction of a nocturnal scene, and first painting of popular entertainment. Seurat worked on the theme for nearly six years before completing the final painting.
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