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Showing posts from October, 2014

An American in Paris

Elegante au sofa, 1895

Continuing on this series of sensual artists of French background is Julius Leblanc Stewart, born on September 6, 1855. He was a Philadelphia-born artist who lived and painted most of his life in Paris, earning him the nickname "the Parisian from Philadelphia." Stewart's family had moved there when he was only 10 years old, and from the wealth of his father's Cuban sugar plantation Stewart lived and painted to his heart's content. One teacher who had considerable impact on him was Gérôme. His father's wide influence as businessman and prominent art collector helped to secure Stewart's place in the Parisian art world within a relatively short period of time. Stewart's breadth of work ranges from the social life of the belle epoque to sensuous yet fun outdoor female nudes.

Elegante au sofa above is an sophisticated yet natural portrait of a woman seated in a warm room with simple furnishings. I love the contrast in texture of her …

Jules Joseph Lefebvre

La Vérité, 1870

Born on March 14, 1836 in Tournan-en-Brie, France, Jules Lefebvre was a French figure painter and respected teacher, whose students include names such as Kenyan Cox, Edmund C. Tarbell, and Paul Cornoyer. Lefebvre is well-known for his highly sensual female nudes, yet looking deeper into his work we see a keen insight into personality and character, creating mood and atmosphere as an essential ingredient in all of his paintings. A contemporary of William Bouguereau, Lefebvre approached the feminine form unabashedly and without the sentimentality of children nor the predictable satyrs and nymphs prancing about in lush landscapes. Lefebvre's women are unique and charming, as he was more keen on capturing who they were first and their physical beauty second.

La Vérité above, was modelled after a famous actress of the time, Sophie Croizette:








La Vérité reveals an aesthetic visual manifesto of sorts on the superiority of beauty and Classicism. Although many believe this pa…